Effective approaches to marketing in a recession

The present economic situation indicates that we are heading into a recession. As more customers run out of disposable income, companies will cut down on growth and expansion activities. However, cutting down your marketing budget is counterproductive. Instead, identifying and executing approaches that work best during a recession is the better way to go. This article shares some effective approaches to marketing through a recession to help you create a new strategy.

approaches to marketing in a recession

Approaches to marketing in a recession

While the instinct is to cut back on marketing activities, the opposite is more effective. Here are some tips to guide your planning:

Research your customers

Customers are likely to prioritise value and focus more on essential goods and services. However, this is not necessarily the case for each customer, and you can only be certain of their new behaviour by observing how much they will change as the situation gets tougher. Now more than ever, you need to understand your customers through research to avoid making mistakes when marketing to them.

Be the voice of reassurance

Customers are already dealing with a lot, so the last thing they need is marketing which increases their fear and tension. Spread some good cheer and calmly reassure them that the recession is only temporary.

Modify your offerings to suit the times

You don’t have to change your entire brand identity, but you need to introduce a more approachable product portfolio. Customers can no longer spend as much as before but still need those products and services. Don’t risk losing them to a competitor who recognises this shift and packages similar products affordably.

Adjust prices where necessary

Think long term, where you appeal to customers during these hard times to secure their loyalty. For example, offering discounts will help you sell more and foster brand loyalty as you increase opportunities to delight the customers. The diminished profit margins will be an investment you will reap in the future.

Emphasise your USP

A recession is a perfect time to remind customers what is special about your brand. For example, these tough times give you a chance to show your customers how much you care for them and that you are going through it together. Such gestures may not yield immediate profits, but customers with plenty of time to reflect on their spending habits will notice your efforts and align with your brand accordingly.

What marketing approaches are effective?

Non-intrusive approaches

These approaches build lasting relationships over time and gently guide customers to your product offerings. During a recession, they’re effective in how they reassure more than they disrupt.


SEO is highly effective and desirable for several reasons. It is affordable, especially when compared to how much advertisements cost. Additionally, SEO is flexible, effectively meeting the marketing needs of any company size. SEO also speaks to the quality of your business, its activities, and products and services. SEO is ethical, which is a sought-after quality in these dark times.

Content marketing

This approach supports SEO efforts and presents the advantages of affordability, relationship building, and long-term growth. Focusing on quality content that educates, informs and delights customers will sustain their interest through the recession. As excellent content increases traffic to your website, you will get a chance to sell more.

Social media marketing

A decreased disposable income gives customers more free time to spend on social media. Marketing to them there could get you immediate conversions or build up to it. Either way, remaining relevant on social media helps your brand capture a larger market share. Additionally, making your brand relatable and accessible now leads to more conversions.

Intrusive approaches

Sometimes it pays to grab your audience’s attention in the most disruptive and elaborate way. Intrusive approaches achieve the effect of stirring the market and sparking more conversations around your brand.

Radio ads

Radio ads are effective because listening to the radio doesn’t take much effort, and loyal listeners hardly ever break the habit. You need to tap into that loyal customer base. People tend to listen to the radio while commuting and at work. This increases your chances of building a connection.

Print ads

These carry the wow factor, suitable for when you need to delight your customers with your message. Therefore, you need to structure your message in a way that holds their attention but also pushes for a sale. For example, billboards have a major impact, but people look at them in passing. This leaves you with very little time to communicate. Therefore, you need to make your intentions immediately clear.

TV ads

TV ads may be falling behind digital advertising solutions like social media marketing, but remain effective at grabbing your audience’s attention. People now have more time to sit at home and watch TV. This presents a chance to reach them, but only if you craft your message well. Therefore, invest in excellent TV ads, and tap into your customers’ availability due to their new schedules.


The recession period should not slow down your marketing activities or force you to cut back on marketing. However, you need to apply effective approaches to make the most of the opportunity. Customers still need to feel your presence, and this article shares strategies to help you achieve that objective.

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