Now’s the time to pick up the pace

Now's the time to pick up the pace

Leading companies always set the pace with innovative practices and a productivity bonus derived from more efficient operations to improve their yield curves.

Making the most of the emerging moment, however, requires   close attention to brand equity and effective brand marketing

Business leaders are now revising their estimates for calendar 2013 as Australia’s economy remains ahead of the rest of the world.

Cuts to marketing budgets will also need to be reconsidered to rebuild trust and reputations that have dropped below the radar while politicians compete to say that Australian economist Hanrahan was right.

Despite all appearances to the contrary – the supposed China syndrome, the German cap of bailouts and all that – now is the time for brand publishers to tell their tale.

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi’s declaration to do “whatever it takes” to save the eurozone and  Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s open-ended bond purchase promise are an indication that large-scale corporate capital is on the way to recovery.

Medium enterprises will begin to feel the benefits of new orders and inventory restocking and will look to advertising to reinstate their market presence.

Consumers are getting younger, more multicultural and they’re more frequently online, and they see social media and digital media as more immediate and energising.

Just as it is possible to have instant protest gatherings and dial-a-riot surprises for the authorities, marketing media is becoming a trusted source of commercial recovery.

It used to be said that word of mouth and viral marketing were the keys to business expansion. The digital era is faster and more responsive to changes in household expectations. Online environments are becoming the new “word of mouth” communications, travelling at lightning speed and exerting ever more influence on consumer behaviour.

Business confidence will lag behind consumer confidence, as owners and investors are yet to be convinced that the last two years’ trends are not a valid base for a post-election recovery.

Customers are now planning value and brand purchases for the coming year but have become web-savvy hunters for value propositions.

The focus in the mainstream media on large-scale cuts in the public service and job losses in the mining industry will still be a downer for the next couple of months but the RBA believes that recovery is under way and that the real key is labour market flexibility.

Online and digital media are providing a direct marketing platform for the recovery while print media has at least a couple more months to prove that it can recover from slashes in advertising budgets. Online mediums can provide marketers with unprecedented capacities to target specific users and usage occasions.

Online has come of age as a medium since the early 2000s. Interactive Advertising Bureau president Randall Rothenberg observes that in a typical recession, “above-the-line dollars [move] below the line”.

When budgets are tight, pay-as-you-go approaches (say, point-of-sale promotion) are more appealing than betting on what may come (mass-market TV spots).

In the last recession, online advertising had yet to prove itself as a bona fide option, above or below the line. Now, it’s credibly done both.

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