In the late nineteen-twenties, two companies—Kellogg and Post—dominated the market for packaged cereal. It was still a relatively new market: Ready-to-eat cereal had been around for decades, but Americans didn’t see it as a real alternative to oatmeal or cream of wheat until the twenties. So, when the Depression hit, no one knew what would happen to consumer demand. Post did the predictable thing: It reined in expenses and cut back on advertising. But Kellogg doubled its ad budget, moved aggressively into radio advertising, and heavily pushed its new cereal, Rice Krispies. (Snap, Crackle, and Pop first appeared in the 1930s.) By 1933, even as the economy cratered, Kellogg’s profits had risen almost 30 percent and it had become what it remains today: The industry’s dominant player.
This is a widely shared story, taught in many marketing classes across the globe, and probably shared by thousands of agencies and salespeople over the past few decades. However, it’s long-standing popularity doesn’t diminish its relevance today as the inflation is on the rise and the economy looks more unknown than it has in the past 5 to 10 years. This brief synopsis on Kellogg vs Post Cereal answers the question of what should I do with my marketing if the economy turns?
Spoiler alert… Don’t do the predictable thing and pull back. Have a plan, find emerging mediums that reaches your customer and push your strengths. Is it as simple as that? Essentially, yes. Sometimes we can make it more complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re a Type A personality and like bullet points, here is another way of looking at it:
Focus on your strengths and your most profitable line of service or products.
Own a media tactic that reaches your best customer or prospects the most.
Reduce the shotgun blasts of advertising, a rifle approach – targeted and efficient, will produce higher yields. This doesn’t mean cut your budget. It means invest where your audience is and increase your frequency.
Resist the urge to cut your budget. Marketing feels like an intangible expense, but when done correctly and consistently, is one of your most important expenses... more so when the time comes to weather a storm.
If you’re unsure or want to learn more, let’s connect. Our team would love the chance to talk through more specifics with yours. Contact us HERE.