The markets haven’t been kind for the last two or three years but actually that may not be too bad a thing.

Effective Marketing works with lost and lts and lots of small businesses and is for that reason that the recession landed on us a good while before it became the international phenomenon that we are very aware of now. because economies are confidence games, quite simply when it works we all have confidence and when we are told it’s not working we pack up our toys and sit it out, or do we?

A couple of weeks ago I took a day out from the daily work of looking for and winning customers to spend a day at the Marketing Week exhibition. And I have to say I was surprised at what I found because like most businesses I seem to spend a lot of my time and energy fire fighting and managing cash flow and all of the stuff you don’t imagine yourself doing when you start your own business. My expectation was that the whole world was doing the same thing but what the show demonstrated is that while we all face the same challenges some businesses are busy innovating and evolving. It put me in mind of the famous Orson Wells quote:

“in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance by the help of custom trade show booth. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

Which is a reminder that it is in the face of adversity that humanity thrives and it is in recession that businesses evolve quickest and as we know there were more millionaires created in the last recession than in any time in history.

For me economic cycles are like off road bicycle competitions with the recessions being the hills that seem to take up most of the time and energy, slow everybody down and cause some to stop altogether. It is the people with their eye on the bigger picture that win through, perhaps I will see you at the top of this one.

Three lessons learnt for me: no businesses are hanging around hoping things are going to get better, it’s absolutely necessary to take a day out from the grind occasionally to see what else is going on and marketing is still about doing cool things in your business to make it attractive and successful.