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BizReport : Social Marketing : February 08, 2008

Persuasion and conversation key to surviving recession

If a recession is around the corner it will be social media and associated applications that keep consumers in the marketing loop, according to a recent report from Forrester Research.

by Helen Leggatt

In the 2001 recession, U.S. advertising dropped 9 percent and online advertising dropped 27 percent.

"Last time around, there was a lot of mindless investment in online," said Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff. "People were dong it because their competition was doing it or because it looked cool. Those are good reasons to stop doing it when money is tight."

But, says Bernoff, things are different this time. Smart marketers, he says, should know that this time round it’s not a tech bubble and that the “precipitating event is a housing bubble, and technology spending is not irrational”.

More interestingly, perhaps, Bernoff speculates that social applications, which are ultimately about consideration, not awareness, may play a far more important role than brand awareness and brand advertising campaigns during a recession. As always, consumers will tighten their belts and pay more attention to word of mouth recommendations and “persuasion”.

What Bernoff is saying is that while traditional banner/display advertising on the likes of Facebook will suffer along with the rest of the online advertising world, social applications and conversational marketing will thrive.

Tags: marketing budgets, online advertising, recession, social applications, social media

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