We're Doomed. Doomed I Say. Don't Panic?
I'm currently re-reading Wake Up!: Survive and Prosper in the Coming Economic Turmoil by Jim Mellon and Al Chalabi.
This was written not by arcane academics but by entrepreneurs who've made a lot of money in the past through monitoring global trends. It predicts the possibility of severe economic depression preceded by deflation in the coming few years and the general decline of the dollar and the US economy's pre-eminence. I don't know if they're right but it's a scenario that increasingly finds echo in various newspaper and magazine reports about the similarity between today and 1987 and 1929. It is of relevance to us all.
The authors conclude their book with a Financial Survival Guide and a worrying appendix entitled "Preparing for the worst-case scenario" that reads like a survivalist's shopping list. What I wonder would a Marketers Survival guide look like? What are the implications of a deflationary recessionary world for marketers? How appealing will your products and services look to shell-shocked eyes?
Will passions change? Will the growth market of self-actualisation be derailed or reinforced? What sort of products will you and I prioritise in our budget? I imagine it would be wiser to focus on supplying experiences that really are needed or lower cost luxuries that are defensible expenditures in times of hardship. I can see a focus on health, ecology and ergonomics as life-enhancing attributes being in demand. There might also be a rush on books advising you how to deal with the situation, though I think Jim and Al have that market cornered!
But, at the very least, if you’re a marketer whose strategy is predicated upon aspirational characteristics and conspicuous consumption or product replacement, then it might be wise to double check those growth assumptions.