Mark Babej has good thoughts on the strength of net marketing as cash strapped consumers use the interweb for price comparison and deal seeking.
Leveraging The Internet In The Recession – Forbes.com
In good times, when consumers feel cash-rich and time-poor, they can afford to be less diligent about their spending. But as economic pressures mount, sentiment changes. People feel cash-poor and are more willing to invest time and effort in getting the best deal.
What sets the current recession apart is that, for the first time, consumers have a tool that empowers them to subject everyday buying decisions to the kind of scrutiny formerly reserved for big-ticket items and large business-to-business transactions.
Marketers should anticipate this shift. They will not be able to rely on ads to pull the wool over consumers’ eyes–or on imagery to wow them.
Maybe even more important, it won’t be as easy for companies to control the expense line to make up for the loss of top-line revenues. In past downturns, cutting corners on quality has been a virtually foolproof way to cut costs and boost margins, at least in the short-run.
Not this time. Not when consumers can set the bar higher and easily find what they want at the lowest possible price. Not when any degradation of product quality or crummy service experience is subject to being instantly “outed” by the bloggers and reviewers on the myriad user-generated consumer review sites.