Mark Lethbridge, CEO of Gravity Global talks about how we can protect the longer-term future of business.

When a crisis happens companies are quick to respond with cash-saving measures to protect the longer-term future of the business.

This is difficult to argue against. It makes complete sense, right?

As a CEO for over 32 years with an unblemished record of YOY growth I am guilty of this too. Focusing in the moment and not lifting my head up high enough to see over the obstacle immediately in front of the business.

As leaders, our justification is that we need to act quickly as it’s in the best interests of the business...but is this really the outcome we achieve?

Our past experience of marketing through a crisis shows marketing spend is more often than not viewed as a discretionary sum that can be turned off and on to suit the economic climate.

Marketing is used like a volume control. Turn it up and we achieve more growth. Turn it off and no one argues as no real damage is done...correct?

But evidence shows turning the tap off can have much longer-term implications than we might think. The different marketing approaches adopted during economic crises of the past illustrate the starkly different outcomes that result.

Sometimes we need reminding to lift our heads up, beyond the moment, and review strategies and outcomes not just over the short term but over the longer term. Today is no different even though this crisis seems greater than any this generation has faced before.

So thank you to Marketing Week for publishing the Mark Ritson article ‘The best marketers will be upping, not cutting, their budgets’.

It’s time to lift our heads up.

Biel, Alex and Stephen King "Advertising During a Recession" In AdValue, ed. Leslie Butterfield, 2003