For the last 10-11 weeks, we’ve been urging Empathy as the proper approach in discussions with advertisers and prospects. And over the last 5-6 weeks, we added the additional layer of Pivoting.  Pivoting with advertisers—bringing real-world solutions and examples to help them re-engage their marketing plans for now and the future.

Now… we believe it’s time to have full-on opportunistic discussions with advertisers.

Last week, we watched an interview with Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette. Gennette talked about all of the bankruptcies in the retail space—Neiman-Marcus, Pier 1, JC Penney—just to name a few. KMART, hovering on the edge in good times, is in real trouble now, with just 65ish stores left in the US.

Here’s the kicker. In Gennette’s interview, he said, “We see there’s about $10 billion worth of opportunity that’s up for grabs right now based on what’s going on with the competitive climate.”  Without providing specifics, he said Macy’s may add categories in its stores based on what some of the distressed retail companies’ former customers might be searching for. His competitors are going out of business, and he’s smartly thinking how can I bring those consumers into Macy’s fold; how can I help and capitalize.

And that’s just retail.

Let’s dig a little deeper. Within a category—say kitchen remodeling—there are multiple players in your market. Some were weak financially before the last 60 days. A JP Morgan study said the average medium-sized retailer normally operates with about 19-27 days of cash, and we’ve essentially had about 60 days of lockdown. That gives you some idea of how cash strapped many SMBs are right now.

HOWEVER, there are, in every category, companies that are more financially secure. And, while they also got hurt by these last 10 weeks, it’s not life-threatening. These businesses have the single biggest opportunity they might ever have to take market share away from weakened competitors.

There are 3 conditions that become the perfect storm for growing market share:

  • Weakened competitors
  • Lowered costs for new customer acquisition
  • Challenging conditions that keep competitors from responding

All three conditions exist today.

Why 2020 isn’t like 2009… and why advertisers must move faster…

The 2009 recession was a 2 to 3 year event. In 2009, a business could wait almost a year and still have market share growth opportunity. Fast forward to 2020. This recession happened in 8 weeks.  The 2009 banking issues, or inability to provide businesses with capital, doesn’t exist today. Today, banks are sound. And, as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said last weekend, “The economy was incredibly strong before this happened.” Powell believes the bounce back will be quicker and that the economy will see growth, possibly by Q4, but certainly by mid next year. Add to the mix the Fed’s stimulus and Congressional actions putting an incredible amount of money into the economy to soften the blow and get things turned around quickly. What does all that mean? The window to grow market share may close more quickly than it did in the last recession.

In sum, many client businesses are hurt way more than they were in 2009. That creates huge opportunity for those that are able to seize it. But the window of opportunity may be shorter than in past recessions.

So, that’s why at the top of this article you saw the words, Knock Knock… Opportunity NOW.

It’s time to find those advertisers, and prospects, that are financially sound enough to take advantage of an unprecedented opportunity. An opportunity that truly can be business changing and wealth creating.

As my uncle Tim, a proud marine, says… Carpe diem.

(View more Prime Time Leadership posts on current happenings in media leadership here:)


At JDA, we’re having fruitful conversations with senior media leaders across the country around driving revenue, sales leadership and marketing best practices. If I can be a sounding board for you or your company, please reach out to Angela@jimdoyle.com or info@jimdoyle.com

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