The natural reaction when we hear the R-word (recession) is to panic and cut costs. One of the first costs many businesses cut is their sales and marketing budget.
Research into the 2007/08 economic downturn concluded that businesses that reduced their marketing spend performed slightly better during the downturn. However, these gains were short-term. Revenue began to fall when the recession had passed.
Those companies that increased marketing spend during the credit crunch performed better in the period following the recession. They also grew their market share by an average of 2.3% after the recession. This was exactly our experience in 2020 when the pandemic hit. We lost almost 50% of our recurring business in the first few days and weeks but focused our time, energy and money on developing our own marketing and sales. We came back stronger and a better business because of it.
Recession trends show that marketing is crucial to a company’s success and massively increases the odds of surviving the slump. Businesses that come out of recession strongest, don’t make cuts to their marketing budgets.
Here are 6 tips to help you make the recession a platform for growth:
- Have a plan in place.
This is one of the most important actions you can take during a recession. While we can’t control the economy we can plan for it. Work out how many marketing channels you are using and how well you are using them. Now is the time to increase your marketing channels not reduce them. If your marketing is inconsistent and done on an ad hoc basis this is the time to fix it.
- What are your competitors up to?
It’s worth taking the time to see if your competitors are spending money on advertising and marketing or if they are less visible. If there doesn’t seem to be a lot of activity the chances are that they have reduced their marketing spend. This is your opportunity to get ahead of them by increasing your visibility. Did you know that on Google ads you can see which competitors are spending money, how competitive it is and the size of audience you can reach?
- Revisit your sales and marketing goals.
There are some things in business we simply can’t control. The economy and recession is just one of those. Revisit your sales and marketing goals to ones that are realistic given the current climate.
- Investigate and invest in new marketing channels.
Many SME businesses utilise four or less marketing channels. Add to that they are often marketing on an inconsistent basis. If ever there is a time to invest in new channels it’s during a recession. Again with your competitors cutting back, you’ll also get way more bang for your buck. During the pandemic, we more than doubled our marketing channels and it really paid off.
- Love your customers more. I
It’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on getting new business, but it is easier and more effective to market to your existing customers. When was the last time you spoke to them to find out how they are and what more you could possibly do to help them? When was the last time you emailed them or highlighted other services and products you offer?
Show your love and keep in touch with them regularly.
- Invest in content marketing
Ok, I would say this as I’ve been talking about content marketing for the past few weeks. However, it really works and in times of recession when customers are even more cautious about spending, educating them and sharing that information with them creates the trust and credibility they need to buy from you.
'Not Rocket Science' Fact - the more marketing and sales activity you do the more sales you will gain.
We’re here to help and we’ll give you honest and impartial advice. We can also save you money by making sure you don't invest in the wrong type of marketing activities.