Marketing in Recession

By Mahnavaz Rad

Twitter @MahnavazRad



 What are the reasons behind a recession?

   When recession strikes, it is crucial to question if each element in a marketing plan is achieving its objectives. Does it encourage brand loyalty? What barrier to purchase does it address? Does it make the brand seem worth paying more for? 

   The most important key to success during an economic downturn is to stay focused on the brand, competition, customers, and communications. Analyzing the company and the brand health by using annual reports, tracking studies, media data, sales force intelligence, and feedback from consumers are some of the recession survival tactics. 

   Anticipating competitors’ actions becomes a critical factor during recession. Marketers should consider the ways competitors might respond to an action.

   Recession may force a triage strategy, thus, marketers need to concentrate on the core brands and products that are most likely to survive, and let the others to sink.

   Supporting the core proposition and emphasizing its value secures the brand’s image.

   Price-cutting move may not be rational when doubting the competitor’s response. On the other hand, a high price may not be a problem as long as consumers believe that the brand is providing value for the money they pay.

   A reduction in quality may remain unnoticed for a while, but it will lead the brand fails later. A successful brand is built on the great brand experiences; therefore jeopardizing the brand image would not be an intelligent decision to make during a recession.

   A brand’s biggest asset during a recession is its existing customer, thus being in touch with them and providing a variety of services to keep them satisfied play an important role to maintain the customer equity.

    Marketers need to minimize risks by monitoring consumer’s behavior and changes in their consumption patters and habitual spending.

   Focusing on internal environment plays an important role not just during a recession but economic expansion. The motivation level of employees is essential to a company’s success; thus, they need to be reminded that they make a difference.


Do you remember that one commercial?

By: Jack Dally

Twitter: @JDally4


How important is it that consumers can recall content from a company’s advertisement? Marketers today are starting to find that an ads quality just might be more important than the quantity of ads produced. The ability for consumers to recall information, content, or even the brand from an advertisement is much more beneficial than sitting through tons of ads only to instantly forget what it was about. Nowadays people are doing many different things at once, especially while watching television, which means people aren’t always paying full attention to the many different ads that bombard their day. It’s hard to know exactly what makes an ad tend to be easily recalled later on, but one thing that might help is an ad with an engaging story line just like this Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial:

Although some ads might be easily recalled, like the Volkswagen one above, not every ad makes a huge impact on consumers. For an ad to be successful, it has to first be memorable. This is the basic idea behind making an ad that consumers will be able to easily recall. If marketers can first get consumers’ attention in this heavily multitasking world, then they next need to be able to make them remember what their ad is about, but more importantly what it is advertising/selling. Another very easily recalled ad was a Doritos commercial, not surprisingly from the Super Bowl also, which turned out to be the most recalled ad shown during the game:

Another important factor is that just because an ad can be easily recalled does not mean that it will vastly improve sales. According to the book, “some research indicates there is little relation between recall scores and sales effectiveness. Remember an ad does not necessarily make you want to buy a particular brand.” It then gave the example that the “Got Milk?” ad campaign was very popular and familiar, but did not help improve declining milk consumption in the U.S.


I’ll end with this, personally I believe that the more memorable an ad is the better it will do. We have all seen many ads that did not make an impact and we have all forgot what those ads were about. I want to see ads that are funny, relatable, and most importantly engaging, because these ads are always the most enjoyable and, to me, the most successful.

Sales Promotion within Companies

Yunyao Jiang

Twitter: @nancyttfly


The spring big sales just pass by, but there is still lot of other opportunities to buy lucrative stuff. Lots of website and brand have their own discount or promotion to promote the sales. Companies like Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and McDonald’s using continuous promotion to appeal customer to repeat purchases and large customers’ purchases.


Coupon is the second most ordinary method that companies use to appeal customers who are sensitive to the price. Neiman Marcus gives different kind of coupons every season. This induces the coupon-redeeming customers to switch brands and once the customers purchased things at Neiman Marcus, they can be easily to purchase again. Another advantage is marketers can control the timing and distribution of coupons, so retailers are not implementing price discounts in a way that might damage brand image.

Neiman Marcus also likes to use sampling sales promotion technique. When customers are in the store, they can get the in-store sampling with cosmetics. And when customers are shopping online,  they can get the delivers samples through postal service.


McDonald’s is really good at doing the sales promotion like price-off deals.  It provides this kind of price-off deals timely. Around 10 years ago, they give this promotion by a cartoon calendar way. Customers can redeem different price-off deal in different month. The calendar promotion ticket also costs money. At that time, the customers of children really loved the calendar. The adults like it as well because it is straightforward and increase the power of money in their hand. Regular users stock up on the item when there is price-off deal. McDonald’s also gives premium promotion time by time. The premium gift is loved by the younger segment customers.

