Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Great Cereal War

We are being hit over the head on a daily basis with how bad the economy is and there is no doubt it is in bad shape. Companies are scaling back, laying off employees and looking to lower budget expenditures in every aspect of their business. There is one area that businesses need to be very careful about when it comes to cutbacks and a total cutoff - Marketing.

There are several potent quotes out there that provide the insight into marketing's importance - Thomas Jefferson was known for saying "The man who stops advertising to save money, is like the man who stops the clock to save time." And one of my personal favorites comes from famed economist Peter Drucker "Business exists for two reasons...Marketing & Innovation". While these are poignant and definitely provide the necessary incentive to continue marketing in the leanest of times, there is a story that provides insight and proof of the importance to keep the fires burning.

Before the Great Depression Kellogg's and Post were neck and neck in the battle for consumer's minds and stomachs with the respective cereal brands. As the Great Depression set in Post pulled back on marketing, along with the rest of the "needed" areas, to reduce its budget. Kellogg's maintained its marketing presence and even bolstered it by working their message into new areas of the public minds. The result: as the Great Depression started to settle and consumer dollars began to free up Post again entered the marketplace but it was already too late. Kellogg's had built a commanding lead in the market with its brands and has not relinquished it for over 50 years. 50 yea...quite a nice return on a simple investment - their brand.

We are hearing from numerous companies how their competitors and other companies that service the same industry are pulling out of annual tradeshows that they regularly attend. Tradeshow organizers are reporting lower attendee turnouts as well. Doom and Gloom? No way, what a perfect time to be an exhibitor! First, with fewer exhibitors, attendee's will have more time to spend at each booth and listen to your demonstrations. Second, the attendee's will be the "cream of the crop", only companies with both the budget to send them and a capital need for information and assistance will be attending. How often does a prime chance like this come around?

· New to the Industry - make much larger strides than you could in a "normal" economy.
· Mid-Tier Supplier - the best time to get recognition and prevent any slippage.
· Battling for Position - a major push for market share is in hand with minimal expense if done properly
· Industry Leader - which would you rather be - Kellogg's or Post?

As someone in sales and marketing you only need to consider the above story and scenarios to make a choice on your upcoming marketing and its importance to your bra... Kellogg's or Post

No comments:

Post a Comment