What happens when the economy goes south? Well, the obvious stuff — as consumers and as businesses we buy less, postpone major purchases, waste less, and try to develop a sense of financial aikido to defend ourselves from an unforgiving market.

One of the things we get really good at is stretching dollars by keeping more things inside our own house, our own business, our own life. My experience may be similar to yours: I try to do more things myself, which means I have more things to get done. And on an already full to-do list, that’s a challenge at home, and at work.

The popularity of the GTD (Getting Things Done) system authored by David Allen in his book and website, tells me that people are feeling the press of lotsa things to get done, and not enough time to do it all.

If you’re a marketer, the good news here may be that if you can help me get (more) things done — G(M)TD — you’ll have my business, my loyalty, and maybe even my reliance (what’s better than being indispensable to customers)?

The implications for electronic engagement are very direct: figure out how to add value to a time-ravaged customer and you get on the short list. It can be as simple as making it quick and easy to pay my bill: Honda Financial Services does this very well: in under 30 seconds I can make my monthly loan payment. Or it can be a little more comprehensive: the promise of amazon Grocery is that someday I’ll just be able to make a shopping list and check off what I need, as well as get suggested reminders (“Abu, it’s been a while since you bought Mac and Cheese: need more?”) and then just click “buy,” as opposed to the arduous, multi-click hoops I have to jump through now.

The best news is that marketing to today’s customer follows some traditional logic: you make it easy for me and you’ll have me at “hello.”