Enough about us being in a recession people. There’s so much talk as though we are already in one, and about what tactics to take as a result. But yet no one is talking about WHY or HOW we we got here. And how we will get out. Josh and Charlene from Forrester have their ideas, and I totally agree, not just as a Forresterite, but as a consumer.
We all might be pinching pennies in an economic downturn, but we’re all going to have the same amount of free time, and the same desire for entertainment and communication. And where’s the easiest place to go to fulfill that need? Online! Josh and Charlene describe this as the difference between advertising dollars that build awareness (traditional) vs. ad dollars that build consideration (interactive).
In an economic downturn, social networks, interactive campaigns, and brands that participate in conversations, rather then try to market messages, will succeed.
There are other things to keep in mind as well. Here are some ideas I’d like to add to the Recession To-Do List:
- Low-priced, mass quantity consumer goods. Consumers might spend less, but they’re much more likely to purchase low-cost goods, as a way to still get what they want. In this environment, the Targets of the world will rise, will Apple, and firms that charge a premium for design, will fall.
- Open brands. Along the lines of social media weathering the economic storm, brand that stay open, participate and respond to consumer conversations, will fair the best. I’m evoking Kelly Mooney’s Open Brand idea here, but probably in not the most accurate way.
- Monetize social media. If interactive marketing will stay strong, because it’s cheap and measurable, agencies need to put all their internal research efforts into new ways of calculating the ROI of their social marketing efforts. So that interested clients will be sold easily on the idea. And companies should look for new ways to draw revenue from social media.
- Experiences, not just products. Way back when, Ted Schadler at Forrester wrote a great report about designing consumer electronic products that tie to a larger experience, like iPod+iTunes, rather than just selling products. More than ever, this is crucial, so that consumers have incentive and reasons to keep participating with a brand (the way they do with the Nike+iPod Sports Kit), and continue micro-transactions, as a new revenue stream, the way they do with XBOX Live, and Guitar Hero.