Crazy Thought: Things Are Looking Brighter

Why Your Agency Should Act Now to Position Clients for the Economic Turnaround

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Marc Brownstein Marc Brownstein
Last week was the worst week ever in the stock market. Thoroughly unnerving. Unless you're a marketing guy like me, who sees the light of opportunity when others see darkness. In fact, I bought stocks this morning (for the record, it's Monday, Oct. 13). And if you believe what most economists tell you, the stock market leads the economy by six to 12 months. So, hopefully, my investment will pay off down the road. I think it will.

So while some people are selling, this is actually the time to buy -- and not just stocks. This is the time to walk into stores and swipe the credit card again. This is the time to walk into a showroom and buy a car. This is the time to purchase your dream home at a price you may never see again in your lifetime. This is the time to buy whatever purchase you've been putting off. And not just you, but the consumers you and I market to. It is our job to motivate people to do something, and now is the time to rally consumers to start pumping cash into the economy.

Because agencies have the unique role of helping to jump-start the economy and leading the recovery by hosting a dialogue with Americans, we need to leverage that role now. We can start by working harder to find cost-effective, high-impact, non-traditional and measurable ways to make our clients' dollars pay off. I truly believe now is the time, as it can hardly be more bleak out there. Isn't it always darkest before the dawn? Yes!

Here are a few things that you can do right now to help your agency and your clients thrive in this economy and be well positioned for the recovery:

Out-think rather than out-spend. Tough times breed innovation, so dig deep in your creative reserves to create unexpected thinking for your clients. They will appreciate the above-and-beyond efforts. And be sure those ideas won't compromise your clients' budgets. Not every great idea has to have a big media or production budget.

Steal market share. Help your clients target competitors who have pulled back their marketing spend, and capitalize on it by courting their customers with targeted and sustained campaigns. You can increase market share more dramatically in a recession than in boom times by out-hustling weaker competitors.

Re-think your compensation structure. Align your interests with those of your client with a value-based incentive plan. If you and your client get penalized for poor performance, but rewarded big-time for superior results, then you share goals, and are acting as a genuine marketing partner. What better way to demonstrate your commitment to your clients' success?

I hope these thoughts inspire you to crank up the imagination even more, and lead your agency and your client through difficult times, and into prosperity.
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