Why marketing is essential in a recession

Marketing in a recession during economic downturns can be especially tricky and many clients react by putting all their spending on hold or pause until things improve – even if that means missing out altogether.

The problem with this strategy: it leaves your company sitting ducks while competitors swoop in like vultures, ready to take advantage of any weakness you may have had.

To succeed in a changing landscape, you need to be ready and willing to change with the times. That means rethinking your marketing strategies, so they are effective for today’s realities as well as tomorrow’s opportunities.

During an economic downturn or even a recession the challenges can seem daunting at first and you will ask yourself;

What if we put all our efforts on hold right now?

How will anyone know about this company without marketing!?


Nice to have or a must have

Unfortunately, many small to midsized b2b businesses think that marketing is a nice-to-have luxury and not a must-have component to their long-term success. When the economy is down, people may feel as though they have to tighten their belts and cut back what they see as unnecessary expenses. Thinking this is very short-sighted.

Brand retreat

With today’s crowded marketplace, many customers may move on and forget about you faster than ever before. This can make the cost of going dark higher than its short-term savings for brands since they will have less people remembering them in their minds eye or even knowing what company name is associated with those products at all!

You may have short-term savings but the long-term costs of building this back up will be much more. By going into hiding with your marketing in a recession or during economic downturn, you will have:

  • Reduced share of mind.
  • Decreased market share.
  • Loss of brand equity.
  • Competitor gain.

To regain these losses will need increased spending and effort to build back up after the recession is over… if it’s not too late.

In a time when the world is changing at an alarming pace, many marketers have found that their traditional methods no longer work. To succeed in this new era of rapid change and volatile consumer behaviour it’s necessary to be creative with your campaign strategies so as not get left behind by evolving customer needs or preferences. Instead, try these alternatives from industry professionals who know something about how businesses need successful campaigns now more than ever before because they won’t always get another chance.

1. Adjust your goals

Instead of generic KPIs like website traffic, look at share of market or engagement

2. Build relationships

Connect and engage with customers online to build trust and loyalty with your brand ambassadors.

3. Lower media costs

Grow share of voice at a lower cost-per-impression, especially with competitors cutting back.

4. Add Value

Instead of cutting costs why not add value?

5. Purpose driven

Takes action on something bigger than your products or services.

6. New messaging

Provide support and be relatable content to keep your clients nurtured.

7. Benefits v features

Highlight the reasons behind why your product or service benefits the user.

8. Honesty

Forget smoke and mirrors – it’s all about integrity.

The economy may not be where you want it to be, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for growth. When times get tough, it’s important to stay focused on the future.

While it is important for you to stay updated on industry trends and new developments don’t get too caught up in all the negativity. The economic climate is unpredictable but you can make smart decisions to prepare for the future.

Think outside of traditional boundaries by trying out new ideas or services that might help boost company revenue when things turn around eventually.

If you’re unsure of your marketing in a recession and need a helping hand, get in touch with our team at Think. We would be happy to assist you with your marketing strategy.


Written by

Luke Wilkinson

Strategic Marketing Manager

Luke brings his creatively strategic talents to the team, helping our customers produce bespoke strategic marketing campaigns to suit any audience.

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