CAIRO: The knee-jerk reaction of many businesses during recessionary times is to cut costs on all fronts. However, marketing experts at a seminar in Cairo Wednesday advised against cutting production costs, slashing prices, halting investments in innovation and reducing advertising spending.
Egyptian marketing experts at the seminar, organized by Nielsen – a global information and media company – and titled “Winning with Innovation and Renovation, explored strategies that should be implemented in unpredictable markets.
With many businesses in Egypt talking about cutting marketing budgets to cope with the slowdown, the timing of this seminar may seem odd.
However, as Hany Mwafy, managing director of Nielsen North Africa, said in a press statement, “This is a high priority region that keeps attracting key players, and we are pleased to be establishing a local presence in markets that are important at such a difficult time.
Launching a new product is a time of anxiety for companies – crisis or no crisis. Management usually turns to the marketing team to determine whether it’s wise to go ahead with the launch.
BASES, a service offered by Nielsen, sets out to answer these questions. It is described as a new product sales forecasting tool, using a set of research tools to determine the market potential of new initiatives prior to the launch, according to a statement.
The company says new initiatives that perform well in BASES have up to 15 times more chances of sustainability in the marketplace. “In times of global crisis, trial and error with new product launches is not an option. Marketers have to . be more sure about what they are launching in the market, Bonoja Acharya, director of regional client consulting, said in the statement.
A Nielsen BASES team was recently formed to focus on the Middle East.
“Nobody knows when the slowdown will end, said Shradha Bhagchandani, manager of client consulting, “but this is why the management, the marketing teams and the strategists should think long term.
When the slowdown ends, long-term players in the market usually come out stronger.
During the recession of the early 1980s, companies that “maintained aggressive sales and marketing efforts enjoyed more growth after the recession, according to McGraw- Hill research, she added.
“If this is an unusual recession, as it said to be, we need to use innovative ways to cope with it, Mwafy said, and one of them is to learn from the experiences of others and “adjust it to our own markets.