Marketing in a Recession

Marketing in a Recession

The how and why of keeping pace…

It’s an isolated world, times are uncertain, and we find ourselves dealing with the realities of economic downturn. Having the right marketing strategy to adapt and deal with it is now more important than ever.

In a recession, businesses will tighten their belts and often, the marketing budget is the first to be cut or completely axed. Why?? Because the marketing spend is the easiest to cut, it’s dollars you can’t ‘see’. Unlike downsizing a company vehicle, or making someone redundant, cutting your marketing budget is far easier to do.

Why should you keep marketing?

For brand awareness: marketing is standing in a crowded room waving your hand around for attention. If you don’t wave as often, people won’t notice you as much. If you stop waving altogether then eventually, people won’t even remember you. When your leads and revenue decline, you won’t blame it on the fact that you cut your marketing budget, you’ll blame others and the recession.

Your customers may not be able to spend with you right now, but when they are, they’ll remember you. So be there.

For competitive advantage: the key in a recession is to keep waving. Even if you must revaluate and redistribute your marketing spend – keep waving. As you keep waving, and others stop – you’ll be in a critical position: you will get more ROI (return on investment) by marketing in a recession than in a growth economy. The room is less crowded so you spend less to gain more sales, versus a growth economy when competition is higher and you’re having to spend more for an ultimately lower return (you’re having to wave 10 times harder).

Reducing your market presence will give your competitors the opportunity to take the competitive advantage instead.

What’s the best way to deal with this?

Don’t slam the brakes. Slashing marketing investment is a mistake because it weakens your brand and you’ll come out less profitable postrecession. If you’re finding it too hard to maintain your current spend, focus on the core strategies – quality over quantity – instead of cutting completely.

Invest in a digital marketing strategy. Digital offers all sorts of options, channels, and ways to track and measure compared to traditional tactics. There are countless ways you can keep your brand presence alive using digital marketing: display ads, search ads, social media, blogs, and newsletters.

It cost-effective, fast and flexible. Online campaigns can be quickly adjusted to meet changes in the market and they offer measurable performance results. You can accurately measure ROI to help identify what is working and how you can spend dollars more efficiently.

Key Takeaways

If this is the first time you’re having to take your business through an economic downturn, you don’t need to think of this as a threat, for some businesses this is the perfect time to grow market share. Marketing shouldn’t be considered an expense or the first budget cut when times are tough, but as an investment which helps make your climb at the end much less steep than it would have been otherwise.

Talk to the ninetyblack team to make marketing strategy easy. Call 0800 90 25 22 or visit

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