Marketing is crucial for surviving slump

By Don Loepp
Editor

Published: February 9, 2009 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics In Print

Marketing is like grilling a steak: It's one of those things that a few people do really well, but almost everyone seems to think they can handle. Anyone can slap meat on a hot grill. But the result often leaves something to be desired.

Let's take a few minutes to consider how your company markets itself.

* First, if you're doing any marketing, consider yourself ahead of some firms. The plastics industry is full of companies that want to fly under the radar, cultivating reputations for being mysterious. It's like a spy novel — only plugged-in people know which firms are the really big players. Who are companies hiding from? Union organizers? Competitors? IRS agents? Try potential employees, customers, partners and investors; this is Marketing 101.

* Not far ahead are firms that have confusing or misleading marketing messages. How many companies claim to be ``global,'' but really aren't? Or use terms like ``full-service,'' ``customer solutions'' or ``total systems,'' but don't define which services, solutions or systems they offer. Don't make potential customers guess what you do!

* Just about every company has a Web site. But differences in quality are tremendous. One of my pet peeves is visiting a site that assumes visitors know where the company is located. Yes, most people will contact you by e-mail. But why not include a mailing address, telephone and fax number on your site?

* Another common mistake involves how companies handle significant announcements. Our reporters repeatedly receive news releases when the contact persons are traveling or unavailable — and no one else at the firms are authorized to answer our questions. How frustrating!

BtoB, one of our sister magazines, had a good story in a recent issue about how the economy is taking a toll on business-to-business marketing. These days, many companies wrongly assume that marketing is a luxury, not a necessity.

Obviously, marketing budgets are going to be scrutinized in 2009. But Naylor Gray, global marketing director at research firm Frost & Sullivan Inc., stressed that they shouldn't vanish. ``Companies need to focus on opportunities for growth. There will be a recovery. What people do now will impact how quickly they recover and grow out of this recession,'' he said.

Mark Wilson, vice president for corporate marketing at Sybase Inc., said marketing becomes more important to companies during a recession. ``A lot of companies think they need to cut back expenses because we're in a recession, and they will put marketing in a discretionary spending area and cut back. As a result of that, they will go dark for their customer base. It is the worst thing you can do, particularly during a bad time,'' he said.

Good advice. For more thoughts on how to effectively market your company in tough times, check my post on the topic in The Plastics Blog (www.plasticsnews.com/blog/).


Comments

Marketing is crucial for surviving slump

By Don Loepp
Editor

Published: February 9, 2009 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events