Why It's Important To Market During a Recession

  • May 12, 2020

During a recession, businesses and marketers are faced with challenging decisions, including how to forge ahead with a marketing plan in financially strained times. 

Recessions have been frequently known to have a massive impact on businesses that were not properly prepared to withstand the financial impact. Downturns are usually not alike, but if you can better understand how to navigate the waters of an economic downturn and you can set your business up to increase it's performance you will most likely advance your business while others may not be able to stay afloat.

The most important factor in staying in business during a recession is MARKETING.

A classic case is that of Kellogg vs. Post, two companies that dominated the cereal market in the 1920s. When the Depression hit, Post cut back on advertising and spending in order to save money, an expected choice given the circumstances. Kellogg, on the other hand, continued to aggressively advertise and push its new cereal, Rice Krispies, especially in the radio space. Around 1933 when most companies continued to struggle, Kellogg’s profits rose by nearly 30 percent. Today, Kellogg remains a dominant brand in the cereal industry. (source: http://www.ignytebrands.com/recession-proof-your-brand/).

In most cases, it seems natural to want to spend less and pull back when facing a possible recession. This approach is actually more harmful to your business and will have a negative impact on your bottom line. 

It is vital to stay in touch, engaged and connected to your audience during challenging economic times. Those businesses that choose to not be present with consumers are the ones that suffer the most when the economy regains momentum. 

So what can you do to continue to optimize your marketing efforts during a recession?

1. Review under-performing campaigns and eliminate them. Focus on campaigns that have been getting results. 

2. Focus on building emotional connections, transparent messaging and overly "salesy" marketing tactics. Get a read on your audience, their fears and pain points and speak to them in an empathetic manner. 

3. In addition, focusing on existing customers should be your focus. These are the people that are already loyal to your brand and are more likely to continue to buy from you. If they aren’t buying, then take time to reach out to them to ask for reviews and recommendations to help build your portfolio.


4. Try something new. A recession is a great time to get creative on how and what value you can provide your audience. Maybe it’s not through your standard product, but adding a new service that speaks to the current market like a low cost membership or subscription.  Finding new streams of revenue can be a vital piece to separating your self from your competition.

The current state of the economy is a time when businesses are tested on how they can evolve with the current business landscape. What happens with your business during a recession will be directly related to how you respond and evolve.