You can now read articles published by Dr. Blackwell spanning decades of academic and industry research. You may find some as relevant today as when first written. Others, you may find amusing, especially considering conditions when written. Winston Churchill liked to quote the axiom, “Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.” This is your opportunity to learn from history, avoiding mistakes in the future.
My most recent article was is the October, 2013 issue of Marketing Management, a publication of the American Marketing Association. It describes why GDP in the United States (and Europe) will not grow in the future as rapidly as in the past. The explanation for rapid growth in the past was migration from rural homes to urban and from mothers working mostly at home to working mostly outside home. Both of those trends cause the products most people consume to be purchased rather than self-produced, a profound fact in understanding the future of domestic and global economies.
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This article is the first research I published in an academic journal. It received widespread attention and was cited in Philip Kotler’s first edition of Marketing Management, a book that eventually became the best-selling marketing textbook in the world. That encyclopedic volume of marketing knowledge helped establish Professor Kotler (and Northwestern University) as the leading marketing professor in the world, a researcher particularly skilled at interpreting current research and forecasting the future of marketing.
Although I was limited at the time I conducted this research to using secondary data for my analysis and print advertising as an example, I believe the principle of contra-cyclical marketing is still applicable today. During recessions, strong firms have the ability to capture market share from weaker competitors. Studies at the Marketing Science Institute, years later, concluded that profitability and market share are highly correlated.
If you use your strong balance sheet to maintain advertising and marketing activities during a recession (and maintenance of advertising presence is a relative increase compared to weaker competitors forced to reduce advertising expenditures), you have the opportunity to turn recessions into opportunities for future growth and profitability. You might even emerge from the recession owning your weaker competitors or snagging their customers. A recession is a terrible opportunity to waste.
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Dr. Roger Blackwell is Principal of Blackwell Business Advisors in Columbus, Ohio, helping small firms grow into large ones. After retiring from an award-winning career as Professor of Marketing at The Ohio State University, he currently serves as consultant to business and professional organizations developing strategies for increased growth and profitability. He is the co-author of Consumer Behavior, now in its tenth edition, used in multiple languages by business firms and universities throughout the world. He also wrote Customers Rule! and From Mind to Market and other books pioneering the process of changing supply chains to demand chains and adapting digital techniques to bricks-and-mortar operations.
The New York Times described him as one of America’s top business speakers. He was named Marketing Professor of the Year by Sales and Marketing Executives International, Marketer of the Year by the Columbus chapter of American Marketing Association and member of the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame.
Dr. Blackwell has served as a consultant to a wide variety of retailing and other organizations, focusing on strategies for improving customer delight and increasing profits. He served on the Board of Directors at Abercrombie & Fitch, Max & Erma’s Restaurants and Victoria’s Secret. How Victoria’s Secret moved from bricks and mortar into a digitally-integrated, global brand super star is described in his book Brands That Rock: What Business Leaders Can Learn from Rock and Roll. He also served on the boards of AirNet Systems, Alexander Hamilton Life Insurance, Applied Industrial Technologies, CheckFree, Check Point, Cheryl & Co, CompuServe, Diamond Hill Investments, Flex-Funds, Paul Harris Stores, Symix and Worthington Foods and currently serves as marketing director for a law firm.
Roger received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University and B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Missouri. In addition to teaching in both the Fisher College of Business and the Medical College at Ohio State, he was Visiting Professor at Stanford University, lectured on six continents around the world and has written over 100 scholarly and trade journal articles. His newest book is Saving America: How Garage Entrepreneurs Create Jobs While Building Fortunes for Families and Investors.