Or, better yet, think and don’t panic. If you’ve been in business for more than a few years, you’ve seen a number of these economic crises come and go – the dot-com bust, 9/11, Enron, and now the housing/credit crunch. Whenever and however this plays out, some companies will fare better and others will fare worse – and thoughtful response, not panic, is the best way to survive.

 

To prepare, let’s take a look around the media/marketing landscape. First, ad spending tanked in the first quarter, which is no big news as the Internet sops up marketing dollars that once went into print or TV. I only bring this up for those PR firms that still peg a lot of their value to pitching and placing stories in print publications. It’s far past time to move beyond just pitching stories to other activities that deliver immediate value, such as lead generation.

 

Next, how badly will IT firms be hit? Dell is already reporting weak demand, unemployment in Silicon Valley has reached a four-year highand half-dead (or totally dead) financial services firms are leading a global retreat from IT spending. In a rare bit of good news, Business Week says the venture capitalists who are so crucial to our business think tech firms will fare relatively well because they usually aren’t financed with debt, and because VCs still have plenty of cash to invest.

 

I’m no Warren Buffet, but I can predict that tech companies will cut marketing spending to conserve cash, and will demand their marketers generate more leads, more quickly, at lower cost than ever before. I’m responding with programs that deliver not only marketing material to vendors, but the ability to distribute that material through marketing campaigns and track its readership. With those readership analytics, IT vendors will be able to score leads, move the highest-quality leads to their sales force for fast action and keep nurturing longer-term leads until they’re ready to buy. The bottom line: More leads, at lower cost, in less time for IT vendors struggling to survive a downturn — and more reasons for them to retain the outside PR or marketing firms that deliver those services to them.

 

To learn how I can help you make this a reality, call me at (781) 599-3262 or email at bob@scheierassociates.com.

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

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