Advertising in a slowing economy

John Wanamaker, the Philadelphia retailer who pioneered fixed prices and money-back guarantees with honest, consistent ad support is best known for the quote: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” The New York Times (subscription required) today has a report headlined “Urgency Replaces Subtlety in Summer’s Struggle for Visitors”. Whether the urgency that underlies both the message and the creation of the new ads is working or not will never be truly known regardless of Wanamaker’s dictum but responding to a changed economic environment via a revamped advertising may arguably be better than slashing prices particularly for hotels and airlines according to this article in Forbes. Indeed, advertising of any kind is probably a sure way to gain market share in a recessionary environment as organizations tend to tighten budgets in straitened economic times – aside from the short term gains, cumulative benefits derived from brand/name recognition can be substantial and sustained.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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