Reduced Advertising in a recession Negatively impacts Consumer Perception

My Friend A.J. Fox at Ad-ology Research sent me some interesting facts that his firm conducted regarding reducing advertising during this recession—the botton line?—not  such a good idea! 

Here are some facts from the study:

Nearly half of U.S. adults believe that a lack of advertising by a retail store, bank or auto dealership during a recession indicates the business must be struggling. Likewise, a vast majority perceives businesses that continue to advertise as being competitive or committed to doing business.

The latest Ad-ology Research study, “Advertising’s Impact in a Soft Economy,” analyzes consumer perception about businesses that continue to advertise, and those that do not, in the current economy.

The study finds advertising appears to play a key role in consumers’ view of how a business is doing, and by not advertising, businesses may be sending a warning signal to current and potential customers.

“It is critical to advertise in the current economic climate, to maintain long-term positive consumer perception of your brand,” said C. Lee Smith, president and CEO of Ad-ology Research. “Advertising not only assures consumers of a business’ reliability in a soft economy, but it can influence where and what they buy, especially when the ads address concerns about value,” Smith said.

Other key findings:

  • 40% of consumers use coupons more now than a year ago
  • Most consumers are as willing or more willing to pay more for ‘healthy’ or ‘organic’ products than they were a year ago
  • A ‘deeply discounted price’ was the number-one factor that would make consumers more likely to purchase a big-ticket item (+$1,000)
  • TV, newspaper, direct mail, and Internet top local media from which consumers saw/heard an ad within the last 30 days that led them to take action.   Store Web sites ranked second only to search engines as the way consumers research products and shop online.  So be careful out there. All of us, including here at Force 5,  are looking at the best ways to economize during these hard times.  But consider advertising and marketing as key components in your business plan.