The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

To Invest or Not Invest: That is the Question During Down Times

Pembroke Consulting's Adam Fein recently led a panel of professors at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The conversation touched on a number of timely topics, including the U.S. dollar, exports, China, customer relationships, pricing and the credit and housing bubbles. (Here's the full article.)  
 
Perhaps one of the more interesting parts of the discussion came closer to the beginning. The question: Should firms increase spending during a recession? The answer, provided by Penn State Professor Gary Lilien, was that it depends. He says that those companies with the marketing expertise, a culture that can go against a tough trend and the resources to invest should ...

Pembroke Consulting’s Adam Fein recently led a panel of professors at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The conversation touched on a number of timely topics, including the U.S. dollar, exports, China, customer relationships, pricing and the credit and housing bubbles. (Here’s the full article.)  
 
Perhaps one of the more interesting parts of the discussion came closer to the beginning. The question: Should firms increase spending during a recession? The answer, provided by Penn State Professor Gary Lilien, was that it depends. He says that those companies with the marketing expertise, a culture that can go against a tough trend and the resources to invest should spend more during a recession. If those assets don’t exist? Then focus on your core customers and retain existing customers.
 
That said, not all sectors will see what many are forecasting as a recession. “It’s interesting that when times are good, we don’t know that the good times are going to continue,” says Pete Fader, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. “We know that the bottom’s going to fall out at some point. So it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy if we start battening down the hatches, and so on.”
 
Fader says there are growth opportunities out there, and some sectors that will continue to do well or better than they are now.
 
A third panelist, Bart Weitz, professor of marketing at the University of Florida, says that those sectors that are in trouble need to “batten down the hatches a bit more and be very selective in terms of where they make the investments.” He put forth an analogy to the consumer market: “Maybe this is bad times for some people. But some people have money, and this is a great time to buy a car or buy a new house, because you get it for a pretty low price.”
 
Want to know how wholesale distribution and its sectors will fare in 2009? Distribution expert Fein will present his annual forecast for the industry on Nov. 13, “The Economic Forecast for Wholesale Distribution.” Register for this important Webcast online or call 1-888-742-5060.

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