By John Eberhard

Occasionally I hear someone saying that there is no recession and you can’t believe all that junk you read in the newspapers. If you just have a positive attitude it will all come out all right and things will be great.

I think this is a foolish, Polyanna sort of response to the economy. But I think there are ways to be positive and survive tough economic times. So what is the right response to this economic situation that we are in?

Well first of all I think it is important to realistically assess conditions in the environment. We have been in a recession for a couple years even if the government tries to tell us it ended over a year ago.

That means that consumers are right now less likely to buy things that are considered luxuries, and even with necessities, they will in some cases tend to buy less of them or delay the purchase. This is what I am seeing with clients.

So while I don’t feel I am a pessimist and I don’t urge people to be pessimists, I think you do have to see what is actually there. Then how should you respond to it?

Well I do agree that the news media try to make it all worse, and the effect on us tends to be that we accept a new reality of lowered expectations. In other words, we get sort of apathetic and feel like things just won’t be as good as they were before.

And you can look back to before the recession started, and it is true that there were some artificial conditions there with the real estate boom and the government pushing lenders to give mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them and all that. So the real estate market and mortgage market is probably not going to come back to its 2005 levels anytime soon.

But what about other industries? I think that for other industries, it is up to us. And what I mean by that is, as a business owner or marketer, you can’t get caught up too much in the pessimism. Yes, you have to know what is going on, but you have to also continue to promote your product or service aggressively.

By promoting your business aggressively and actively doing website marketing, you are creating a new more prosperous reality for the future. The idea is to “out-create” the downturn. Of course you have to have promotional campaigns that work and part of that is having good surveys of your target public.

And incidentally, you might need new surveys, if your last surveys were done prior to the recession or crash or whatever you want to call it. Because their attitudes towards buying your product have probably changed since then. And your promotion needs to speak properly to the attitudes they have now.

So the key in my opinion is:

  1. Don’t get discouraged
  2. Know what’s going on in your market and in the economy
  3. Keep promoting and marketing aggressively
  4. Make sure you have the right message that will speak to your public and their attitudes now.