Advertising in Recession

Some advertisers tend to pull back on advertising during economic downturn. I see several advertisers are contemplating to cut down on advertising and few have already done so. This knee-jerk reaction is natural amid news of slowing economy, job losses, turmoil in auto sector and sub-par (read sub-prime) performance by the financial sector. I believe that retrenchment decisions are largely influenced by emotional and psychological stimuli from the external environment. I would digress momentarily to share a joke with you in support of the above premise. A friend, Ahad Rasheed, sent this joke and I quote with some additions.

 

An old man used to sell hot dogs. His eyesight was weak so he neither read newspapers nor watched TV. All he did was selling hot dogs and he sold lots of them and had a good income. Old man son graduates from a business school and joins him in business. He tells his father that economy is not doing well and he should save some cash, as Cash is King! The old man started buying fewer buns and meat, closed his shop before sunset to save on Hydro bills and consequently his sales went down. His brother retired from a government job and had seen the old man prosper by selling hot dogs. So he wanted to invest in hot dog business too. He seeks old man advice. Guess what, the old man advised; the economy is slow and hot dog sales are down. It is recession!

 

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Economic Meltdown, Is it

The $700 billion bailout plan by the US government and latest short term interest rates cut by Central Banks of United States, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, England and the European Union have not resulted in the expected positive effect on the world stock markets. Specially in the United States, the real estate market continues to be in doldrums, unemployment rate jumped to 6.1%, stock market is down and car sales shrinking. In  Canada, exports are down, CA$ had a free fall, real estate market has stagnated, stock market performance is listless, and increasing unemployment / layoffs a major threats.

The million dollar question is how to check the impending economic meltdown and recuperate the Canadian economy?

There are 101 ways to skin a cat. My way is to diversify the economy & trade in order to reduce dependence on the US markets. (As Canadian economic fundamentals are better, however we are still badly affected due to over-reliance on south of border). I think trade can be expeditiously diversified by encouraging and facilitating new Canadians to look for business opportunities with their country of origin. This will be a win-win situation for the government and the unemployed & underemployed new Canadians.

Do you agree with the above strategy? Please comment below.

The Game of Cricket & Canada

I resumed playing cricket in Toronto after a lapse of two years. From playing in different cities and on various pitches in Pakistan, I knew that I would have to adapt my batting technique to adjust to the new environment. What I was uncertain about was how much of an adaptation would be required. Indeed it was more than I anticipated.

Primarily, the grass on the outfield is left longer than normal on the grounds that I have played on, which stops the ball short of boundary. So one needs to either settle for singles and doubles or resort to hitting over the top of fielders to score runs quickly. Moreover, we play on mat pitches, which facilitates swing bowling more than the flat turf in India and Pakistan. This required to play late and let the ball finish its jugglery before hitting it. On the other hand, the matches start around mid day, so the bowlers are unable to take advantage of morning dew, which is common in Pakistan, as cricket is played in winter. Read more of this post

Canada Calling, Now What!

You have landed in Canada, gone through the initial process of applying for the SIN card, registering for medical care, looking for a place to live and a school for children. The next step is to search for a job, preferably for a career, similar to one you had in your country of origin. In a lighter vein, this step draws a parallel to the popular words by Neil Armstrong after he took the first step on moon. He commented, one small step for a man – one giant leap for mankind. Yes, looking for a livelihood could be another step but getting the right job is a giant leap for you and your family in the new homeland. Read more of this post

Make it Great

I recently attended a seminar called Make It Great in 2008 presented by Phil Gerbyshak. Phil is a sought-after speaker. He educates by sharing tools and prompting to ask the right questions to ourselves. You might have heard some of the topics he covered in his seminar; nevertheless, it serves as a useful refresher. In addition to systematic reinforcement of common-sense strategies, there were some good take-away in shape of new thoughts and tools. I would like to share with you the learning from this seminar and my thoughts about it with a hope that it may add value.

First question Phil posed was what is the best way to start 2008? He presented that the best way to start 2008 or any year for that matter is to ask how you would like it to end. Phil elaborated to define what success means to you and recommended to write it. After writing the goals that you want to achieve by the end of the year, start taking decisions in line with your goals. Then, take actions in line with your decisions. This seems like a simple advice and possibly most heard of, however, it is also one of those initial steps that frequently falls through the cracks. Life is full of distractions so it is helpful to write down your goals, place it in a prominent place (your computer, desk, day planner or diary) and visit them at least once a month. You can put a reminder in your PDA or cell phone for a monthly rendezvous with your goals and actions.

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