Monday, June 16, 2008

So You're Thinking About Cutting Back Advertising?

In times of perceived economic downturn, I've heard advertisers say they are planning on cutting back on their advertising. Behaviorist tell us that fear of loss is a far stronger emotion than desire for gain. If you plan on cutting back your advertising, there is a strong likelihood that you'll loose your footing and give ground to your competition.

One advertising expert has a few questions and observations on the implications of cutting back your advertising that I thought might be worth sharing.

(1) What if tonight your competitors decided, effective tomorrow morning, they're all going to cut back their advertising? Would they, or would they not, be playing right into your hands? In cutting back your advertising, what do you think you would be doing?

(2) How do you hope to replace the 30% of your customer base you lose every year through attrition?

(3) What your business needs is more customers and more sales! If you cut back your advertising, how will you get them?

(4) Today you need only two things to succeed: new business and repeat business -- but you can't have one without the other, can you? You get new business by advertising, and you get repeat business by advertising consistently. So, how are you going to attract new business -- and therefore repeat business -- if you cut back on advertising?

The same advertising expert encourages his readers to Google "Advertising in a recession" and he says you'll download more supportive data for advertising during a recession than you've got photocopy paper.

The lesson of every recession is the same. The businesses that end up stronger after the recession is over are those that maintain competitve top-of-mind awareness during the recession.

I've got one client who quantified 645 leads from the Fish and did over $500,000 in new business from those leads. This client, obviously, DID NOT cut back on his advertising. He reaped the rewards of finding new customers. If that sounds like something you'd like to do, drop me a line at and I'll send you his story.

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