“The winners in downturns are the companies that find ways to innovate in spite of everything.” This quote comes from Brian Walker, CEO of Herman Miller. Many companies believe this is true because they consider R&D an investment. Unfortunately, since Marketing is considered an expense in most companies, these same companies often cut their Marketing spend in a downturn. However, if you consider that Marketing is MUCH more than just the promotional/advertising function, and you believe that “new products are [y]our lifeblood” as Mr. Walker does, than perhaps you need to consider another piece of sage advice from Philip Kotler:
“…most of the impact of marketing is felt before the product is produced, not after.”
Studies by the PDMA and others have found, consistently, that appropriate Marketing input into new product development has more leverage to success than additional investment in R&D. So, if you believe that innovation in terms of new product/services is key to your success coming out of this downturn, and you want to optimize your opportunity for success, we recommend you re-look at your Marketing investment to make sure it is focused where you need it to be.