Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Up The Downturn Starts Now!

"Go ahead. Cut your marketing budget when things get tough.
I get it.

That's like saying: 'I’ll throw some logs on that fire when it warms up in here." Chris Lochhead

Up the downturn: How to survive in tough economic times.

Christopher Lochhead, the former chief marketing officer at Scient and Mercury, offers his advice on how companies can do more than pray for survival in a prolonged economic downturn.

It's easy to be great when things are going great. The real test of leadership is who are you when things are tough. Leaders take market share in bad times, and losers lose share, money, and market cap.

We seem to be heading into a multi-quarter (or maybe longer) downturn. Planning for a long downturn is the right approach, even if you think this is just a blip.

Strategy 1: Don't Cut The Budget.

The first thing scared executives do in bad times is cut spending. It's easy. But often completely wrong. J. Paul Getty said, "Buy when everyone is selling. And hold until everyone is buying."

Downturns are time to invest in:

New Technology
New Marketing Campaigns
New People
(hire the best salespeople, product developers, etc. from your competitors, especially those doing layoffs and missing their quarterly numbers)
New Products
New Companies
(buy or start some)

Head on over to CNET. For the details on Strategy 2: If you have to cut, DO IT FAST. DO IT ONCE. and Strategy 3: Put Your Best People On Your Biggest Project.

Sounds like great news if you're one of the best at what you do and lucky enogh to have a smart employer that recognizes you as an asset.

After almost twenty years in business and being the marketing chief at three public companies, Christopher Lochhead retired at 38. Now, he serves on a few boards and is a part-time strategy advisor. Every year he gives a handful of speeches, and from time to time writes something. Check out Lochhead.com

That's Right,


Funny Side Up Cover
Oh, and a great big thank you to Walter Goldstein for the funny cartoon - I found it while breezing through the above book last night.