Getting it Right with Women. Even More Important During a Recession.

picture-471In a recent article from the Wharton School of Business, marketing professor John Zhang stated, “In challenging times, marketers must work harder to segment consumers with specific messages. If, in the past, you used mass media, you probably want to be more targeted now to make sure the message gets to the right people.”

Keeping in mind that 85% of all brand purchases are made by women, this further substantiates that marketing specifically to women, communicating the right messages and using the most effective media to reach them, becomes even more critical during recessionary times.

Statistics and findings continue to reveal the value in maintaining or even increasing your advertising during the tough times. How well you connect with your target audience will determine how effective you really are.

The article, When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Don’t Skimp on Their Ad Budgets, is fairly convincing that companies should continue to advertise during a recession and provides some helpful hints as well. A few of the highlights include:

• A McGraw-Hill Research study from 1980 to 1985 found that those businesses which chose to maintain or raise their level of advertising expenditures during the 1981 and 1982 recession had significantly higher sales after the economy recovered. Specifically, companies that advertised aggressively during the recession had sales 256% higher than those that did not continue to advertise.

• If companies cut deeply into advertising in a down period, the cost to regain share of voice in the market once the economy turns around may cost four or five times as much as the cuts saved, as the downturn is not going to be forever.”

• You need to continue to protect and preserve brand equity that has been nurtured for years

• While price is important in a recession, the majority of price-driven consumers still factor in the importance of branding. If you cut the communication, you have a major problem.

• A recession provides an unusual opportunity to differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd.

• Ads should try to empower consumers and help them think of ways to be in control in a world where they feel out of control.

• Recession is a time to focus on core strategy

• It’s not always about price. Luxury businesses for example should take a completely different approach, appealing more to emotions

• Opportunity for marketers to provide integrated campaigns meshing traditional and digital media.

• Interestingly, research indicates that combative advertising which targets competitors escalates during an economic downturn. But history shows this is not at all effective.

Click here for the complete article.


Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

2 Responses to “Getting it Right with Women. Even More Important During a Recession.”

  1. […] Don’t Abandon Women. Build Relationships Through Social Media Posted on March 11, 2009 by sheconomy You’ve heard it before, and you will most likely hear it again and again throughout these rough economic times. Advertisers who continue their branding efforts during a recession will emerge as winners. […]

  2. It is an absolute knee-jerk reaction of marketers to slash budgets during down times… never ceases to amaze me.

    Obviously times have changed since the McGraw-Hill Research study from 1980 to 1985 but the same fundamental principles apply.

    Your customers are still out there. They didn’t go anywhere.

    yes they may have less disposable income but they’re still there. And while price will play the leading role in their decision, you (as a marketer) can’t sway from your brand. They were loyal to your brand at one point. They still can be… just reinforce why.

    No question it’s all about price. You have to factor in your particular product/ware/service/etc…

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