It’s no secret that the economy is affecting the way we all think and behave about saving and spending, and our clients are themselves consumers first and marketing professionals second. They are freaking just like the rest of us — should I spend, should I save, should I move to Costa Rica and open a coffee stand?
Part of our jobs right now are to play marketing counselors, and help our clients remember to stay the course. More than ever, their marketing programs can help them rise above market confusion, bolster their brand awareness, and drive home important and stabilizing statements about who they are and what they are selling.
At a recent meeting of the Association of National Advertisers, the theme was really just that. Here is a valuable article about what some of those marketers are doing and saying right now about the economy. Some things to learn from some of the biggest and brightest.
In another recent blog post by Chris Brogan entitled “The Beauty of Pirate Ships” in which relates the life of pirates on their ships to the current marketing scene, he states:
“In the coming months, there are strategies one can follow to try and survive. Some companies are hunkering down, cutting their spending, tightening their expenditures. Some are laying off, getting lean. Others are slashing their projects and sticking with what they’d been doing for the next year, shifting their efforts into preserving what they have instead of pushing forward.
“I think that’s the worst plan in the world. Forget the ship. Don’t preserve the ship. Go after the prize. Take on the far more dangerous-but-rewarding stance of seeking the treasure. If you’re a company, set the targets and launch your ships. If you’re one of the pirates, look for the reward, not the larger story.
“Should there be loyalty? Hell, yes. This isn’t about abandoning ship or throwing a mutiny. This is about breaking your perspective open and pointing it towards the REAL goals. “
This is a very insightful point of view, and one with which I happen to agree. It’s like the old story about the ostrich sticking its head in the sand — you cannot ignore the tempest that storms around you. But, you can control the direction you plan to take.
Our recommendations to clients is to stay the course. Your brand means everything, and as you invest in your brand with care and guidance, it will pay off for you in the not-so-long term. If you don’t feel your brand is clearly defined, do it. Quick.
And remember — we are all in the same boat, pirate or not.