1. A great post Laurel, and I couldn’t agree more.

    The Sequoia presentation had some interesting facts but their conclusions were depressing and wrong-headed…so if we all lay off as many people as possible and don’t spend any more money – how is that going to help us?

    Sadly the Sequoia advice is, as you allude to, orthodoxy. More fool to anyone who follows it to the letter, as they’ll learn the hard way.

  2. Laurel – great post. And working in research I love Quelch’s first point about research budgets!! And completely agree with both you Dirk – The Sequoia “advice” is the same advice followed by most back in 1929 – tighten belts, cut spending, cut staff, which has been shown to only prolong events like the Depression. Hopefully some of us have learnt something from history… heard similar sentiments from an economic commentator on ABC radio last night who said that (apart from the terrible situation with people’s super / mortgages / investments) this period is actually thrilling for him, as governments from around the world have appeared to have taken harsh lessons learnt from 1929 and putting a different response into action. He said you often don’t realise you are in the middle of “history” as it happens, but these past two weeks and government response will be defining in how we emerge from this crisis. What will be interesting is how businesses act in the coming months.

  3. Laurel – I agree that marketing budgets need to be protected in tough times to ensure the brand / consumer is insulated for future growth.

    The reality though in big business's is the 2 major cost lines are marketing and people. So in tuff consumer times like these when top line revenue starts to decline – the 'bean counters' naturally look to marketing & people – and with people being the absolute last resort, it's the marketers that have to put their armor on and go into battle. It then usually comes down to the guaranteed ROI.

    It's never an easy conversation between CFO's who don't understand the fundamental's of marketing & CMO's!

  4. Laurel. Absolutely!

    I was reading about the -umm – ‘situation’ today in Time Magazine: http://xrl.us/otxp2, so this post is particularly germane.

    John Quelsh is right:
    “…You need to know more than ever how consumers are redefining value and responding to the recession”.

    In many cases, this kind of understanding will be key to brand survival.

  5. Excellent post Laurel. All through a long working life we’d always expand our sales resources when times were tough. While it’s tougher getting new business across the line when businesses are conserving cash etc, there also tends to be a reduction in competition as marginal businesses fail or downsize.

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