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Leading companies do not subscribe to the common misconception that marketing is a discretionary expense. They know that there is business opportunity during economic downturns, and marketing can lead the way: With smart marketing they stay on top and often capture more market share during a recession.

To find out their secrets, I recently connected with two leading chief marketing officers—those of consumer electronics retailer Best Buy and global technology services giant Wipro. I asked what advice they have for consumer and business marketers when the economy is bleak.

Regardless of industry or state of your marketing budget, the following tips from Barry Judge of Best Buy and Jessie Paul of Wipro can help you stay up in a down economy.

Tips From Barry Judge, Chief Marketing Officer, Best Buy

Tip 1: Seek out pockets of demand, and invest

Take a closer look at the marketplace for areas where consumer demand remains relatively strong or where demand is emerging as a result of the weakening economy:

First, identify and focus investment on your highest-value customers. These customers are your most identifiable and reliable source of revenue and profit across your business; and because they are enthusiasts for your products or services, they will be most likely to continue spending in your categories during a down economy. At Best Buy, we can identify them through our database and loyalty programs, so we can target offers, communication, and investment directly to them.

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image of Roy Young
Roy Young is coauthor of Marketing Champions: Practical Strategies for Improving Marketing's Power, Influence and Business Impact. For more information about the book, go to www.marketingchamps.com or order at Amazon.