What is it these days about everyone questioning the value of marketing? Each time there is an "economic downturn" or some other externally driven financial crisis, the first department that seems to take the blame is marketing.
As a professional marketer, this concept seems quite ridiculous to me: The economy is bad, so let's just go out and fire the people who know what their doing in marketing, and replace them with other staffers who may be cheaper, or who have been displaced from other departments and may be very capable in their own profession, but know _nothing_ about marketing, and then say, "See. This is why we had to cut. Look at these awful results!" I just have to scratch my head.
Companies, times are tough. Times are tough everywhere. What we need to look at is how is your marketing team performing compared to its historical performance and how is it performing compared to the competition. -- And as best you can, don't rely on hearsay.
FUDD: Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt and Despair. My CEO used this word on me the other day. He suggested we use it in our marketing. Speaking of hearsay, do companies not realize their competitors are doing the same thing to make them think that they, the competition, are somehow doing better? Especially, as this very competition lays people off in a very public way: it's ridiculous.
If you have a good team, a team that has performed well and is comprised of dedicated staff, why mess with it? Reinforce it. Add to it. Build brand and when the economy turns around, you will be top of mind when your customers are ready to purchase.