Marc Fleishhacker, Managing Director, Ogilvy Consulting, a division of Ogilvy & Mather North America, spoke about how companies can tailor their marketing strategies to get consumers to buy in this economic downturn on National Public Radio’s (NPR) news program, All Things Considered.
Asked by host Jacki Lyden if focusing on price is dangerous, as many marketers seem to be doing in reaction to consumer’s reluctance to spend in these times, Fleishhacker explained that the danger lies in talking only about price and not the other parts of value, such as what you believe in as a company and the quality of the products and services. Using Ogilvy client Unilever as an example, Fleishhacker observed that more and more advertising will focus on this duality of values.
For example, in ads for Ragu that ran before the recession, the message was: “You put natural things into what you made, so do we.” In current ads that are running, the message is: “The perfect meal… when your family is growing and the economy is shrinking.”
Both messages are about family, but the latter brings out the value theme, with family as the code word for more than one. The underlying message is that Ragu is good value because it offers a good price across a number of people.
Fleishhacker also pointed out how technology today is making marketer’s advertising far more targeted and measurable than ever before. It can help companies determine which areas have the capacity to purchase their products, and thus place their advertising accordingly, down to the zip code level. His conclusion was marketers will not go back to the old strategies once the recession passes and that is a good thing: “We owe it to ourselves to be far more measurable, and far more rigorous in the way we apply math to marketing, so the world, forced now by recession, will not go back to what it was which was not measurable enough.”