The Institute for Supply Management July 2009 Manufacturing ISM Report on Business indicated that the decline in manufacturing slowed in July. Some of the leading indicators – such as new orders and production – rose to their highest levels in two years and the new export orders index showed growth as well. The Chair of the Institute for Supply Chain Management, Norbert J. Ore, said the data suggests that we will see growth in the third quarter if the trends continue.
This is welcome news in what has been a very difficult year for anyone in the industrial space. There have been layoffs and we’ve seen that personally, with many of our customer contacts changing over the past year. For those who were fortunate enough to retain their jobs, they’ve often been left to pick up all the work of departing colleagues.
Despite prudent wisdom to maintain or increase your marketing presence during a down economy, marketing budgets were put on hold faster than calls to your HMO. When those budgets were finally released, they were often 20% – 30% smaller. Industrial marketers have had to deal with fewer people and less money at a time when even more is needed to make up for reduced demand.
It is back to school time, the leaves will be changing color and the end of year is not too far away. Good riddance to 2009. There are signs of recovery and regardless of how fast that recovery comes, 2010 will be a better year. The uncertainty of how bad is it going to get is behind us. Give yourself a pat on the back, stand a little taller and look forward to better times ahead. And with that, start planning early for 2010. Scrutiny of budgets and ROI won’t go away, so have your ducks in a row to support your marketing plan. This is also an excellent opportunity to cast off marketing methods and tactics that weren’t working before and revitalize your strategy.