Blog Post

Preparing for the Recession: How to Market Your Way Through It

Think you can “market your way through [the] recession”? Harvard‘s Prof. John Quelch thinks you can.

We have the economy on our mind at Found|READ. We imagine our readers do, too, so we’re beginning a new series of posts today on how you can best prepare your startup for the downturn — even come out of it in a stronger competitive position.

Our first piece comes to you from Harvard’s marketing guru. In his March 3rd essay, Marketing Your Way Through a Recession, Prof. Quelch argues that you can use messaging to “improve market share and return on investment” during hard times.

Prof. Quelch offers eight ways to do this. We highlight two — the ones we think you can implement most easily:

1) DO NOT cut your marketing budget:
“It is well documented that brands that increase advertising during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times. Uncertain consumers need the reassurance of known brands…”

2) Hand-holding goes a long way in hard times, and it’s free!:
“When economic hard times loom, we tend to retreat to our village … as uncertainty prompts us to stay at home but also stay connected with family and friends. [Therefore] CEOs must spend more time with customers and employees.”

For more….

Prof. Quelch goes on:
“In a recession, consumers become value oriented, distributors are concerned about cash, and employees worry about their jobs….The key… is to understand how the needs of your customers and partners change, and adapt your strategies to the new reality.”

Here is the abbreviated list of Prof. Quelch’s 8 Key Concepts:

1. Research the customer.
2. Focus on family values.
3. Maintain marketing spending.
4. Adjust product portfolios.
5. Support distributors.
6. Adjust pricing tactics.
7. Stress market share.
8. Emphasize core values.

Read more about how to implement them in his full post, here.

For additional tips by Prof. Quelch see this index of his blog posts.

Also, these earlier Found|READ posts:
Strategic Tool: How to use the ‘Scarcity Illusion’ to boost your launch
, and 5 Simple Rules of Branding.