Nowadays, Many companies and brands are competing by giving different sales promotion refer to the time. Sales promotion is an important way to help manufacturers to increase the sales and market shares.

Telemarketing’s Difficulties


Name: Xiang Li (Diane)


Twitter: @dianelucky

LinkedIn:  Diane Li

Statistics show, 98% of 1.78 million responding to one on-line survey said telemarketing calls made them “angry”; Americans lose $40 billion a year to fraudulent telemarketers according to the National Fraud Information Center; The FBI estimates that there are 14,000 illegal sales operations bilking consumers in the United States every day. These numbers make majority of people nerves and not happy about telemarketing.

However, Telemarketing is a nearly $500 billion a year business!  It is a huge market, and in the short run, marketers will not give up this type of opportunity to get market shares. The problems of telemarketing still cannot ignored by consumers. People from all around the world is facing the same problem, fraud. In China, fraud by phone call is growing very fast recent years. My close friend’s parents has been fraud about $20,000 last summer. They received phone calls about they can buy a product called “EasyAccount” that is not belong to banks, but they will receive three times interests than bank and without risks. Since they will send money to their daughter who was studying in the US, they have to exchange RMB to Dollar with a very high transaction fee. At first, they were very caution, and put $500 into the account. The second month, they have received almost $30 more. They started to trust the company, and put more money into their account, everything went well, until they put $20,000 into the account. They reported to the police, and the company seems never existed and the number called them has been canceled. It was a very sad thing to them, and it is happening a lot.

The regulations and laws was changing very frequently about telemarketing in China, but the main point is that there are many good products telemarketers are promoting in the market, consumers have to learn to recognize them. Also, telemarketers need to find a way to make people think about them positively. Personally, I do not like telemarketing, because I am receiving 5-7 calls a day from a program, and its been 2 weeks. I really want them to stop, even I said I am not interested in your program. They called me even when I am in class.

From Oregon Consumer Protection website, I found “Protect yourself from telemarketing scams by always making sure the contract accurately reflects the goods, pricing, and terms for whatever you purchase.” They have a lot of information to consumers about how to avoid fraud, and it is useful but I still think it is not enough, because there are so many different types of telemarketing. There are still hopes for consumers to be smart and use telemarketing to get products what consumers want.



(Oregon Consumer Protection)

How to be Successful With Social Media- Zach Swan


Social Media is essential for businesses to interact with customers through comments, likes, shares, and tweets. Just like any other marketing plan, social media is a tool and in order to be used effectively it must be implemented tactfully. Here are some simple tips to make social media a successful marketing platform.

It’s Not Magic

Social media is not magic, nor is it a project that can go untouched. Creating a Facebook page and leaving it won’t make business boom the next day. Social media must be worked on every day to maximize communication. Most companies have teams of social media professionals to monitor their activity daily. Interaction with customers is the main idea behind social media, so make sure to post pictures, Vines, and Instagrams daily in order to spark some attention.

No Comment Left Behind

No matter how insulting the comment may be towards your business, negative comments must be addressed. It is important to establish a strong customer service appearance on social media so customers will return despite their bad experience.

Even a positive comment should receive a reply. These comments don’t need to be long just a simple “Glad you had a great experience with us!” does the trick.

Blog, Blog, Blog

Blogs are important because they give the customers the reviews they crave, which could solidify a sale. Pick a theme that matches your company’s product and blog about the latest trends, activities or anything related. For example, Coca-Cola has a successful blog because they use current ‘conversations’ as they call it to connect current news to their product. They used national donut day as an opportunity to make a campaign about Coca-Cola and donuts.

Different Platforms, Different Tools

The last tip is to remember that the different social media sites, need to be treated differently. For example, Twitter can have more posts than Facebook. Also, LinkedIn should be used in a professional manner to the other sites.

Oreo, is an example of a successful Facebook campaign because they create catchy photos and slogans to draw in customers.

Social Media is a cheap, easy way to help promote your business. If used correctly, your business is sure to become more successful.

-Zach Swan

PR crisis: 360 VS. Tencent

Yiwen Yu (Even)


In 2010, there was a huge dispute between two of China’s most successful Internet service company and they took their grudge towards each other to the public. These two parties were Tencent and Qihoo that will be introduced as follows.

