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Advertising During Recessions

Please find below comments by advertising and marketing experts on how to deal with advertising products and services during recessions:

In a study of U.S. recessions, McGraw-Hill Research analyzed 600 companies from 1980-1985. The results showed that business-to-business firms that maintained or increased their advertising expenditures during the 1981-1982 recession averaged significantly higher sales growth, both during the recession and for the following three years, than those that eliminated or decreased advertising. By 1985, sales of companies that were aggressive recession advertisers had risen 256 percent over those that didn't keep up their advertising. In addition, a series of six studies conducted by the research firm of Meldrum & Fewsmith showed conclusively that advertising aggressively during recessions not only increases sales but increases profits. This fact has held true for all post-World War II recessions studied by The American Business Press starting in 1949.

KIRBY HASSEMAN
Co-owner of Hasseman Marketing & Communications

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.

JOHN A. QUELCH

Professor at the Harvard Business School

The most successful companies maximize long-term shareholder value by maintaining their advertising investment when the economy slows down and weaker competitors cut back.

PATRIC BARWISE
Professor at the London Business School

An overwhelming majority of American executives (86 percent) agreed that companies that advertise in a down economy stay more top-of-mind when purchase decisions are made, and create more positive impressions about the commitment to their products and services.

GUY CONSTERDINE
Independent Media Consultant

Promote what makes you different. Branding experts say customers perceive few businesses to be as unique or expert as the owners believe they are. Use the downtime to rethink your brand, adjust your market positioning and determine what your customers appreciate about you. Surveying customers' opinions has more benefits: It reminds them you're alive, you're interested in what they think and you're serious about serving them better. That can launch a whole new round of conversations.

RICK SPENCE
Writer, consultant and speaker specializing in entrepreneurship

"Recession," "downturn," "financial quagmire" and other negative words evoke even more panic among already cash-strapped consumers. Ads during a recession need a positive swing, linking them to performance, improvement and survival during hard times.

HEIDE B. MALHOTRA
Epoch Times Staff Writer

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