Author Jonathan Gabay in his recent blog post shows the way forward in a recession. One of his tips is to continue to train your staff; he writes
Don’t cut marketing – re-engineer how you market.
If you stop marketing people may conclude that you are next in line to become a recession victim. Competitors will increase their presence – simply by you not investing in yours. Shake up your traditional marketing mix by becoming savvy to new ways of reaching niche markets – even extending to radical approaches such as guerrilla marketing. Spend your money wisely and allocate your budget shrewdly. Stop separating PR, marketing, sales promotions, the web and so on. Test new media in stages. Include your end-market through Web 2.0 initiatives such as blogs and marketing through social networking sites. Stop pushing people away. The ‘us’ and ‘them’ culture is dead. Be inclusive. Make the most important people in your chain–customers and clients feel valued by being part of a bigger brand experience. Like you, they want to be heard and acknowledged. Everything is possible – providing it doesn’t compromise your brand’s sense of integrity.
Ed. Gabay's "us and them" quote really drives home the need for inclusivity and customer engagement