One question that seems to be most prominent when talking to small businesses, or reading the social networks, today is ‘what should I be doing to market my business effectively in the down economy?’. There are a multitude of answers to this question, but the one I like the best is to keep functioning in business-as-usual mode with an added dose of aggressiveness when it comes to advertising/promoting your business. In today’s Web 2.0 environment, that doesn’t necessarily translate into spending more money, but it does mean you have to get more creative and aggressive with your promotional strategies.
However, as I’ve had discussions with a variety of small business owners on this topic, I find that they are not convinced. They are less than confident that increased marketing in today’s economic environment is the right choice. In my state of frustration at not being able to convince them of the soundness of this strategy, I elected to find evidence to back me up. In the course of that evidence search I came across the article below which was published in iMedia Connection. If this well-written article doesn’t convince a small business owner of the viability of self-promotion in today’s economy, then, I’m certain I don’t know what will. Please read the summary below and follow the link to the complete article, then let me know if you agree with me.
Published in iMedia Connection: October 17, 2008
How brands thrived during the Great Depression
By Dave Chase
Companies can and do prosper during times of economic turmoil. Take a lesson from brands whose Depression-era advertising strategies were key to their survival.
To begin, not all was doom and gloom during the Great Depression. It was a time when those who knew what they were doing made great economic strides, and the very nature of the Depression was an economic boon for them. It was a time when several companies benefited from aggressive marketing while their rivals cut back. A good example of that would be Kellogg besting C.W. Post during that time. Consumers didn’t stop spending during the Depression; most just looked for better deals, and the companies providing those better deals came out stronger after the Depression ended. When spending picked up, consumer loyalty to those companies remained.
Generally speaking, those companies that not only survived but also thrived during the Great Depression were those that continued to act as though there were nothing wrong and that the public had money to spend. In other words, they advertised. These are industries that didn’t wait for public demand for their products to rise. They created that demand even during the most difficult of times.
The complete article can be found HERE.