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Prateek Srivastava’s guide to surviving economic crisis

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Prateek Srivastava’s guide to surviving economic crisis

There is no doubt that the year that we are about to bid adieu to has been a tough one for any industry, and advertising industry is no exception. The players have tried different ways to overcome this crisis so that they could at least break even. In times like this come some smart tips on surviving the economic crisis from Prateek Srivastava, Group President – South, Ogilvy & Mather, Bangalore.

Said Srivastava, “During tough times, different strategies have worked for different clients. While one of our clients shifted their focus to Tier II and III towns on realising that the Tier 1 towns would not meet up with their targets due to various reasons, another kept working quietly for a big re-launch. One client bundled different offerings into a new product, while the other in particular focused on winners to the exclusion of others.”

Speaking on the cut of the marketing budget, which becomes a reality during economic slowdown, he said, “Company survival is the priority and cuts may be unavoidable. The safest cuts for your company may be to cut the budget for smaller brands rather than bigger brands. Small brands often take a disproportionate share of marketing spend because they are trying to grow, but bigger brands are likely to deliver bigger returns in the short-term (a classic short- versus long-term dilemma). Exploit seasonality to make cuts in off-peak sales periods. Prune your product lines and drop support for stagnant brands. However, none of these approaches is even a close second to developing measures of the links between marketing investment and profitability.”

Following are few of his to-dos during tough times:

• Guard high-value customers • Harvest customers who are ready to buy
• Optimise budget allocation and channel choice
• Cut strategically within a brand portfolio
• Use price promotions sparingly
• Consider reassurance or Value Messages
• If feasible, consider an increase in spend
• Criticality of the last mile
• Best time to gather talent
• Celebrate small wins
• Digital becomes an important tool during the recession
• There is a need to manage the tension between Sales and Marketing


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