Now is Not the Time to Bury Our Heads in the Sand

In these times when the daily news from Wall Street, Main Street, and, for many of you your finance offices, leads with the words “budget cuts,” it’s difficult not to think about retreating into a bunker to ride out the storm – in effect, burying our heads in the sand (no offense to that oft’ stereotyped Ostrich, which, by the way, does not bury its head in the sand).

Despite this impulse, I encourage you to do the very opposite. Look into the face of the storm and ask the question: “What opportunity is there to change what we do so that we come out of this stronger and better prepared to compete?” Now is the time to be entrepreneurial, to be an innovator, scary as that may seem. Times of crisis have been responsible for some of our country’s greatest innovations – during the late 1800’s, America experienced a prolonged period of falling prices; out of that time came railroads, automobiles, the electric light, the telephone, and phonograph, to mention some. The time is ripe to do the same in the field of higher education marketing communications.

In many ways, most of us still operate on an outdated 20th Century model and have not really felt the pressure to change. We’re not alone. The blogosphere is rich with commentaries about how American business and industry is in the same boat. Seize this chance to get your staff out of the budget-cut woes and excited about redefining how you think about marketing communications in your shop. Look for tactics you can implement right away. Inspiration is all around you in the form of what others are doing on the Web. Bob’s post, College Marketing on the Edge is a great primer. As is Bea Fields’ blog “A Down Economy is a Great Time for Innovation“. And here’s one way to start…post links to your innovations or ideas/websites that get your innovation engines going on our blog to help inspire others.

I’ll leave you with these sage words by Clay Siegall, President and CEO of Seattle Genetics on Xconomy

“At times like these, it is important to focus on what you do best, while being careful to utilize the resources that you need, not those that you want. I have observed that most truly innovative ideas come from individuals or small teams that can ask and answer questions rapidly.

For entrepreneurs, financial uncertainty forces efforts to be streamlined. This is often when the best concepts arise as great innovators are excited by and step up to challenges much as great athletes reach deep within themselves to achieve peak performance. Above all, don’t follow others during a downturn as that is a sure way to halt innovation and progress.”

Published by

Ineke Caycedo

Vice President of Brand Development

Ineke has guided award-winning client visual identity development, testing, and brand implementations for more than 25 years. She is responsible for overall design approach and direction for dozens of well-known academic brand campaigns in the U.S. She specializes in developing a unique, attention-grabbing visual approach to bring to life each institution’s differentiating brand narrative. Ineke’s branded campaigns have an unerring record for resonance and motivational power among audiences, as demonstrated by EMG clients’ ability to consistently achieve ROI. She is a recognized expert in data-driven generational marketing, with expertise in shaping design, color, photography, texture, style, and tone to hit the sweet spot with each demographic and audience sector. Her creative guidance has led to enduring creative frameworks, unique branded imagery, and conversation-starting digital advertising campaigns, collateral, and websites for institutions across the U.S.

2 thoughts on “Now is Not the Time to Bury Our Heads in the Sand”

  1. I love the idea of using the economic crisis as motivation to come out even bigger and better. After all, with so many of our friends, family, and even ourselves experiencing the impact of this situation firsthand, we owe it to all of the above to put our full heart into all of our efforts. Let’s great creative!

  2. With the Web being so much more developed (read: social) and exciting now than earlier this decade, there is more opportunity for businesses offering great products or services to get noticed. Anyone out there has, at their fingertips, vast opportunity and freedom to make themselves known. Content on the web is king. If you are offering a product or service that is worthwhile and you’re willing to put some time into getting out there, people will find you and see what you’re about.

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