When a recession hits and sales drop, it can be tempting to cut budgets–especially for marketing and advertising. Believe it or not, when the economy takes a hit it’s smart to power up your marketing game. Despite this simple truth, several misconceptions persist about economic downturns and how to react. To help you make an informed decision, here’s a definitive debunking of common myths about marketing during a recession and a few tips on setting up your own recession-proof marketing strategy.
Myth: Decreasing Your Marketing Budget During a Recession Saves Money
Let’s start with a big myth that appears true in the short term, but can take a big bite out of business down the line. When times get tough most business owners save money by cutting their budgets, and marketing is often hit first. But reducing your marketing budget is a bad idea. Studies show that when a brand stops spending on marketing, they can lose momentum amongst their customers, and it’s harder to snap back when the economy recovers. Maintain your presence during a recession to show confidence in your products and services. When you go silent, your competition seems that much louder.
Myth: Price Promotions Are Less Effective in a Recession
You’re not the only one who’s sensitive about spending during a recession; your potential and lifetime customers feel the pinch too. Sustaining your marketing allows you to let customers know about sales, special deals, and price adjustments. As sales drop your first instinct might be to raise prices, but this can alienate consumers. Cutting prices (in a way that doesn’t hurt your bottom line, of course) and promoting the cuts can attract price-sensitive customers. It’s also a good time to focus your promotions on product bundles to increase average order value. They’ll appreciate the ability to afford quality products in tough times, and will carry over that appreciation into better years even if prices eventually rise.
Myth: Reducing Your Marketing Team During a Recession Is Tough but Necessary
Layoffs and staff reduction should usually be the last resort in saving money, but sometimes they’re necessary for a company to stay afloat. Your marketing team is composed of your best brand defenders. A nimble and quick-witted team that knows your brand is vital during rough patches. They can change messaging and find new ways to promote your products and services and find new target audiences on and offline. Consider challenging your marketing team to get more creative with partnerships or unique ways of finding new channels into the target market for your products or services.
Closing Thoughts and Suggestions
That’s our debunking of a few common myths about marketing during a recession. Marketing through a recession is challenging, but it’s necessary to maintain your brand’s visibility and help your brand pull through and prosper. During downturns, marketers must balance efforts to pare costs and shore up short-term sales against investments in long-term brand health. Keeping the above ideas in mind–namely, streamlining your product portfolio, improving affordability for consumers, and bolstering trust and customer confidence–are three effective ways to meet your goals while marketing and advertising during a recession.