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The elements of John Quelch’s 2008 recessionary marketing tips are important considerations for corporations considering their marketing plans in 2008 and 2009. But, Quelch hasn’t considered the “Long Tail of the Consumer” and the groundswell’s importance in these post-capitalistic times. The arguments that Quelch makes are outdated, better suited for the 1980’s U.S recession, or even for the dot.com bust in the late 1990’s. The power of technology and the adaption of interactive marketing that have dominated our society and marketing initiatives within the last decade are non-existent within this post. Really, Harvard? This is what you pay professor and resident blogger Quelch for?
The incorporation of simple brand management techniques, as discussed in Chris Anderson’s The Longer Long Tail and Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff’sGroundswell, are not as common as you’d think. Despite the simplicity and ease that technology offers, according to Anderson, in his 2008 Long Tail adaption, “you’d be surprised how many companies don’t know the answer [to what their consumers say about them and their competition]. They don’t Google themselves” (231). Though recessions often present opportunities for marketers – Quelch’s lack of interactive marketing strategies lands short.
Quelch’s dusty dogma fails to properly assess marketing spend during a recession, most importantly, this recession during the same digital era (i.e, Quelch wrote this article just months before the financial free fall in September of 2008 while digital spend was still gaining momentum) Although it is a documented trend that “uncertain consumers need the reassurance of known brands” (Quelch), Quelch’s suggestion to increase television ad spend during tough economic times again fails to consider the decrease in importance that these media play in consumer influence during the current digital age.
Taking into consideration the following:
- “McKinsey, the consultancy, projects that by 2010 advertising on broadcast television will be barely one-third as effective as it was in 1990” (Anderson 225)
- What the Forrester Research team identified as the “Groundswell”, published just a month after Mr. Quelch’s article: “A social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations” (Li and Bernoff, 9).
- The Forrester US Interactive Marketing Forecast
- In TNS Media’s 2007 Intelligence Reports, all media spend decreased from 2006 to 2007, with the exception of the Internet, which grew by 1% point
- MC Marketing Charts reports Nielsen data for 2007, with “Internet display advertising continued its growth leadership, increasing 15.9% in 2007 to $11.31 billion in expenditures” compared to “television media, full-year Network TV expenditures declined by 2.0% to $22.43 billion”
- Digital Marketing Guru, Mitch Joel publishes TV Viewing is Down As Internet Usage Continues to Rise? Not Exactly in November 2008. And although it appears that Mitch’s post reveals Quelch’s point… not exactly. Not exactly at all. Traditional media is fragmented, “DVR usage continues to rise and American’s spent more than 6 hours per month watching TV that was time-shifted. On top of that 31% of those watching all of that TV were also online at the same time.”
(Again, not necessarily so timely, but moving content over from my original publishing on Blogger)