‘Smart’ Aussie companies can cash in on tough times ahead

The economic crisis is taking its toll on many Australian manufacturers, but the current financial climate also brings some opportunities for clever marketers to reach new markets, writes IAN HARRISON, Chief Executive of the Australian Made, Australian Grown Campaign.

The recession is looming and unemployment is on the rise. Consumers and businesses are watching their spending patterns more carefully and priorities are changing.

For many Australian manufacturers, the economic climate poses significant challenges
but for smart marketers, the crisis also brings opportunities to capture new markets and
firmly establish brands as market leaders.

The financial crisis makes most businesses reconsider the way they retain, engage and
communicate with customers – new and old.

With constant news of job losses and falls in share and property markets, Australian consumers are increasingly considering the effect their spending pattern has on our economy.

Buying Australian and supporting local manufacturers, processors and growers – and
thus jobs – is becoming an important factor when making a purchase decision.

Promoting products as Australian makes sense, particularly in times like these. The Industry Capability Network’s report “Impacts of New and Retained Business in the Australian Manufacturing Sector” shows that for every $1 million invested in the Australian manufacturing sector, 12 new full time jobs are created.

The total follow-on ripple effect of the investment results in an additional $1.26 million
worth of benefit to the Australian economy.

Consumers are increasingly considering this effect, and Australian manufacturers have obvious opportunities to attract these consumers by effectively and boldly promoting their goods as Australian made or grown.

Promoting goods as Australian reaches beyond simple protectionism – it is clever marketing.

Australia has one of the strongest nation brands in the world and for Australian consumers, the confidence of knowing that a product is manufactured or grown to our high standards and for our market is important.

Marketing budgets are often the first to suffer at crunch time, but it is well documented
that businesses that take a view of marketing as an investment, rather than an expense, are more likely to get through the recession on top.

Cutting costs is a short-term solution.

During the last recession, McDonald’s famously tripled its marketing spend to gain market share when its competitors cut budgets, while Intel launched Intel Inside with great success.

There are a number of good reasons why this is so.

Increasing – or at least maintaining – marketing spend at a time where competitors are cutting back gives businesses an opportunity to increase market share and achieve greater return on investment.

Now is a good time to negotiate great advertising rates, long-term deals and reach
a greater (and new) audience at a lower than usual cost.

Australian Made, Australian Grown
Ph: 03 9686 1500