In recession stand up for your Brand

Cutting marketing budgets is usually one of the most “Important” steps by management to maintain liquidity and financial stability.

 Why is it that in recession, marketing department appears to be involved with all “non essential spending”?!!

“It is well documented that brands that increase advertising during recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times.”
John Quelch
Professor, Harward Business School


 Still, given a chance, not just top management, even marketing department tries to postpone spending for good times – when competition is back and has enough to match not just the marketing spends, but even R&D spends.


 This slowdown has some merit as well. We are aware that share of Voice has an impact on Share of market. Increase SOV in recession and reap the benefit of increased SOM in good time. Its not that recession is here to stay – Economy will boom again!

Basic advantages include not just low budgets or lack of interest in competition to fight eye to eye with you on marketing front; chances are that if a product is launched in this time, it would not be possible for them to spring back with a similar/slightly improved version in few days.


 Not all customers are extremely price elastic. If a known brand not only gets aggressive on marketing, but even uses sales promotion techniques keeping in mind recession, might be very successful in gaining market share – both in short term and long term.


 Classic example – Intel’s Inside Intel campaign. They were able to build a brand and enjoy the benefits of same over a decade by investing heavily into product and marketing during 1991-92 US economic recession.

Chips are things most customers have no idea about – a commodity that most of us wouldn’t have seen ever. Still, they were able to promote this as a brand and bring a Quality parameter to the same.


 What did Intel do Right

  1. Moved away from 286, 386, 486 trademarks to one name – Intel inside.
  2. Convinced manufacturers that if they feature “Intel Inside” in their marketing, their computers would have higher perceived value.
  3. Started a brand campaign in 1991 and maintained substantial spends even during US economic recession.
    1. The made sure they got best deals. During recession media is cheaper as hence with less money spend, higher visibility is guaranteed.
    2. Since this was co-branding campaign, computer manufacturers got better rates and publishers were happy to sell what ever they could. Over all, a win –win scenario.

 This one strategy left AMD much behind and Intel controlled more than 90% of PC microprocessors market by 1998.

 We learn from history That We Never Learn From History.


Convert prospects to customers: Be Found

 Connecting with the right set of prospects when they have a “need” is crucial to marketing given the current economic and social scenario.

How does this happen? In what circumstances would you reach the people “ready” to spend? Simple – when they are looking for you!


And to do this, you need to be there – to impress them when they look for you. This concept, also called Inbound marketing is fast picking up owing to reduced marketing budgets and increased ROI pressures.

Inbound marketing




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