Take a firm stance in the face of recession

As I write this, the day’s newspapers report a slide in the value of shares worldwide amid fears that the recent stock market rally has come to an end.

Elsewhere, the news agenda is dominated by various shades of gloom. Unemployment figures continue to climb and signs of a recovery are few and far between. Meanwhile, those in charge of leading us out of this mess are letting us down badly. As incompetent politicians and financial regulators seem to battle over who can provide the least strategic direction in sorting out the City and its still wanton bonus culture, the country is fighting to keep its spirits up.

Against such a dim backdrop, our cover feature on page 12 might be the most important piece of editorial you as a marketing manager read all year. We’ve drawn case studies from some of the world’s biggest brands and marketing services agencies to see how you are ensuring your marketing department remains healthy, motivated, creatively driven and hungry for more throughout the recession.

When Marketing Week published the results of the CIM Marketing Trends survey in June, we felt emboldened enough by the answers to put green shoots on the cover of the magazine. Not because you told us the market was getting any better, but because you were saying you were learning to change and adapt to the market, that you felt you could mitigate against it getting any worse.

What becomes clear in this week’s feature is that resilience within the marketing department may be the best chance of growth many businesses have right now.

Those companies that refuse to cut back on investment in their marketers are the ones more likely to be in a position to succeed both now and post-recovery. Greater benefits still may come to those that are willing to place marketers, with their instincts, their positivity and their expertise, elsewhere in their businesses.

The feature not only identifies five clear opportunities to ensure your department remains as effective as possible in these dark times, it also provides suggestions for keeping your best talent focused and committed to your brand. After all, the things you do to incentivise your marketers now might help prevent their heads being turned by appealing offers elsewhere when the recession finally lifts.

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