One party is the Tencent Holding Limited, which is the largest and the most successful Internet service company in China, providing mass media, entertainment, Internet and mobile phone value-added services and operate online advertising services.A1 Tencent’s well-known instant messager, Tecent QQ, is the world’s largest online community and has 612.5 million active users.A2 The other party is Qihoo. It is an Internet security service provider whose “360 safeguard” came to be China’s No.1 security software within the first year after launch, covering no less than 75% of China Internet users and thus becoming the second most popular desktop client software. Also, it capitalize on its 300 million clients base and develops free anti-virus software, browser etc. and achieves success as well.A3

Basically, they are not competitors. But Tencent sued 360 for unfair competition, claiming that 360 violated the account users’ private security. 360 denied that and also claimed that Tencent obtained a huge amount of profits by scanning accounts’ users’ hard disk. Both of them called names through desktop pop-ups. During the warB, some monitor tools like Microsoft Process Monitor, Comodo and AVG discovered that QQ was not normal chatting software. Especially AVG reported QQ as a spyware. Then many QQ users said that their QQ had been installed a third-party advertising plug-in unit. On the side of Tencent, it united other IT companies to issue a joint sstatement boycotting 360, which were Baidu, Kingsoft, Maxthon and Keniu. Those are the biggest Chinese searching engine provider, a famous professional security software provider in Chinese domestic market, a professional and popular browser producer, and a new security software producer, respectively. It seems like that Tencent’s preparation was very comprehensive. However, in this battle array some companies’ tools or software were not as good as 360, which helped 360 gained more supporters. This situation directly caused QQ lost about 60% users. Ultimately, Tencent decided not to be compatible with 360 and asked users to make the only option between QQ and 360. As a result, a majority of users chose 360 and transferred to using other instant messengers such as MSN. Simply, Tencent lost the game.

Based on the specific information about the war listing as Appendix B, I think Tencent didn’t handle well with this problem in the PR crisis.

  1. Tencent PR team didn’t react at a right timing. They did not try to solve the problem completely at the beginning of the war, instead, kept attacking 360 and was not honest about their own products.
  2. Tencent PR instrumentality created serious lapses in the union with other companies. Because some members of its union were 360’s defeated opponents, the users would definitely supported 360 more than Tencent.
  3. Tencent PR team only published two letters to explain the problems that 360 mentioned to the public. However, writing letters were too simple to gain trusts from users.
  4. Tencent PR team gave a press conference to the public, but what is funny that the manager of PR department cried in the conference. First, it shows obviously the failure of the PR team because what users or the public needs were the explanation. They must be professional to deal with the problem, not in this way. Also, it showed how fragile the team was. Any one will suffer stresses, especially successful people. It is related to a large company reputation. How come a manager of the PR department couldn’t undertake the responsibility and solve the problem positively as a good leader.

In short, Tencent’s market capitalization is currently the world’s third largest Internet company. It had the opportunity to become one of the high-end level enterprises like Microsoft, Google and Apple. But with the rapid growth and development for these years, it was short-sighted in profit earnings and ignored the enterprise’s own brand image, which led itself to be farther and farther away from Microsoft, Google and Apple.

Appendix A

1 Biographical Dictionary of New Chinese Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders:


3360 vs QQ, Internet security company picks fight with China’s NO. 1 software giant:

Appendix BA3

The war:

Oct 11th, 360 released China’s first “privacy protection white paper” to account for its recent new software “360 privacy protector”. 4 hours later, Tencent declared in the name of “QQ product team” that 360 was discrediting QQ, and unprecedentedly push the message to its 100 million online QQ users through pop-outs. The fight leads to Tencent prosecuting 360 in form for unfair competition. In turn, 360 released 3 comments on the lawsuit, saying will begin countercharge Tencent for defaming 360 with pornography connection and blocking the downloading page of “360 privacy protector”.

QQ pop-up (upper) says:

“QQ Product Team’s official Statement: Recently one company launches privacy protector, framing QQ spying on users’ private files. We hereby asseverate that Tencent always values privacy protection, and never spys on users’ privacy. We urge users to keep clear mind to distinguish wrong from right, do not fall for one company’s security threatening trap.”

360 pop-up (lower one) says:

“360 Was Revenged upon by Tencent for Protecting User Privacy: Since 360 privacy protector exposed QQ’s suspicious spy on user privacy, 360 has been revenged upon by Tencent’s whole network pop-ups. Latest evidences show that QQ in the disguise of “Super blacklist” has been scanning users’ hard drives as a way to make huge profits.

Tencent’s thirst for profit is not limit to this. According to media exposure, Tencent CEO Ma Huateng is worth nearly 30 billion yuan, yet he still claims housing allowances.”


Tracing a few years back, we can see how one thing leads to another, and come to understand what the fuss is all about.

In late 2006, Tencent launched QQ Doctor 1.0, a small anti-Trojan tool to protect QQ user account. But as 360 grows into the country’s second popular desktop client, Tencent smells threat.

Jan 21st, 2010, QQ Doctor 3.2 launched with an interface that assembles 360 safeguard. Meanwhile, it was giving out half-year free trial of Norton Anti-Virus. According to 360, QQ Doctor forced its way into approximately 100 million computers overnight, market share skyrocketed to 40% during the Spring Festival.

