Villing & Company

Talking Ourselves Out of a Recession

I’m no economist. Far from it. But I have a theory about recessions. Most of the time we talk ourselves into them – usually with an ample amount of help from the news media.

Now, certainly we are hearing a lot of chatter about the “R” word lately. Typically when that happens, business people start running scared and cutting those so-called discretionary expenses, of which marketing is often high on the list. Debate over the prudence of that exercise can be saved for another day. What I find interesting this time around is that most of our clients at least, are not buying into that questionable wisdom. Most of them are moving forward with their marketing plans and some are even stepping up the level of activity.

Does this signal a sea change in attitudes about cutting marketing during a recession? Maybe not. It could simply be coincidental. But I like to think that the business community is tired of letting recession talk become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If so, I commend this new forward-thinking approach.

Years ago, there was a fable that was quite popular in the marketing community. In short, it was about a successful hot dog vendor who, when informed a recession was coming, took down his signs and cut back on his inventory. Sure enough, his business declined. I always thought this was a powerful message about dealing with recessions. Maybe we’ve finally learned the moral of the hot dog vendor story.

If you have never read the hot dog vendor fable and would like to get a copy, email me at or drop me a note through the contact page on this web site.

Filed Under: general

Villing & Company

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South Bend IN 46601

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