Businesses that continue to advertise regardless of economic times have a competitive advantage over businesses that trim their ad budgets.
So says a business-to-business (b-to-b) media study conducted by Yankelovich Partners and Harris Interactive. The study showed more than 85 percent of business executives believe advertising during a down economy is extremely important.
B-to-b media is an undisputed ally for advertisers seeking to reach executives about products and services for their businesses. The study, prepared for American Business Media, showed that despite slow economic times, executives rely on b-to-b media for information more than any other media source for the influence or support of purchase decisions.
Advertising during a sluggish economy clearly creates a competitive advantage, according to the study, with a majority of executives agreeing that seeing a company advertise during slower times makes them feel more positive about the company’s commitment to its products and services. But perhaps most important is staying at the top of buyers’ minds when purchase decisions are made.
“For advertisers interested in maximum profit from their investment in b-to-b media, these research results indicate that advertising frequently and capitalizing on the synergistic effect of print, Web sites, blogs, e-mail ads and trade shows is a sure path to increasing awareness, interest and purchase,” said the study authors.
Add to that the fact that there have been dramatic increases in the time executives spend online and that online advertising is a winning strategy. Moreover, the study findings are consistent across industry sectors, making results relevant regardless of business category.
While the Yankelovich/Harris study offers compelling data to support the benefit of advertising especially in slower times, other business gurus also support the theory.
“Advertising in a down economy is even more important than advertising during the good times,” says Joyce Gioia, president of the Herman Group, a firm of strategic business futurists in Greensboro, N.C. “That’s when you can build market share. That’s when you have less competition for share of mind. While others are in a cocoon, hibernating until things blow over, it’s a great time to invest in your business.”
Gioia says sign industry suppliers need to establish themselves as the brand of choice and halting advertising during tough times is counteractive to that goal.
The bottom line is clear: If a company is not communicating with customers when they enter the market, then that company will not be considered in the buying decision. That fundamental truth does not change, regardless of the economy.
While many companies readily understand the value of short-term advertising generating new sales, generating repeat business from existing customers and generating new leads that turn into future sales it can be more difficult to comprehend the long-term value. Think of a snowball rolling down a mountain consistent advertising has a cumulative effect. The more familiar buyers are with your brand, the more likely they are to purchase the brand.
A useful excerpt from Jennifer LeClaire