Marketing in a downturn – Anecdotes from Israel

This Sunday, I met up with the CEO of a large Israeli importer of biscuits, sweets and other yummies. He is an established and notable power house in the economy. His premises offers approx 20 sophisticated docking bays for large distribution trucks – over 500 employees.

Was this guy feeling the downturn? Basically, no. His reasoning took him through a cross section of local peculiarities. But to sum it all up – He knows his market. He is listening hard to what people want.

Now jump forward 24 hours, and I moderated the monthly meeting of the Jerusalem Business Networking Forum. David Nordell presented a fascinating discussion on Business Intelligence. Bottom line – understand what your market wants.

How? Nordell spelt it out. Get close to people either by physically networking or by using Twitter and the like.

Nordell has his own blog, is available of LinkedIn and several other net forums.

Significantly, these two anecdotes confirm a series of one off comments passed on to me in recent weeks from a multitude of business persons in Israel. The path to beating a recession is to offer a quality service. And you start to do that by learning what the market requires and why.

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5 Comments on “Marketing in a downturn – Anecdotes from Israel”

  1. Wolfram Petil Says:

    Yes, I agree, Micheal has a good writing style, but his content is a bit short. You do try to emphasize that there are businesses in Israel that offer quality service, and I respect the Israelis for that where they have implemented this. You may cite the IKEA store in Netania as an example, although it may not really count, being a foreign company. The Scandinavians REALLY know how to care for their customers, by the way.

    But I think you are off the mark somewhat. In Israel, there will never really be a healthy economy so long as you have to spend so much on defense, which will be a requirement of yours until you are prepared to offer a real peace solution to the Palestinians. I am sorry to bring politics into it, but it really is true: the true path to beating the recession is to pull out of the occupied territories. Hopefully your economy will then take off, if you are still committed to quality service (which includes peace). You really only have yourselves to blame.

    But potentially nice blog overall!

  2. Michael Horesh Says:

    Wolfram makes some constructive criticisms. Interestingly, I had a discussion last night about customer service. Bottom line – from a very poor start, it’s getting much better ever year.
    Wolfram mentions IKEA. The one branch in Israel is known as one of IKEA’s most profitable divisions in the world, when measured in sales per square meter. A lesson for others in Israel on how to approach the domestic market?
    See also next posting for mor detailed analysis

  3. electronic commerce…

    Couldnt be more on your side, good reading it!…

  4. commerce Says:


    Nice blog man! I will definetely bookmark it and read it more often…

  5. […] from “The Economist” and “The Harvard Business Review” which called on CEOs to invest in marketing and growth […]

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