Why You Can’t Stop Marketing During A Recession

With a recession on the horizon, consumers and businesses are dealing with fear, uncertainty, and trepidation. In a recent poll during the midterm elections, 75% of voters said that the US economy was already in a recession. And, one of the biggest challenges businesses struggle with are cost-cutting measures – especially those that impact marketing and sales.

Should businesses stop advertising during a recession? Should marketing dollars be the first ones cut? The quick answer is absolutely not. In fact, your marketing dollars are more important than ever during a recession. Want to know why? Keep reading.

Below we’ll dive into 6 reasons why you cannot stop marketing during a recession and why you should probably focus on marketing even more. 

  • Companies Who Kept Up Their Marketing Efforts Bounced Back Faster Post-Recession
    The best way to analyze how to deal with the effects of recession is to look back at previous recessions and let history speak for itself. Research shows that those who kept up or increased marketing in previous recessions enjoyed success. In fact, businesses that maintained or increased marketing spend during the 1980s recession grew by 275% post-recession compared to those that cut back or completely stopped marketing efforts. These results were similar for the 1991, 2001, and 2007 downturns. 
  • There is a Decrease in Competition During a Recession
    When competitors cut back on their marketing (and you don’t) your brand has a better chance of hitting the spotlight as “noise level” in your industry has dropped. Additionally, there are way fewer product releases/launches during a recession which also allows those businesses that continue to advertise to increase market share and visibility.

  • The Cost of Advertising is Lower During a Recession 
    During a recession inflation causes the price of almost everything to rise – except the cost of advertising! Because businesses typically cut back on ad spending during a recession, advertising platforms will sell their ad slots for less. This means lower CPC’s and cheaper sponsored social media posts. 


  • Continued Marketing Shows Your Brand Isn’t Going Anywhere
    During challenging times, brands that continue to advertise are able to project images of brand stability and security. This is important because it shows new and potential customers that your brand is here to stay. Even if your business is struggling, consistent advertising will allow you to fake it till you make it.

  • Customer Loyalty is of Utmost Importance During a Recession
    During a recession, everyone is hit hard; not just businesses. Because of this, customer loyalty and retention are more important than ever. In fact, focusing your efforts on existing customers as opposed to new ones offers five to 25 times more yield and takes a significantly less amount of time, effort, and money. Regular customers want to stay loyal to your brand, especially during challenging times, but you have to stay relevant in their minds and give them a way to communicate with you through your marketing. 
  • Recession is Temporary
    Last but not least, it’s important to remember that recession is not permanent. On average, recessions last less than a year (about 10 months). While these months can be challenging, you must preserve and take any and all efforts to keep your brand afloat. 

So, if you were considering a cut to your marketing strategy in light of the upcoming recession, don’t. Marketing might just keep your business afloat and get you into a stronger post-recession position.

As the popular adage goes, “When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you must advertise.”

Back to Blog