New "Notes from Walt's Desk..." posted


Thread Starter

Walt Boyes

The new edition of "Notes from Walt's Desk..." is posted at "":

The topic this issue is "Justifying Advertising in a Recession"

Those of you in marketing and sales jobs may find some useful ammunition, and the rest of you may find out something you did not know.


Walt Boyes

Walt Boyes -- MarketingPractice Consultants
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Interesting remarks on the value of advertising during the recession --- what about R&D expenditure. I am presently in a pioneer exercise in a market that basically doesn't exist yet. A few of the big boys are toughing it out in spite of rough economic times and hope to come out of this as the front runners. Looking at the standards organizations quarterly meeting rosters has shown us the number of companies who have taken the other path. We just don't see as many faces around the conference tables as we used to.

Using the old Sealed Air case study is a nice way to see how a recession can be used to kill off your competition. Are there any other such examples?

In our industry, R&D often goes before marketing does.

The dearth of R&D money is the reason that there have been very few substantive improvements in core automation technologies in the past five

Take flowmeters for example. There have been NO truly novel product introductions for at least three years. The most interesting new developments have been both extensions of earlier designs _and_ from companies that are privately owned. In these cases, the entrepreneur-owner
is usually in charge of R&D him/herself, and would rather die than give up that function. In that case, marketing gets cut to protect R&D.

I don't think that "using a recession to starve out competitors" is a safe strategy. Too many large companies have been started in recession economies to make that viable. Hewlett-Packard, for example, is one such company. There are _many_ others.

What recessions do, apparently, is show to the buyers who has the intestinal fortitude and the belief in their own brand enough to stick it out. This, according to the data I've seen, is then amply rewarded by the customers in later years.

Walt Boyes