Marketing is hard work. You have to get off your ass and talk to customers. Watch customers. Listen to customers. Get out of the building. Ask customers to spank you a little (I call this brand spanking.)
A number of smart marketers and ad types were quoted in Ad Age this week in a recession advice column telling us to “be strong,” “market aggressively,” “do more with less.” Not bad advice, but it might be construed as giving marketers a pass to change strategy. Don’t do it. And don’t go overly tactical. Now is a great time to see if your brand strategy is right. If your strategy delivers when the market is soft, it’s a good one. If it only works while the money is flowing freely, it’s not. Now is the time to get closer to your customers, not farther away. Listen to them using social media, in quantitative studies, qualitative gatherings. Listen, learn and put tactics on the back burner for while. Playing the tactical shell game will only cloud the waters.