If you want any evidence we think a financial crisis is not only survivable but a great time to do business, here it is.
In the course of putting together issue one of Advertising + Marketing Malaysia, your new high quality, objective magazine for the Malaysia advertising, marketing, media and online business, I quietly listened to the sage advice from a number of people in the industry who suggested that surely there couldn't be a worse time to launch a magazine? To the contrary there is no better time to launch a new business initiative into the market.
At this time of soul searching and budget crunching you have to believe in yourself and that you have the best product, the best service and the best people - because cream rises to the top and the pretenders get found out pretty quicklybut then you know that, we know that and if you don't or if you don't have the requisite quality in your products, your people and your ideas then it's time to get your house in order.
As you will read in our cover story on marketing in a downturn (starts page 28), some very good companies and products were born in the worst of times, because a tough financial climate forces companies to innovate and to do more for less. Some of the pros we spoke to told us there is nothing like a good recession to sort the men from the boys and
We didn't want to just supply you with a bunch of comforting phrases like 'the world economy is cyclical', 'what goes down must come up again', or 'Asia will be protected from the crisis, (yes it is, yes it will and no it won't) - we wanted to bring you some real strategies you can start to integrate today into those uncomfortable conversations you are no doubt starting to have with your CEOs and CFOs. There is plenty of reason for hope and to use the time to assess what you have being doing with the marketing budget today and what you will have to do with it tomorrow.
Bloated businesses and in some cases whole categories, which haven't adapted to the changing winds blowing through consumer sentiment, and do the same thing year in year out, may well be casualties. As I write this the very fate of foundation industries like the US auto industry are staring down the barrel of possible extinction and are breathlessly awaiting a decision by US congress to throw a lifeline or let them sink - either way the supremacy of the Asian car making industry is likely to be further strengthened by the vulnerability Detroit has shown, if it does survive. It's the unthinkable but it's happening but quality brands will always have a place in consumer's hearts and shopping carts, but even these will suffer as the inevitable price wars really take hold. Just a few weeks ago heavy discounting started at neighbourhood supermarkets around KL to keep them competitive.
What else can you expect of this issue and each month from A+M? Not only will we present the best local minds in the business, quoted throughout our news and features and contributing through opinion pieces, but we will also interpret regional and global trends for the Malaysia market, as we are heading into some tough territory and you need to make sure you can see what is coming down line from bigger markets, although when the obituaries of the brands that disappear during the crisis are written and things settle down again I bet some of those more established markets will wish they have a little bit of the agility, flexibility and resilience of markets like Malaysia.
What I can guarantee you is the content produced in A+M Malaysia is genuinely created by our editorial teams which includes more than 15 journos, editors and freelancers who live in and cover the Asian markets - you won't find regurgitated content from other magazines and websites, if you're after that we can't help you and you better go and look somewhere else.
I hope you enjoy the issue and we look forward to providing you with the critical information and strategy you need for the tough year ahead, don't forget to check out our website www.ammalaysia.com and our blog A+M Bootleg (ambootleg.blogspot.com).
Next month in this spot I will hand you over to our operational editor for A+M Malaysia, Llew-Ann Phang.
Eds note: A+M is now edited by Ee Laine Wong firstname.lastname@example.org