Monday, January 12, 2009

Gearing up for a Slow Down

Last October at the European Microwave Week in Amsterdam, I met with a number of RF/mW component manufacturers and frequently got onto the subject of the financial crises that had been unfolding for several months. At the time, the economic downturn still seemed confined to the housing and finance markets and had not yet impacted our industry. Apparently the recession had started the previous December, but those keeping count must wait a few quarters before declaring that a recession is actually in effect.

While most everyone I spoke with was concerned about what was happening, the immediate future looked stable enough. Folks were busy, contracts were being won and business was respectable. Today, everyone seems much less up-beat and many folks seem jittery about potential business and are hunkering down for a long lean period. Personally, I think times like these provide individuals and companies that are willing to be aggressive yet smart with an opportunity to make some real gains against their competitors. It is a time for solutions that save costs and improve efficiency in the long term. Companies that can save their customers money should do fine, but they must communicate this value proposition.

David Strand, president of Strand Marketing Inc., a Newburyport, Massachusetts-based marketing and advertising agency specializing in the high tech industry, has written a marketing brief entitled “Gearing Up for a Slow Down: 7 ideas for Marketing in a Challenging Economy.” Contained within the brief are tips on investing marketing dollars in the most efficient ways. Topics include time-sensitive advertising, e-marketing, search engine optimization, PR and sales incentives.

“In these unstable times, business owners are understandably looking to cut costs. But is it time to do the Ostrich, or be a cautiously optimistic leader in your field?,” said Strand. “I’ve prepared this brief to offer some simple and inspiring ideas for keeping yourself out there in front of customers while the business world is building new cornerstones.”

The brief is available as a free PDF download at

More than ever companies need to invest in the R&D that will produce products that most benefit their customers needs and they must communicate this solution effectively. I believe engineers (the bulk of our authors and our audience) need that information in the form of technical articles, white papers and even multi-media outlets such as webinars. Companies connecting to their customers these days will likely develop loyalty that will last through many future business cycles.

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