Tips to Position Your Marketing to Withstand Economic Turbulence

When whispers of impending recession become louder and more persistent, business owners often want to batten down the hatches, cut costs, and stop any non-essential spending. While those tactics should undoubtedly be a consideration in any plan, they shouldn’t stem from a knee-jerk reaction. That’s precisely why every company should have an action plan to manage an economic slowdown. 

When you plan, you have time to think strategically. When you react in apprehension, you may think that “essential” means only salaries, inventory, and utilities.  However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. When times are tough, you must continue advertising, showing solidarity with your audience, and reminding them that you are there for them. 

How to Position Your Advertising Message

While you should not discontinue your ads during an economic downturn, you should carefully consider the tone of your messages. Consumer priorities shift when the economy slows. You must tune into their needs and craft your messaging accordingly. This approach allows you to position your enterprise as a thought leader while driving brand awareness.
Remind your target customers that this is a cycle, and where there is adversity, there is also opportunity. Even companies that should theoretically be hit the hardest during tough financial times often double down on their ads with a different focus. Investment firms can run ads about continuing to invest in high-quality stocks while prices are lower and emphasize how it is a smart financial move. Real estate firms can leverage a similar strategy when encouraging people to consider adding to their real estate portfolios while demand and prices are low. 

Understand Your Audience’s Changing Needs

Understanding how consumer behavior shifts during economic downturns is critical for reaching your customers. While they still spend money, they are much more cautious. What they spend money on may be motivated by different reasons and priorities than before. Purchases you may have considered discretionary before may now be considered essential or vice-versa.
An example is buying in bulk. While purse strings may be tighter, big box stores and online wholesalers like Boxed encourage consumers that buying in bulk is spending wisely. By tapping into consumers’ desire to conserve their funds, these businesses encourage customers to purchase more at once to save money in the long run. The companies appear thoughtful and practical and stay top of mind for consumers while keeping sales up. 

Cater to Your Customer’s Concerns

When people are concerned about cutting back, they often start doing projects independently rather than hiring someone else. A dripping faucet may have prompted a call to a plumber during flush times (pun intended), but now may have the homeowner exploring DIY options. A hardware store or plumbing services company may change the tone of their messages and post blogs on how you can identify the source of common problems and fix them yourself. Even though your efforts to cater to their concerns may appear to tell people how not to spend money with you, it reinforces your company’s values and demonstrates that you go the extra mile to benefit your customers.

Optimize for Your Best Channels

Cutting your marketing during an economic slowdown is a short-sighted move that could have a negative financial impact on your business. However, you do want to make sure you are spending strategically. Optimizing your campaigns using the most effective channels is the best way to reduce unnecessary spending. 
Research which platforms have the best ROI. Traditionally, television has been the most expensive to implement, while radio has always been a highly effective and cost-effective marketing channel. Digital ads can help you cut costs, mainly when you use strategies like pay-per-click (PPC). Audio and digital, when used together, help reinforce your message by reaching your target audience when and where they spend their time. 

Why It’s Crucial to Continue Marketing During Turbulent Economic Times

Marketing during an economic downturn is crucial to keep your business top of mind for consumers. Cutting ads lowers awareness of your brand, making recovery more challenging. When your competitors cut their marketing budgets, it creates an opportunity for you. You can gain a competitive advantage and market share by advertising strategically with your customers’ concerns in mind.
Though consumers will be spending more cautiously, they still must have products and services they can’t produce independently. Businesses can not only survive hard economic times but thrive by staying calm, planning accordingly, and optimizing their business strategy. The difference between the ones that falter and the ones that grow during economic downturns is advertising. You can save money and make your business recession-proof by planning proactively, optimizing your marketing channels, crafting the appropriate tone by responding to consumer sentiment and concerns, and demonstrating your values by providing benefits to your customers.

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