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A recent article on HBS: Working Knowledge gave a marketing view on coping with recession (take a look.) You might notice a number of parallels between the advice aimed at marketers and the advice I gave in my last article ‘5 Recession Beating Tips’.
I think this is because marketing and technical departments face similar challenges in justifying themselves in terms of their value against their cost, particularly as both functions are less easily measured than sales and customer services and that functional value is less immediate in all but a few examples (such as computer operators and perhaps campaign marketers.) Both marketers and technicians must strive to ensure that they are efficient but moreover effective, by understanding their customers (whether internal or external) and adjusting focus to suit.
Both marketing and technical departments must be frugal with budget and challenge major spend, but as marketers shouldn’t cut advertising, technical departments must not stop investing in staff (such as training). In both marketing and technical departments, inaction and continuing to plough the same furrow is dangerous and potentially wasteful.
To conclude, technical departments will not be singled out during recession and nor will they be at the sharp end of an organizational axe, but like all departments in an organization facing tough times, maximizing value, reducing costs but maintaining progress and delivery is an absolute must.