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Advertising In A Down Market

While all advertisers are cautiously keeping both eyes on the economic indicators, there are many advantages available to marketers who act now and advertise aggressively. Since many competitors have pulled back or minimized their advertising investment, the aggressive marketer can capitalize on added benefits that are unique to advertising during a period of economic recovery.

The Dominant Advertiser Advantage...
Market leaders always have the advantage because they invest more dollars into running larger, more colorful ads, more often. But many competitors have been less aggressive in the last year including the market leaders and this provides an opportunity to other marketers in the industry. With a reasonable investment, you can capitalize on the many advantages typically only enjoyed by the most aggressive advertisers. According to a Gordon Research study, buyers perceive the dominant advertiser as the most experienced supplier in the marketplace. Buyers also perceive the dominant advertiser to be the industry leader. Smaller advertisers who are aggressive NOW have the opportunity to be perceived as a dominant force in their marketplace.

The "Bigger Than You Are" Advantage...
According to one study, seven out of ten buyers equate the level of a company's advertising with the resources of the company (financial stability, staffing, etc.) Whatever your size, your campaign is magnified now because some competitors have previously reduced their investment. When you're perceived as "bigger than you are" buyers think it's smart to buy from you, because they typically prefer to buy from strong companies with vast resources.

The Advertiser vs. Non-Advertised Advantage...
If competitors in your market have reduced their advertising levels in the recent past, that means they are marketing "non-advertised" products. That puts them at a severe disadvantage if, of course, you commit to a consistent advertising program. According to CARR Reports, virtually every buyer (94%) prefers to buy an advertised product over a similar non-advertised one.

Additionally, advertised products are more profitable than those that are not advertised. According to studies conducted with the PIMS Database, advertised products are perceived to be higher quality than non-advertised ones and, therefore, advertisers are able to charge higher prices for their products. Nine out of ten buying decision makers agree that paying more for quality is considered more cost-effective in the long run.

Supplier Beats Brand Advantage...
Big brands are tough to beat, but today many marketers have a window of opportunity to gain market share from big brands in the business. Brand reputation is still very important, but buyers rate suppliers as twice as important as the reputation of the brand when making a purchase. That provides an opportunity to attack well-established brands/products that have been previously hard to compete against. If the brand leader in your market has pulled back their advertising message, jump in now to raise your firm's profile, strengthen your reputation and capture more sales in the short-term.

If you're a brand/market leader who has cut back on your advertising, shore up your brand franchise now, before your competitors attack with a heightened corporate identity.

The Bottomline...
There's Opportunity In The Marketplace

A unique opportunity has evolved in the marketplace and smart, aggressive advertisers can capitalize on it now. Whenever competitors reduce their advertising investment, they reduce their voice, their impact and their influence. The time to act is NOW. Frequent advertising during the economic recovery can ultimately lead to increased sales and market share that will continue long after the economy is in full swing.

Sources: The Blue Chip Advertisers Research
Study II, Gordon Research; Penton research
Overview Report No.'s 212 & 213, Penton Media; CARR Reports




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