Weekly Wrap: Fraser Bradshaw, Managing Director, McCann Erickson Communications House, Bristol
So, will the competition be a fair one? Undoubtedly in a recession it’s going to be gloomy. Clients will be looking to make their money go further and the competition will be intense. Marketers and agencies will undoubtedly be trying to take advantage of other’s misfortune as costs are cut and pants get dropped. But a recession could be seen as a good opportunity. How apposite that as we exit the gorging period of festivity we need to shed some pounds, re-energise and focus on business health, not just business wealth.
It shouldn’t be a question of ‘getting through it as best we can’; but about seeing this period as a time for change. A chance to transform our businesses and brands - and to re-assess our position. We shouldn’t be fuelling over-supply, but managing demand creation.
The old adage that ‘brands don’t die, somebody kills them’ is true. Those brands who are still in existence have survived by adopting a buyer-centric approach to marketing, creating demand through constant, well managed reinvention. Being brave doesn’t mean being foolhardy. It’s about making the right decisions now; taking big, bold steps, cutting out what isn’t working and investing in what is. And for many of us, it’s times like these when we can gain from learning more about our clients, their brands and our own businesses, as we’re forced to act with decisive clarity and to innovate.
So, who is going to behave differently, right now? Will brands take the opportunity with lower media rates to increase share of voice? Who is investing in online content and owning conversations, as client budgets decline? Are agencies reviewing their provision of service, reducing mark-ups and reinvesting in marketing to ensure businesses succeed and work in partnership? Which brands are planning their return as leaner, fitter, and stronger businesses; more disciplined and more confident? Who is already emerging more determined?
Now is the time to ensure you have appended your tracking study, ROI analysis and clear justification of spend. But don’t use this alone as your guide. Those who will emerge in a better place will have done so, not from minimising the opportunities, but from maximising the potential. Big, bold, brave steps. (After all, mincing is never a good look for anyone.)
Fraser Bradshaw, MD, McCann Erickson Communications House, Bristol