Making money in a meltdown

I was out with a client last night and had a good chat about a buncha things, including where the economy is going and what it means for this space.

There’s the one theory that smaller ad spends will result in smarter buying, and therefore a move away from the conventional to new platforms like digital out of home.

But then there’s that counter argument that planners — never the most adventuresome bunch — will be even more risk adverse than normal.

Who knows, really.

I think the smart operators right now are not worrying about what the agencies may or may not do and are building their networks with regional or even hyper-local ad spending in mind. Real estate agents need to promote themselves. So do injury-accident lawyers. Landscaping outfits. On and on. Really, there aren’t that many networks in North America that have the installation footprint to get the attention of Madison Avenue planners anyway.

The local weeklies and yellow page directories that have long been their go-to plan don’t necessarily work anymore. Online at a local level is too fragmented and obscure. So tight local and regional networks are a genuinely interesting platform.

My colleague Nurlan Urazbeav has done a round-up on some of the much higher level thinking on what’s going to play out as Wall Street does its rollercoaster rides.

Writes Nurlan: The recession will inevitably force marketers to scrutinize ad spending and eliminate a lot of marketing waste. At the same time, it presents a rare opportunity (that occurs only once in every few years) for digital out-of-home networks to demonstrate their unique value as the most flexible, targeted, cost-efficient and accountable medium. The medium that closes a sale.