Skip to content

046 Don’t stand in front of an empty fire place & expect it to be hot | Marketing PodStorm #8

Monday 15th July 2024
046 Don’t stand in front of an empty fire place & expect it to be hot

Today on our Marketing PodStorm, let’s talk about why standing in front of an empty fireplace expecting it to be hot is kind of dumb. You see, oftentimes, CEOs, CFOs, and even CMOs cut down marketing during a downturn.

Marketing In Desperate Times

We understand that some of our business is in a situation where budget cuts are needed to ensure survival. However, Christopher points out that it is not one of the wisest moves to cut down the marketing budget, especially in times that you need income.

“Decreasing marketing investments at a time when you desperately need revenue is like a person who’s freezing, standing in front of an empty fireplace, saying ‘gee, I wonder when this thing is going to get hot?’” – Christopher Lochhead

The Worst Thing To Do 

Probably the worst thing that you can do in a downturn is to make your category and brand disappear. This is the time when you have to make your company visible, because the more visible you are, the more people will assume your company is doing great, thus, buy from you more.

“I understand many of us, have to make some cut. Be careful, if you weed-wack too much marketing, you won’t just cut your weed, you’ll cut all your grass. You want to be visible now. You have to find smart, creative ways to make your category and brand super visible now.” – Christopher Lochhead

Customers Buy From Brand Leaders

Marketing in a downturn creates the perception that your business is strong. It establishes dominance and assurance that you will be here for the long haul. The consistent marketing will create “the fear of missing out” among consumers, which drives sales.

“People want to buy from category queens and kings, from category and market leaders.” – Christopher Lochhead

Christopher further cites some articles from Harvard Business Review and comments on the big market budget cuts of huge corporations, like Google. He discusses more why he thinks it is a bad idea to do such.

To know more about marketing during a downturn, download and listen to this episode.


Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger.

He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur.

Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist.

In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion.

He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; was the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive.

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on iTunes! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.