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Monday, January 26, 2009

Five Reasons to Exhibit During A Recession

One of the most prominent quotes in our industry during this recession is by Craig Barrett who said last September, "You can't save your way out of a recession, you have to invest your way out."

This is true for marketing as it is for any other functional area. Successful companies move forward, during good times and bad. They differentiate, they compete, they showcase their committment, strength and vision. They work to create and influence the future, not fall victims to it.

And for many companies, marketing in the semiconductor industry involves exhibiting at a SEMICON event. There's just not that many alternative mediums, mechanisms and tools out there to influence customers. For many companies, exhibiting is hard during this nuclear winter. Everyone is cutting cost costs and cutting staff and ROI in trade shows can be elusive. But the same reasons you exhibit in good times are at present during tough times. Sometime they are even more present. Here's my five top reasons to exhibit during a recession:

1. Now more than ever, companies need to differentiate their products and company in the marketplace to protect their margins and market share. The industry is consolidating and customers are looking for suppliers that provide meaningful, long-term benefits that other companies can’t match.

2. Now more than ever, suppliers need to prove they are sustainable and can survive these tough times. Companies need to demonstrate their R&D and product roadmaps are not being sacrificed to cost cutting. Customers have never been skeptical about suppliers’ schedules, capabilities, financial viability, and commitment to the semiconductor industry.

3. Now more than ever, companies need to compete aggressively to win 2009 and 2010 sales opportunities. Numerous studies have shown that companies that continue to invest in marketing during recessions gain market share.

4. Now more than ever, suppliers need to collaborate with their customers to position their products for the eventual upturn. Customers are responding to the downturn by thoroughly examining their processes, products and key vendors. Active, credible, engaged participants in the customer planning process will be the big winners in the next upturn.

5. Now more than ever, companies need to be efficient and effective in their marketing and new product introduction plans to achieve meaningful results. In the semiconductor industry, companies that utilize integrated marketing programs that combine pre-show communications, event-based marketing and product introductions, and post-show messaging and strategic sales follow-through will ramp up sales faster and more efficiently than companies who have gutted their marketing and sales support programs.


Fran├žoise von Trapp said...

Tom, I couldn't agree more. Marketing always seems to be the first line item cut from a company's budget during crunch time. It's a short-sighted approach whose results reveal themselves quickly when the rebound happens.

Darren Savery said...

I did a presentation during the week (on the topic of marketing in an economic downturn) to JEMI here in the UK. I too emphasized the fact that companies who invest in marketing now will reap the rewards when the upturn starts. While I did focus more on the digital/online channels, you'll be pleased to know that I did plug the SEMI events too :o)