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Surviving Tough Times

MarketingProfs tells the tale of a chapter from the Studs Terkel classic about the Great Depression, Hard Times:

One chapter in the book, "The Big Money," includes an interview with William Benton, founder of the ad agency Benton & Bowles (now D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles). Not only did the startup agency not crash when the stock market did, its profits shot up—and stayed there. How did they do it? 
Hasselwander lists some reasons, then translates them into tips for B2B marketers today. 
The agency did audience research. "They worked with George Gallup. They listened to customers. … This was new stuff," Hasselwander reports. Lesson: Marketers who listen to their customers [and clients] in new and powerful ways will win the battle for fewer dollars
They invested in media (like radio) that bigger agencies were ignoring. Lesson: Those who master the next wave of media will rise above the fray
They invested in other businesses—at rock-bottom prices. Lesson: Keep some powder dry. The really good investment opportunities are starting now. 
They invested in new talent. The agency was able to "add incredible talent at low prices because of the glut of labor supply," he reports. Lesson: Keep hiring channels open, and be pickier than ever.
The Po!nt: Think outside the tattered box. Great marketers find an opportunity in every challenge—and forge ahead.
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