Tag Archive for Recession

Estimated 1.2 Million Households Lost

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 1.2 million households were lost from 2005 to 2008, despite a population increase of 3.4 million. The decline in households has likely contributed to the excess supply of apartments and single family homes on the market. Household formation should pick up once the job market stabilizes. Young adults need a paycheck and a sense that they will have sustainable employment before living on their own.

This trend can also have some opportunities. Young adults may have extra spending money without having to be responsible for necessities. This will also help to boost the recovery because when things look more optimistic, there will be a pent up demand for more housing and all the needed household items.

This trend can lead to other “life changing events”, can we help you take advantage of current news and trends? Now may be a great time to send mail.

Scrubbing Data

Deliver Magazine reported that despite the ROI potential from data hygiene, many companies still haven’t cleaned up their lists.

Data management is still a hot topic for many companies these days. Marketers too often focus on how best to use the data rather than spending enough time wondering whether the data itself is clean. Good data hygiene can have a significant impact on your company’s ROI, minimizing waste and building trust with consumers by contacting them at the correct address.

Rod Ford, founder and chief executive officer of CognitiveDATA, a data-quality management company discusses a few of the misconceptions about data hygiene with Deliver.

Deliver: Why aren’t companies today putting enough resources into data quality?

Ford: Data hygiene is typically grossly under-budgeted. Many direct marketers spend less than 1 percent of their overall direct marketing budget on data quality.

Deliver: Why do companies say that they value data quality but not fund it properly?

Ford: Many organizations live under the misconception that their data is already highly accurate. This is because they are passing this data through vintage tools a few times a year and not finding incorrect addresses or other problems with the data.

Deliver: What should marketers be doing to improve data quality?

Ford: Several issues are forcing marketers to be more efficient in their mailings. The green movement and the push toward less waste in the mail stream is one. Then there’s the fact that response rates have declined because, during the recession, the consumer has less discretionary income than in the past. Finally, direct mailers are facing rising costs in almost every area of mail production. These issues already were forcing marketers to take a closer look at data hygiene before the recession hit. What the macroeconomic environment has done is accelerate the adoption of data-hygiene technology.

Deliver: Do you think that marketers will go back to ignoring data hygiene once the economy recovers?

Ford: Right now, direct mailers are learning important lessons about the impact of more accurate data. When you reduce the number of undeliverable pieces of mail in a campaign, this increases the overall response rate, for example. These lessons will transcend whatever is happening in the economy.


Now is a great time to take advantage of direct mail and other underused marketing channels.

Many businesses have shifted advertising to online efforts. Maybe this is the time to see our current economy as an opportunity. What a great occasion to increase brand advertising!

Successful brand advertising is all about building a connection with your customer, this establishes your business or product as something which is known and trusted. Brand marketing helps us trust a company and buy when we see their ads later on. One of the greatest challenges for smaller businesses is to establish a name for themselves, and a downturn actually provides an opportunity to do that because it tends to suppress brand building advertising. What a great chance to be able to jump over your competitors, especially if the market leader has curtailed their advertising spending during the downturn.

Prepare For the Upturn

Many people are hurting and according to most experts it is going to take a long time for the employment rate to pick back up. However, just as it took a very long time for people to admit that our economy was not good, things may be better than we think.

In October of 2008 I looked at what was happening in the economy and tried to understand what many people were saying and why they said it. I looked at a history of recessions in the U. S. since the early 1900’s. Today I looked at the economy from the other perspective, focusing on the periods of growth and prosperity; believing that the glass is half full, not half empty.

I found details about the US Gross Domestic Growth Rate (GDP) going back to 1947. A negative GDP for two or more quarters is what defines a recession.

When I look at the chart I see:

  • Times have been good much more often than times have been bad
  • It looks like the worst is over and we are moving into another growth period
  • Perhaps the recent decline would not have hurt so much if growth in 2006 was not so big, I think we thought the good times would go on forever

What about your strategy right now? This is a great time to start cultivating new prospects. Get your name, your products, your solutions in your customers minds so that when they are ready to buy, you will come up on the short list. Think about sending mail.

Should you alter your marketing plan to prepare for the upturn?