How To Market During A Recession

It’s no secret that a recession is near and many businesses are already feeling its effects. So how do you “recession-proof” your business and stay on track during challenging times? The answer lies in marketing. At first, it may seem counterintuitive to ramp up marketing during an economic downturn (especially when cash flow is tight), however, marketing is the engine that drives sales. Whether you rely on lead generation, eCommerce sales, or in-store foot traffic, the key to success is adapting to change and communicating value. And for many small businesses, there’s no better time to gain market share than during times of change or uncertainty.  

  • Market to Existing Clients
    While customer acquisition is important, it can be expensive – especially during an economic downturn. This is why having and maintaining a strong and loyal customer base during a recession is critical. Marketing to existing clients isn’t only cheaper and easier, but also more effective. In fact, The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%. Some great ways to market to your existing customers include but are not limited to exclusive discounts, customer loyalty programs, and appreciation emails. 
  • Stay Consistent With Your Branding
    A recession is not the time for rebranding! Although consistent and cohesive branding is always a crucial aspect of marketing, it is extra important during a recession. Big changes to marketing during challenging times can give off the impression that your business is unstable – which is the complete opposite impression you want to give off when consumers' budgets are tight. A great way to promote credibility and keep your branding consistent across platforms is to cross-post or share the same or similar content across multiple platforms. 

  • Use Your Data to Your Advantage
    One of the best things you can do to save money during a recession is to pay attention to the data of your marketing channels. Analyze what channels are performing well and what ones are slacking in terms of clicks and conversions. With this information, you’ll be better able to reallocate your time and money to those advertising platforms that are bringing you the most sales. Additionally, looking at your KPIs (key performance indicators) is a great idea to help you better decide which campaigns are driving the best results. 

  • Hone In On Your Organic Content
    Sponsored posts or paid ads require a budget and require management resources. However, keeping your socials up to date with relevant and up-to-date content is free! So, take this opportunity to engage with your social media followers and those who are already interested in your brand by posting organic content you think they’ll enjoy. Be authentic and relatable when communicating with your audience. Posting organic and non-paid content gives consumers a way to connect with your brand on a personal and more natural level. 

  • Reevaluate Your Audience Targeting
    Highly tailored targeting is always important when it comes to the success of marketing campaigns, but it is of utmost importance during a recession. Making sure your ads are reaching those who are truly interested in your product/service prevents wasted spend on irrelevant ad clicks. So, take the time to understand what customers need your product or service during these times. For example, if your product is not an essential but more of a luxury, you may consider targeting more affluent consumers who are financially flexible during these times. 

  • Pay Attention to Competitors
    During economic downturns, it is crucial to look at your competitors and what they are doing in terms of marketing. If your competitors begin to step back with their marketing efforts, it presents a perfect opportunity for you to swoop in and increase your market share. So, while your business should be your primary focus, don’t ignore what is going on around you. If you see an opening, evaluate the situation and make a plan. It often pays to have an opportunistic view on change.

While all of these recession pointers are important, the most important one is to keep marketing. The biggest disservice you can do for your business during a recession is to stop marketing completely. There are likely challenging times ahead of us, but we know these marketing tips and tricks will help you and your business make it out on top!

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