A Bad Economy Is The Right Time To Catalyze Marketing Change

Sharvanboskirk [Posted by Shar VanBoskirk]

The theme for my speech at Forrester’s marketing forum on April 23-24 in Orlando this year is that the down economy is actually the *right* time to catalyze marketing change.  Instead of hunkering down and trying just to maintain marketing status quo, my assertion is that marketers should actually take risks during the recession.


I tested the idea and some of my research to date with a few bloggers well known for their own thinking on marketing innovation:  David Berkowitz and BL Ochman. 


Overall, they agreed with the notion and made a few very interesting points that I am going to try to flesh out into the speech.


1)       First, leveraging interactive tools can actually make marketing innovation *less* risky.  Berkowitz mentioned – and I agree – that doing things like monitoring Twitter for what is being said about your brand or campaigns is actually an extremely *safe* thing to do.  Although Twitter sounds all newfangled for a traditional brand, it provides a way to listen to how your audience is talking about your brand.  Heeding this input can help marketers actually be better/more secure in crafting customer-centric marketing programs. 

2)       Leveraging social media gives brands enough of a personal face, that consumers are willing to forgive their peccadilloes.  I hadn’t thought of this benefit of social media.  It has its value in allowing marketers to listen and speak with consumers.  But it also has an opportunistic value.  The theory is that consumers will be more tolerant of customer service gaffes from marketers who talk to them like a fellow human (eg, via Twitter, blogs).


The conversation around marketing innovation definitely hinged around social media.  We talked about Disney, Zappos, Dell, H&R Block as firms innovating well with social media.  Are there other innovations you have seen that are outside of social media?  Perhaps firms applying other interactive tools in a new or better way?  How about using interactive tools for better measurement?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on my forum theme as well and also learn about the examples you have seen that seem particularly compelling to you.  And then of course, let’s continue the conversation at the forum.  I’m on stage from 8:40-9:20 on Thursday April 23.  I hope you’ll be in the audience and then able to chat afterwards during one-on-ones or in some of the networking events.



re: A Bad Economy Is The Right Time To Catalyze Marketing Chang

Well said, Shar. Razorfish is experiencing the same phenomenon with our clients. Intel launched its new Core i7 microprocessor right in the middle of the recession and used social media (the Intel Digital Drag Race) to reposition its brand with gamers and designers. Also during the recession, Dockers worked with Razorfish and OMD to launch the first-ever "shakeable" ad designed for an iPhone. Our 9th Annual Client Summit, "Art of the Idea," focuses on innovation that delivers value during the recession. It's April 22-23. Sadly, I will miss your presentation because I'll be running our Client Summit, but I'll see you on April 24. More about innovating during a recession here http:www.tinyurl.com/cratpv

re: A Bad Economy Is The Right Time To Catalyze Marketing Chang

Agree with everything you're saying and looking forward to seeing you at the Marketing Forum. At Ascentium, we are beginning to see some of our B2B clients use social media as a means of understanding the changes in the purchase process during the economic downturn. We have also had a client embrace the idea of using social media as a means to create conversations among their own sales force worldwide.

re: A Bad Economy Is The Right Time To Catalyze Marketing Chang

Some great points here. Twitter can definitely be a helpful tool for companies to hear what is being said about them by their audience. I own an interactive marketing business in Phoenix, Arizona and recently wrote a blog which talks about marketing in a recession -- Recession Tips: Marketing to your Potential. Good luck with your speech!

re: A Bad Economy Is The Right Time To Catalyze Marketing Chang

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re: A Bad Economy Is The Right Time To Catalyze Marketing Chang

Hi Shar,Your points are very well said.I must appreciate you for such an extremely innovative post. Yup, you are absolutely correct by saying that "A Bad Economy Is The Right Time To Catalyze Marketing Change". Many companies have launched new cars, new products, etc. in this recession period and they are doing good. Marketing innovation are very risky but if done at the right time , the idea can click on the market.