The COVID-19 pandemic is waning, leaving a trail of economic uncertainty in its wake. Supply chains continue to face bottlenecks, and the resulting stall in getting supplies to manufacturers is having a domino effect on production across many markets. Combine that with increases in fuel prices for shipping goods that are passed on to consumers as higher prices for products and services. The result – consumers are pulling back on spending, and the “R” word is looming large.

These uncertain times call for creating even more discomfort inside your marketing function to maintain, and even grow, your market share by stepping up your marketing initiatives. Now.

Counterintuitive? Yes.

Crazy? Like a fox.

While your competitors are activating the business survival playbook, in which marketing initiatives and budgets are often first to be cut to save costs, savvy marketers are taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the economic downturn to capture market share by appealing to prospective customers who are seeking opportunities to improve ROI. After all, marketers must continue to act with the best interest of their companies in mind, no matter if they’re staring down bears or bulls on Wall Street.

According to Dennis Kirwan, Forbes Councils member, economic downturns offer unique opportunities for companies to take advantage of a less crowded field with their marketing initiatives.

In Kirwan’s article recently published in Forbes, Why Businesses Should Continue Marketing During A Recession, he references a widely cited study conducted by McGraw-Hill Research on marketing during the recession of the early 1980s, when economic conditions were very similar to present-day global economic stressors. For 600 companies spanning 16 industries, the research showed companies that increased their marketing budgets or kept them the same, experienced more sales growth during the recession. This level of market growth continued three years after the recession ended. Companies that pursued aggressive marketing strategies saw 256% growth in this short time frame.

Similar research conducted after the Great Recession of 2008 showed companies that kept investing in marketing during the recession experienced growth that continued for several years.

Lesson learned? Companies that boldly adapt and expand their marketing initiatives during a recession come out ahead of their cautious competitors.

There are ways to economize on marketing initiatives to suit the times, and these continue to provide options with impact, as well as value. Start by auditing the performance of all marketing channels. Then, reallocate spending to the channels that yield the greatest ROI:

  • Focus on the web
    • Update SEO for website, social media, blogs and email marketing
    • Complement SEO with a search engine marketing campaign that will display your ad when relevant keywords are typed into a search engine
    • Evaluate pay-per-click campaigns and root-out inefficiencies
  • Stay top-of-mind
    • Use email marketing and content marketing to provide customers and prospects with news and insights
    • Adjust aspects of each to drive more qualified traffic to your website and motivate those users to convert
  • Stay active on social media
    • Post more often and center content on the value you deliver
  • Provide insights and answers to prevailing issues facing business
  • Maintain thought leadership
    • Pursue participating in relevant industry events as speakers and/or panelists
  • Implement a public relations initiative
    • Update company and/or product messaging to address the business cycle and current customer needs
    • Develop an earned media strategy to further establish thought leadership and company/product differentiators

In an economic downturn, your customers need forward-thinking combined with cost-effective marketing solutions more than ever. Clearly defined, strategically driven communications that address your customers’ greatest needs will be welcomed and, most likely, implemented.

When your competitors head for the hills, consider the opportunities that marketing during an economic downturn offers to raise your company’s profile, awareness and ROI.

For recession-proof marketing strategies, contact The Quell Group.