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The Rest is History

Recently I saw a reminder of an old adage that says, “When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you must advertise.”

History proves that when you increase your marketing budget during a recession there is a direct and positive correlation to the increase in sales and market share post-recession. Unfortunately, the first thing companies do when the economy takes a downturn is reduce or even eliminate their marketing and advertising spend.

Right now, camps should take advantage of the opportunity to build brand awareness, improve their pipeline and gain market share. However don’t just take my word for it, take a look at history:


Advertising executive Roland S. Vaile tracked 200 companies through the recession of 1923. In the April, 1927 issue of the Harvard Business Review, he reported that companies that had continued to advertise during the economic downturn were 20% ahead of where they had been before the recession, while companies that reduced advertising were still in the recession, 7% below their original levels.

1940s - 1960s

Buchen Advertising tracked advertising dollars vs. sales trends for the recessions of 1949, 1954, 1958 and 1961. They found that sales and profits dropped at companies that cut back on advertising and, that after the recession had ended, those same companies lagged behind the ones that maintained their ad budgets.


During the 1973 recession, Toyota increased its ad spend at a time when everyone had dropped theirs. Toyota went on to become the top imported car maker in the US by 1976.


McGraw-Hill Research analyzed 600 B2B companies and found that those who maintained or increased advertising grew significantly … both during the recession and the following three years. In fact, by 1985, sales of companies that advertised aggressively had grown 275% over those that didn’t.


During the 1991 recession, McDonald’s dropped its advertising budget while Pizza Hut and Taco Bell took advantage of it. Pizza Hut sales grew by 61%. Taco Bell sales grew by 40%. McDonald’s sales declined by 28 per cent.

Although your first instinct may be to cut back on your marketing and advertising, camps that maintain their budgets or even increase them should see longterm results in increased enrollment and healthier overall financial performance. The rest is history.

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