Napoleon once said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake.” Many marketers have been told that to retract and retrench during economic downturns is a mistake that will not only affect their own opportunities, but also significantly increase opportunities for enlightened marketers to seize (even at the risk of “interrupting” the blissfully proceeding enemy). However, that seizing doesn’t come without cost, and sometimes a reminder of the bounty to be gained (beyond just short term sales) is needed to provide the proper stimulus to move forward aggressively.
Studies (among them the CARR Report) have shown that (1) a minimum threshold of awareness must be reached before a brand will begin to see the upgrade conversion to preference, (2) once higher levels of awareness are reached, the conversion to preference occurs more rapidly, and (3) awareness (and subsequently preference) will decay over time if awareness-building activities decline. In a TNS Intersearch study, it was also determined that “discontinuing advertising not only reduces a brand’s presence before the consumer, but actively helps the competition, which then gains a greater share of voice without increasing advertising expenditures.” Or the more aggressive marketer can even elect to increase expenditures and gain an even greater share-of-voice (including a greater distance between their share and those of competitors) by striking when the iron is hot—and the misguided, reluctant competitors are not. (more…)