Tuesday, 10 March 2009

“You always find out who's been swimming naked when the tide goes out.

“You always find out who's been swimming naked when the tide goes out. We found out that Wall Street has been kind of a nudist beach.” WARREN BUFFETT billionaire investor.

It doesn’t need Idealogy to highlight that the reference here is to the Banking Industry, and we have all felt the cold wind blowing over our privates – sorry, investments - as the financial markets have been exposed with little to cover their risk, their egos and their credibility.

But extend the argument into the marketing environment and the same commercial tidemarks are there for all to see. Many medium to large organisations are taking the same cyclical decisions, the typical, ‘de rigeur’ response when times are tough. Cut the marketing spend! Lets swim naked until the market turns. Then we can get back to shore to find our trunks.

But what if a diligent beach cleaner has swept up all the trunks, bikinis and other beachware? Where does that leave these inside-the-box thinking, risk averse back strokers?

Exposed in a wiser marketplace that has moved on, that’s where!

So many well-run, positive businesses are trying not to dip their toes into the fast ebbing recessionary tide. What’s the point? The indicators are so severe and at such a surreal level that what can we mere mortals hope to achieve?

So the smart thinkers are adopting a business-as-usual approach, developing plans to engage with their customers, focusing on getting new products and services to market, continuing to improve the customer experience, concentrating on client retention. Getting the job done so that when the markets do come back to life they’ll be prepared with innovative and compelling propositions to attract like-minded customers.

There is something incredibly short-termist in believing that a market waits until you are ready to sell. Well it doesn’t. It looks for the people who are in play and ready to do business. Not those who are hiding behind the sand dunes with no clothes, waiting for the beach to clear so they can get back to their cars.

Big decisions follow you around, and there is always someone out there who wants to talk – swimming trunks or not!

What are your thoughts about skinny dipping? Or, talk to Idealogy about ways to ignore the 'r' word!

Posted by Simon Dover