Can I afford to advertise in a Recession?
Posted by Scott Dunn on January 29, 2008
I came across an article the other day in the New York Times (it was sent to me by a fellow Town Planner Publisher) which asked a simple question: “Does it pay to advertise during a recessionary period?” My first thought was why would someone (especially the New York Times) write about advertising in a recession when we are not in one. A recession is defined as two straight quarters of contraction (I knew my Economics degree was going to come in handy some day). As of this writing, there has not been one quarter of contraction, much less two. I guess when you work for the media you actually start believing your own hype! Never the less, I did find the content of the article very, very, very interesting. It is nothing new, revolutionary or something that has not been said for hundreds of years. YES, you MUST ABSOLUTELY ADVERTISE in a recession.
I know, I know…I sell advertising, so what else would I say? No?? While it is true that I sell “Kick Ass Advertising”, another company actually came up with the findings. No, that company does NOT sell advertising. The name of the company is McGraw Hill Research. They actually use this thing called math to figure it out.
In a nutshell what they found is this: After analyzing 600 companies from 1980 through 1985, those who advertised the same or increased their advertising averaged significantly higher sales both during the recession and after it. My first question was this: What does significant mean? According to McGraw Hill, significant means 260% over those who stopped advertising. If you don’t believe me, see the graph below.
Lastly, the article went on to explain that a company by the name of Meldrum & Fewsmith found that advertising during a recession not only increases sales but increases profits as well. How can this be you ask? Simple…it is called Top of Mind Awareness. When I say car, what do you think of? How about TV or computer? That is called Top of Mind Awareness. If you stop advertising for one second, you risk the chance of losing Top of Mind Awareness.
Still don’t believe me? I guarantee you that every single one of your answers was influenced by advertising. How many of you came up with TATA Motors? (Go on and google it.) Unless you have lived in India, you are not familiar with them. TATA Motors does not advertise in the USA, so how could you be?
As always, please post your thoughts and comments. If you would like to see something covered in a blog, shoot me an email or give me a call.