Double Dip Marketing

Double Dip Marketing

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
Dale Carnegie

Sir Martin Sorrell has downgraded WPP’s growth forecast this morning in the face of another possible slump.  What do marketers do in the face of this Double Dip Recession? There are best practice theories about what to do going into a recession (CFO led cost optimisation culls), what to do in a recession (a focus on stealing share of voice & mind) and how to best catapult yourself successfully from a recession (innovate, innovate, innovate). But Double Dip theories are not so clear…mainly because they are rare.

The world’s economy seems to be treading water while commentators and politicians debate whether we go back into a Slump. What is clear is that the main driver is fear – fear of another debt-fuelled collapse of major financial institutions & some national economies.  Fear causes inertia.

This recession is characterised by a lack of trust – banks don’t trust each other and no one trusts a banker; Governments don’t trust its advisors and voters (still) don’t trust those they’ve voted in; Credit agencies don’t trust countries anymore and Newspapers are closing down as their own actions (or inaction when caught out) mean loyal readers lose that trust built up over generations.

Yet the biggest companies are healthy and be they Fortune 500 or Shanghai Composite Index, they are hording cash and show good balance sheets. Inflation and uncertainty are hitting consumers across the Western World and Asian exports are slowing. Job security is wishful thinking. The Eurozone leaders finished at 3am yesterday morning but they sound as if they are waiting for the G20 to sort their survival plan. Blame is stirring peaceful anti capitalist greed and the Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral has resigned in support of the protesters.

There is a real role for brand to help restore trust, to bring optimism and to ignite growth. But marketing budgets are under threat again. Trust is seeping away. Fear is rising and causing inertia. Inertia increases the stress. Decisions are put off.

Do you stick, twist or double down?

Part 2 (of 3) will follow tomorrow…