Bonitamedia’s Weblog

Creating a lasting impression for small business

History is Destined to Repeat Itself…

…especially when we repeat ourselves. Not just the mistakes, but the triumphs as well.

There are countless blogs about marketing theory in recessions. Just Google it. You’ll see a ton of info out there. The case that I find most interesting is Proctor and Gamble…

P+G was founded in the 1837 by William Proctor and James Gamble, getting their start by selling soap and candles. Seeing as the company has survived every economic environment for the better part of 170 years I feel they are as good an example as any to learn from. P+G faced many obstacles as it grew into one of the largest and most successful companies of all time. P+G’s branding strategies encompassed everything from identifying markets and creating new brands specifically for those markets to creating competition from within (most notably in their line of soaps).

Even more interesting than how P+G managed to leverage it’s own brands to strengthen the entire company is their attitude toward marketing during recessions. P+G does not cut their marketing budget at all. Instead, they look for added value with current media and they look to new and innovative marketing ideas in order to break from the norm. An example of this would be the door-to-door surveys they did in the 1930’s. When the world was in the grasp of the Great Depression, P+G sent 3000 people to the streets to conduct door-to-door interviews with the consumer to find out what their concerns were, what products they were buying and why, and so on. The result was P+G was the only conglomerate to come through the Depression in about the same condition it entered it: STRONG!

Many things can be learned from their example. To me, the most important is this: Being Proactive is far better than being reactive. P+G decided to find advertising value by negotiating better terms and pricing with current vendors and taking the savings and investing into new programs. Sound familiar?

JustoutofHome and Wirespring have both pointed out a trap that many agencies fall into… “No one has ever fired an agency for buying 30-second tv spots” Not terribly exciting, and in today’s DVR world, not too smart either. Look at your current strategy and see where you can get better value for your dollar. Instead of saving, try new media like mobile billboards, digital signage, Facebook, Twitter, etc… You may find yourself pleasantly surprised!

If you are interested in learning details about Proctor and Gamble’s marketing strategies, I suggest Wikipedia is a good starting point


February 9, 2009 - Posted by | Business tips, Marketing in SWFL | , , , , , , ,


  1. Jon,

    Did I tell you that I’m a Big fan of history?! Not only because it’s a interesting subject, but also cause it seems to be human nature to repeat mistakes (war, politics, business, etc..); although we always strive not to repeat them. Great post, and love how 3 different posts are working in conjunction with each other!

    Have a great week!

    Comment by justoutofhome | February 9, 2009

  2. When the new Stir Crazy Restaurant opened at Coconut Point the marketing firm contacted me and invited me and a guest to be special guests, on the house. They knew I’d blog about it.

    They knew the photos and grand opening hoopla would be emailed to thousands of people who are subscribed to my feed;
    All consumers who are local or are in transit purchasing real estate in the near future. It thought it was brilliant for them to be so progressive.

    A couple of buck in free food put them in the homes of many Bonitians.


    Comment by Chris Griffith | February 10, 2009

  3. Chris – Great Story! What is the direct link to your blog post on Stir Crazy?

    Comment by bonitamedia | February 10, 2009

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