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  • Writer's pictureKayla Stinnett

Marketing During a Recession

If there’s anything marketers learned through the COVID-19 pandemic - it’s to prepare for the worst. And as the country braces for another recession, it’s time for small businesses to prepare for the difficult times ahead. And I know what you’re thinking, “Why not just cut marketing costs to save a few dollars?” But in all honesty, that’s the last thing you should do.

Instead of cutting your marketing budget, think about how you can align with changes in consumer behavior. Put simply - consumers are looking for value, and you need to give it to them.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of marketing during a recession and how small businesses can not just survive but thrive through the market downturn.

How does a recession affect marketing?

A recession directly affects consumer confidence and encourages a dramatic decrease in consumer spending. Think about it - the market is in trouble, so consumers focus more on saving than spending. This, in turn, shifts small businesses into “survival mode,” where they seek to cut costs where they can. And often, the first to go is the marketing budget.

But I’m here to tell you that cutting marketing isn’t the way. Instead, try figuring out what works for your business and investing in economical marketing mediums.

Marketing Strategies

During a recession, small businesses need to review their marketing strategies and brainstorm value-based ideas to better utilize their marketing budget. And there’s that term again, “value.” It’s the name of the game while marketing during a recession.

The decline in consumer confidence can be countered by improving your value-based marketing strategy. According to Forbes, when a company can clearly articulate the value that it provides customers, this becomes the through-line for marketing, sales, support, and even product development. You’re not only creating value for the consumer, but you’re communicating it as well.

During economic downturns, consumers crave value. So allowing a value-based strategy to reflect in your marketing and having your company align with it gives consumers what they’re craving.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that decreasing your marketing budget can harm your business. Instead of cutting marketing, be more thoughtful about how you use your marketing budget and pivot with your customers' shift in expectations.


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