Emphasize tradition and heritage in your advertising campaigns and don’t cut prices, said marketing guru, Martin Lindstrom, as he revealed his top 10 tips for the advertising during the economic downturn.

Brands that invest in marketing during a recession tend to gain market share as their competitors lose focus on their overall strategy, he said. Lindstrom was speaking in the run-up to his Buyology Symposium, held recently at Dubai. The symposium – the first time it was held in the Gulf – will cover the impact of subliminal advertising and the revolutionary influence of neuroscience in marketing.

The book, Buyology, which was released in October, is the result of a groundbreaking study on NeuroMarketing, which studied thousands of volunteers and was the largest of its kind ever taken.
The three-year study, which uses the latest brain scanning technology to reveal the science behind what makes consumers tick, is the single biggest breakthrough in marketing in decades, according to global experts. The pioneering research will turn advertising and market research approaches on their head, and refute most of what we thought we know about why people buy.

Here are his top tips:

1. Don’t cut your prices – research how’s that by discounting your brand during a recession it will take you 7 years to recover to your original price level.

2. Focus on your brand strengths (real not imagined!), and emphasise heritage and classic/traditional values – while the crisis is on people tend to hark back to the memories of the good old days.

3. Do exploit the fact that your competitors may have shrunk their advertising spending – you can rapidly win back mind share as well if you have the courage to act now. Then rely on your operations and product teams to keep you ahead long-term.

4. Brands that invest in marketing during a recession tend to gain market share when the recession ends. It might seem wrong to splash out on a new advertisement campaign when you are cutting staff, but if the message is right and the campaign is well executed, the investment will pay off in the long run.

5. Bundle up: instead of cutting prices on your top brands, offer something for free as an add-on to your core (non-discounted) brand. So if you happen to sell bags, don’t discount your bags but throw in a free keyring instead. Create strategic alliances with matching products or brands. If you happen to sell jewellery, then team up with the local flower store. Let the flower store promote your jewellery and ensure you’re promoting their flowers whenever a couple comes to you to buy an engagement ring, for example. The result? You double your reach and marketing budget – for next to nothing.

6. Play on the practical dimensions of your brand. Does the product you sell last longer or stay fresher, or can they be used for multiple purposes (for example, if you sell jackets, can you turn them inside out and suddenly have a second colour option)? During recessions consumers are practical – make your brand practical too.

7. Make your agency more accountable for strategic decisions as well as costs. Take advantage of the economic downturn to make your agencies work and think harder for their fees.

8. The overriding influence of the global ad agency or mother brand in campaigns is over. Local agencies and marketing teams within the organisation must have an increasing influence on marketing strategy to ensure campaigns speak directly to their consumers – so listen to them!

9. Don’t spend money on a flashy new logo – you’re not going to need it in five years time. Instead, spend the money on making your marketing communications adverts appeal to more than one of the senses (the sense of smell is far more effective than sight!!!)

10. The Buyology Symposium, is expected to tour more than 50 countries Lindstrom will appear live and in person at each event.