You serve on the board of many companies and you advise them all the time about their marketing strategies. What would be your advice to businesses? Should they increase the budget for brand awareness at these times? Should they be investing more in brand in these times or they should be going slow?
Well, first and foremost, they should worry about solvency. He who fights and runs away will live to fight another day, but he who is a battle slave will never live to fight again. So if you think you're going to be insolvent, then don't play games. So first and foremost, preserve your capital, stay solvent, stay liquid.
The second thing that I say is that this is not the time. This is time for conscious capitalism. Make sure you're not retrenching so that the stock option value of your top management can go up. Try and see if you can continue to pay and retrench as a last resort, because the percentage of labour cost to the total is very small anyway.
Having said that, I'm also saying that this is the time to talk to the consumer. I am disappointed by holiday companies have been talking to me and I'm saying there's a time when I'm listening. So, if I cant travel anywhere, you know, at least talk to me about where all I can go. A small travel agent sent me a message saying let's buy local travel, local discover, explore India.
And I now have the next four places I will go to with her already in my head. So I would actually advise them to engage with customers much more.