360 was sensitive enough to call back some of its employees on Spring Festival off to counter QQ’s sudden challenge. Soon, 360 Safeguard users was reminded that “the debug plugin installing by QQ Doctor bears danger, stopping installation is recommended.”

Due to 360’s quick reaction and QQ Doctor’s premature launch, many people uninstalled QQ Doctor, making its market share drop below 10%.

May 25th, 2010, founder of 360 Zhou Hongyi wrote over 40 posts on his own Netease Weibo (tweeter), telling the bitter story between 360 and Kingsoft (another anti-virus software). Pissed Kingsoft sued 360 who in turn crossed action. And ranting goes on and on between the two. Seeing the two fighting, Tencent captured the opportunity to secretly upgrade its QQ Doctor to 4.0 and switched its name to QQ Computer Keeper, which added all of 360’s popular functions such as cloud anti-Trojan, plugin clearer etc. The user experience it created was almost the same as that by 360.

During the mid-autumn festival break in September, many QQ users noticed that their QQ Software Manager and QQ Doctor were upgraded to QQ Computer Keeper without any reminder. Though there is no solid data to tell exactly how many installation/upgrade, the act is said to raise the market share of QQ Computer Keeper in scale.

Covering 360 Safeguard’s main functions such as security protection, system maintenance and software management etc.,  and with QQ’s unbeatable user base, the upgraded QQ Computer Keeper is believed to pose direct threat to 360’s survival in the field of Internet Security.

Again, sensitive 360 reacted immediately. On Sept 27th, 360 launched its Privacy Protector to go face to face against QQ by reminding users that “some” chatting software was spying on client system’s private files and data without consent. The Privacy Protector also claimed that it can monitor and expose such unethical behavior of QQ.

Pending result:

And that is how the war breaks out. 360 brings the issue of privacy to the public and successful triggers netizen’s concerns and panic about QQ client software. According to an online survey conducted by Netease, 60% out of 3140 netizens choose to uninstall QQ software first when QQ and 360 have conflicts living on their desktop. (The poll starts from Sept 27 till now.)

The war between 360 and Tencent QQ actually reflects the fierce competition to conquer user desktop. Tencent has 600 million loyal users, it wants to finish 360 through packaged installation; whereas 360 holds its “security” shield to undermine QQ’s loyalty base by using user’s fear. However, who wins the client terminal war is not very important to us users, all we hope for is peace for our desktop.

Another resource for using QQ, one of the most popular chat/social media tool in China! pretty cool!!

Jordan-“Love the game” commercial


Haoxin  Yang


Corporation advertisement can be defined as aims to build the general reputation of the organization in the eyes of key constituents.

The objectives of the corporate advertising

•              Enhancing the firm’s image

•              Improving employee morale/attracting new employees

•              Communicate brands’ views on social, political, or environmental issues

•              Better positioning against competitors

•              Playing a role in overall IMC strategy

Corporate ad campaigns may take the form of:

  • image advertising
  • advocacy advertising
  • cause-related advertising
  • Green marketing underlies many of a brand’s advertising campaigns.
  • Corporate ad campaigns are most effective when they appear authentic.

This Jordan commercial “Love the Game” was launched in 2011 when the NBA is lockout because of the disagreement of CBA. This Jordan commercial “Love the Game” was launched in 2011 when the NBA is lockout because of the disagreement of CBA. This advertisement is launched for increase the images power of Jordan to support basketball fans and do not want people to stop playing basketball.

This video does not have any statement, slogan or word to describe Jordan brand however, three super star (CP3, Carmelo Anthony, and D wade) stands out playing in different court, club and street to show their passion with basketball; in this moment it shows me a big motivation that even if the highest level of professional basketball league is not working but people can still play basketball, do not matter where people live, religion, and trust.

The last part for this advertisement is shot in China which shows that Jordan also want to increase their brand power in China in order to get more market share and increase the recognition in China.

Thus, this advertisement shows a big momentum that Jordan support people to play basketball by motivate their morale and convey a positive message to enhancing their image. In addition, this advertisement communicates brands’ views on social and external environmental issues.

This video does not have any statement, slogan or word to describe Jordan brand however, three super star (CP3, Carmelo Anthony, and D wade) stands out playing in different court, club and street to show their passion with basketball; in this moment it shows me a big motivation that even if the highest level of professional basketball league is not working but people can still play basketball, do not matter where people live, religion, and trust.

Thus, this advertisement shows a big momentum that Jordan support people to play basketball by motivate their morale and convey a positive message to enhancing their image. In addition, this advertisement communicates brands’ s views on social and external environmental issues.