Recession marketing: what to consider and how to invest in your team

When times are tough and companies start trimming the fat, it’s often a recession marketing budget that takes a hit first. Although this is quite a common practice, it isn’t necessarily the right move if your business is struggling through a recession. In fact, many companies flourish during recessions if they keep their marketing activities going. That’s why in this article we’re going to dive into the benefits of marketing through a recession and outline how you could invest in you and your team.

If you can afford to keep marketing going, do it

In order to yield significant benefits from marketing campaigns, companies need to be patient. It’s a type of business strategy that requires a consistent approach and enough time for the campaigns to impact their target audience. The reality is that if a business spends time and resources on marketing, the company experiences rapid growth. So when things are going well it’s good to focus on marketing, but when times are tough it’s vital to focus on it.

To use a historical example, companies that survived previous recessions managed to do so in part by keeping their marketing efforts up. In comparison, competitors who slashed their marketing budgets experienced significantly staggered growth. Looking at the 2008 recession as an example, companies that maintained their marketing campaigns enjoyed heightened brand visibility due to other companies cutting back on marketing efforts.

Nurturing existing clients is crucial during recessions

Nurturing existing clients is key to recession marketing

One of the key aspects of surviving a recession is utilising your available resources – including your existing customer base. You’ll need to rely on your existing customers to provide you with dependable revenue to keep your business going when times are tough. If you enjoy a loyal customer base, then you can essentially guarantee a certain level of revenue. So it’s worthwhile to nurture this base, especially when it costs less to do so than finding new customers.

One of the best ways to nurture the customers you currently have is through directed marketing efforts. It shows you still care for them and factor in their wants and needs to your business. By marketing to your existing customers effectively, your business demonstrates that you’re still there to cater to their needs. In contrast, by dropping your communication with them it portrays your company as weak, unprepared and a poor investment – which can scare existing customers away.

Think about your business offerings

One of the most notable effects of a recession for businesses is the diminished flow of sales due to customer scarcity. During a recession, customers are much more selective with their spending and they think very carefully before making a purchasing decision. They’ll likely consider the value that a product or service provides, which makes the market more competitive and can drive prices down.

If you’re selling a product to customers, you can adjust your offerings by marketing discounts, deals and other promotions to encourage sales. If you’re providing a service, it might be worth bringing in new services that offer different pricing options. This technique is known as a fighter product and aims to promote a less expensive option to customers as a way to incentivise a sale.

Consider outsourcing your marketing efforts

As marketing continues to grow in significance and complexity, it’s becoming more expensive and resource-intensive to perform all marketing activities in-house. Establishing marketing campaigns across different platforms and media types is hard work that requires skilled professionals. So it’s understandable why many companies look to cut back on marketing altogether – but outsourcing is an alternative that doesn’t come with so many negative side effects.

Outsourcing your recession marketing efforts out-of-house is a feasible approach to marketing that helps organisations focus their resources elsewhere. You get the benefit of working with industry professionals who have all of the tools to create rich marketing campaigns, but you don’t have to invest in a team yourself. It’s definitely an option to consider as opposed to cutting back on marketing altogether.

Look into industries succeeding in the recession

There will always be winners and losers during a recession, so it might be worthwhile to pivot your business towards industries that are thriving during tough economic times. By tapping into these markets when your standard industries are floundering, you can keep revenue levels more stabilised and safe from the impact of the recession. For example, government-aligned industries and healthcare are two prominent examples of areas that do incredibly well during recessions.

The key to successful marketing during a recession is knowledge


In order to remain competitive and agile during a recession, your organisation requires knowledge and an understanding of the current marketing landscape. At Web Adept, we provide a wide range of resources to help with just that, including our comprehensive digital workshops. Even if you’re intending to outsource your marketing efforts, our workshops can help you understand digital marketing better so that you know how to measure performance and know the difference between a powerful agency and one that’s ineffective. Our services also help your in-house marketing and we can even include your first year’s strategy in the session’s outcomes.

To learn more about how we can help you at Web Adept, get in touch with our team on +44 (0)1437 720033.

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