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Marketing during a recession

Months from now we may look back at this point in time, with the London riots and the risk of a double-dip recession, and say 'that's when it happened, that's when the world changed'.

Months from now we may look back at this point in time, with the London riots and the risk of a double-dip recession, and say ‘that’s when it happened, that’s when the world changed’.

The riots and looting are only going to hinder our financial recovery, and if we are on the verge of a double-dip recession, this economic slump is going to be tougher to bear than the last: Businesses have already made cuts and redundancies, so there seems little else to cut back on to reduce expenditure.

Marketing might be seen as expendable, but is in fact a necessity.

A poll of 300 top British businesses by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) showed 22% reducing marketing budgets amidst a lack of confidence in their own sectors and feelings that the outlook had worsened. Would that make you more likely to buy from these businesses? Of course not!

In contrast, 20% of businesses polled actually increased their marketing budgets. I bet those businesses are still trading when things improve.

If you’re thinking of cutting your marketing budget, don’t. In fact, allocate more for your marketing budget. Well, we would say that, wouldn’t we? But it’s not just us. A financial analyst once said that in order to survive during these difficult times, you should follow SMART marketing – Strategize, Maintain marketing spend, Assess and allocate marketing budget, Research your clients comprehensively, and Target and reach out to your clients. The theory is simple: If you cut your marketing budget, how will potential clients find you? If you don’t have enough faith in your product to invest in telling people about it, who will?

So you have two options:

  1. Maintain marketing profile at reduced cost – optimise your marketing budget so that every pound you invest achieves greater results. A marketing agency will be able to look at your business with fresh eyes, identifying key messages to help sell your products or services. Fresh strategic thinking and clever creativity will have your target audiences sitting up and taking notice.
  2. Gain market share at reduced cost – research shows that companies who increase their marketing spend in recession also increase their market share and achieve higher growth several years afterwards. Recession is an opportunity to take business from competitors who have been frightened into inactivity.

We are taking our own advice and are cranking up our own marketing activities as we speak. We don’t just talk the talk, you know. It’s not riot-proof but it just might be recession-proof.


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