|Silent cranes in Docklands|
Suddenly all I am seeing on news feeds are witty quotes. The advertising one above is attributed to Henry Ford. Research shows that companies who continue to invest in advertising during tough economic times build a positive image with their customers as well as gaining market share. On the flip side companies who take the soft option of cutting advertising are viewed as struggling by their customers. But why is this quote doing the rounds now? in the UK there are indicators of an economy recovering and in London, even dare we say, booming. Just count the cranes on the horizon to see construction - one of the indicators - is moving, house sales are picking up too and local builders are booked up months ahead. Oh make sure the cranes are active.
The chairman of a lighting company I worked for was convinced that there was a correlation between the demand for bricks and at a suitable time lag, a demand for light fittings. Probably today he would have an engineer developing an algorithm to produce input to factory planning. One interesting thing about planning, well in the corporate world where they do this sort of stuff, nobody ever plans or budgets for a downturn. The eternal optimism might be modified by only going for single digit growth, but nobody I ever met looked at the horizon, saw half finished buildings, no more cranes and read of a million jobs lost in the construction industry and then forecast a 10 per cent drop in sales for the coming year.
The thing is those companies that in the last recession continued advertising, built a solid base and streamlined their organisation are ready for growth, or for
decline in sales. The guy who took a red pen to the advertising budget on the other hand has seen his reputation slip, top of the mind awareness eroded and kept the really expensive overheads intact.