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The Importance of Smart Marketing During a Recession

by Grant Chambers
3 min read
An infographic representing a marketing professional broadcasting a campaign across multiple media channels.

The current economic climate means businesses everywhere have had to tighten their budgets and rethink their strategies. While it may seem like cutting back on marketing is the most logical solution, it’s almost never the right approach. Let’s take a look at how you can market smarter during a recession.

Shift Your Focus

The first thing to remember is that you shouldn’t completely forgo your marketing efforts. In fact, companies that don’t cut their marketing spend during an economic downturn tend to bounce back even stronger post-recession.

To get the most out of your efforts during a recession, consider turning your attention inward to existing clients rather than spending most of your energy trying to acquire new ones. Don’t underestimate the value of re-engagement efforts and nurturing inbound leads. Email campaigns, extra attention to customer service, and ad retargeting are all effective tactics that will help you maintain relationships with clients who already know and trust you while also keeping your brand top-of-mind.

Re-Evaluate Your Positioning

You should also re-evaluate your brand positioning to ensure it effectively conveys the necessity of your product or service in uncertain times. If your message is too focused on luxury rather than necessity, people may tune out, as they have less disposable income. Instead, try shifting focus to demonstrate how your product or service can help them navigate their current situation and offer value beyond monetary spending or savings. For example, in 2020, Coca-Cola allocated its advertising budget to tell the stories of frontline workers and unsung heroes. While the brand’s presence in these advertisements was only in the background, the message was clear: we’ve been here, and we’ll be here no matter what.

Set Your Sights High

Mid-level brands may find themselves in an enviable position during a recession as they can target a slightly higher-income demographic than they would in standard times without raising prices significantly. As long as you keep your messaging focused on how your product or service helps people get through difficult circumstances, you won’t risk alienating established or potential customers who are feeling financially strapped right now.

It’s Okay To Be Counterintuitive

Lastly, don’t be afraid to increase marketing spending during a recession. As more business cut marketing budgets to save money, it creates an environment where you can establish a bigger digital footprint for less money. Think of it like playing the stock market. You buy when stock prices are down and see a return on your investment further down the road once they come back up; given you’re strategic in your decision-making, cost per click and advertising prices will be less expensive, meaning your dollar will go further. At the same time, sales cycles will extend, and you and your competitors will have to attract more qualified leads to close the same amount of deals.

Remember: Recessions Happen

As we continue into a global recession, it’s essential for entrepreneurs and small to midsized businesses to be smart about their marketing strategies and think long-term for their businesses. Though it may seem counterintuitive at first glance, taking advantage of cost efficiencies by increasing spend on campaigns can lead to increased ROI even under adverse conditions – all while providing valuable support for existing and potential customers alike. With careful consideration of messaging and targeting strategies, plus some creative thinking around budgeting, businesses can stay competitive even when markets aren’t at peak performance levels.

If you’re unsure how to optimize your marketing efforts under current economic conditions, remember that Workhorse is here to help you do more…literally! Give us a call or click and let us help you not only survive but thrive!

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