If the company you work for, wants to lay marketing staff off, or cut marketing budget (right as you are in the middle of implementing blogging and wikis and Facebook uber stuff), tell ’em no.

1. Research the customer. Instead of cutting the market research budget, you need to know more than ever how consumers are redefining value and responding to the recession. Price elasticity curves are changing. Consumers take more time searching for durable goods and negotiate harder at the point of sale. They are more willing to postpone purchases, trade down, or buy less. Must-have features of yesterday are today’s can-live-withouts. Trusted brands are especially valued and they can still launch new products successfully, but interest in new brands and new categories fades. Conspicuous consumption becomes less prevalent. (Harvard Business School)

… and Robert Scoble (Scobleizer on Twitter) was misled when he sided with Seesmic in laying off the PR and Marketing staff

The well funded layoff

Today Seesmic laid off seven staff members, after laying off three other members a couple of weeks ago.

They have millions of dollars in the bank and are well funded. Why would they do that?…

They are telling him that the downturn will be deep and will be multi quarter. They told him it was a good idea to conserve cash and bunker down.

Translation: Le Meur isn’t the only one getting this advice. Sequoia Capital told its companies the same thing.

Well, Le Meur told me he just cut jobs that aren’t core to the mission of Seesmic. Designers. Marketers. PR. He told me all those functions are outsourceable and aren’t core to what they do. The folks sitting around the table were developers, people who kept servers running, who were directly responsible for keeping customers happy.

I do so wish that bloggers with no experience running companies would not offer business advice. But that ain’t never gonna happen. And I wish that companies that manage online communities are clear on the value of those that bring in the online community members. But that won’t happen until after the crash.

Every advice I have ever seen – success stories from the Great Depression, Post War Boom – the CEO said that they expanded during the hard times and contracted during good times. Why are Seesmic advisors givin them the opposite advice?

Anyway, back to my original point: If you are implementing social media marketing, and the company starts backpedaling, quote the Harvard Business School. I’m working with a huge global corporation at the moment and they are going hell bent for leather. Probably gonna purchase up little companies big time, in the next couple of months/years. No reason for little companies not expand also. Only the faint hearted will pull their head in, the perfect time for growth.

By the way, jobs during the recession will come from who you know. So will deals. Your spare time will be spent in low cost entertainment where you get the support of your peers and community. If you are invested in social networks, time to expand. Do you hear what I am saying?