Why market during a downturn?
By: Andrea Trapani
A very intuitive client sent this to me earlier today. It speaks to the need to continue positioning your company even during a downturn — a sentiment confirmed by pundits across the business community, including the Harvard School of Business. There are peaks and valleys in the economy — and we’re certainly in a deep valley. But how are you going to get back up the hill if you let your momentum die?
From a speech given by Robert Kiyosaki, author of the Rich Dad series.
A few days ago, I spoke at a luncheon with approximately 500 local
business leaders. I began with these words: “I have good news and bad
news. The good news is you will have fewer competitors next year because
many of your competitors will be out of business. The bad news is you
might be one of those out of business.”
I then showed them my local newspaper, pointing to the headline
“Businesses Are Struggling.” I opened the newspaper and said, “I can
tell you who will be in business.” I pointed to a full-page ad for a
local appliance store. “I’ll bet money that this business will be here
next year. Why? Because this business is advertising more aggressively
than its competition.”
In previous issues of Entrepreneur, I’ve written about the importance of
advertising and promotion. I’ve shared my rich dad’s lesson that when
business drops off, many entrepreneurs listen to their accountant’s
advice and cut back on advertising and promotion. That’s the worst thing
you can do. When times get tough, your job is to promote more, not less.
Promotion is a six-week cycle. That means if I promote today, business
increases six weeks later. Many businesses violate the six-week cycle.
They promote for, say, four weeks, and because nothing happens, they
stop. Two weeks later, there’s a sudden increase in business. For four
weeks, business remains strong. Then, just as suddenly, business drops
off, because six weeks earlier, the entrepreneur had stopped promoting.
My rich dad’s lesson was to never stop promoting: Promote whether the
economy is strong or weak; promote even when you may not have the money.
If you have no money, stand on a street corner at lunchtime with a sign
hanging around your neck promoting your product or service. Not only
will you meet new customers, but you might also save money on lunch,
lose some weight and get a suntan.
Obviously, it takes more than just promotion to do well. To be
successful, a business also requires strong fundamentals and a desirable
product or service. During tough economic times, though, even some good
businesses fail; some businesses shrink and others grow. When a business
closes, its customers migrate to the business that fights hard and stays
Businesses that promote while others cut their ad budgets have a better
chance of getting bigger . . . even if the economy is shrinking.