More Tips for Weathering the Economic Storm

Five Marketing Execs Offer Ideas for Keeping Consumers Connected

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Ad Age explores what marketers, media and agencies are doing to survive and even thrive in the downturn.
NEW YORK ( -- Now's the time to go big. Or small. To dominate social media. Or stick to what's tried and true. In these stormy times, how are you supposed to discern what is right for your brand? There is no silver bullet, as you well know by now. As part of an occasional series, Ad Age puts forth what the experts are thinking regarding the recession. Send your ideas to Marissa Miley.

David Sable
"Connect with your customers in a relevant and important manner. Particularly in times like these, people like a friendly and familiar face. You don't necessarily need to be selling constantly. Show you understand that your product or service fits someone's life. The worst thing to do is to go completely dark. Wouldn't you want a good friend to remain in touch?"
David Sable,
vice chairman- chief operating officer,

"A recession is an opportunity to shake up the status quo: Weak competitors are ripe for attack; underserved customer groups and undefended markets are everywhere; consumer behaviors change and adapt and, as a result, unmet consumer needs arise all around us. Some markets open up and others shut down. It's also a time in which new technologies arise, often with little understanding initially of how they will change the marketing landscape.

More than anything, a recession requires us to take a hard look at our priorities and strategies: Is the critical task growing share or is it increasing engagement? Should I focus on maximizing the profitability of my existing base or should I go out in search of new markets? Is my current marketing mix really the best use of my resources? Are there new and better ways to engage with my customers and potential customers?"

Stewart Owen,
chief strategic officer,

"Start re-engaging with your Rolodex. During the high-flying times, it is easy to lose touch with past clients and colleagues. Now is a great opportunity to re-engage and strengthen your network. Start having breakfast (with whoever you can). Marketing your ideas and your own brand must also happen offline. Consider scheduling two breakfasts per week with a long-lost colleague or an old client. You'll be surprised what potential opportunities and realizations can arise over breakfast. And besides, breakfast is the cheapest meal of the day."

Scott Belsky,
Founder-Ceo Of Behance.Net

Janet Fitzpatrick
"First, focus on your core customers. One of the best investments you can make is to demonstrate your commitment to them. Second, take a look at your short-term actions in the context of how well they position you for post-recession upswing and future growth. Try not to allow short-term challenges to divert you from keeping a close eye on the underlying opportunities, particularly in developing consumer behaviors. Third, recognize that this recession is a game-changer, and it will never quite be business as usual."
Janet Fitzpatrick,
worldwide director-communication planning,

Brian Brooker
"Reward innovation. Stay close to those who dare to scribble on napkins or tinker in their garages. It's not enough to just lower prices. You can't cut your way to success. Dream of something people want that nobody else offers. Then invest in that dream."
Brian Brooker,
CEO-chief creative officer,
Barkley U.S.

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