Marketing in a Recession

Marketing in a recession can feel like the unknown, but it doesn’t have to be. Discover tips on why you shouldn’t stop marketing in a recession.

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What is a Recession, Anyways?

If someone told you we are heading into a recession, would you know what it actually means? Of course, we all ‘know’, but do we actually understand what the word means? Let’s take a deeper look. Our friends at Hubspot define it as a  “prolonged downturn in economic activity that will occur when the value of goods and services have fallen for two or more consecutive quarters. The business cycle reflects not only the lowered value of goods but also decreased income levels and a decrease in industrial production/stock prices.”  Remember, a recession is only temporary!

Should I Stop Marketing During a Recession?

So how exactly does a company continue to market direct mail in a recession?  Many wonder, should you stop?  The answer is absolutely not!  Start with looking at the big picture, do your research and analyze the data.  You may find that you do not necessarily need to make drastic changes, but small changes that can still make a big impact and not affect your bottom line.  Begin with focusing on more affordable products over your higher price pointed products.  

How Can Small Changes Make All the Difference?

Now may not be a time to solely focus on new leads, but to build your customer loyalty.  More than ever, now is the time to let your customers know you are there for them as you re-evaluate your strategy based on their needs.  You will want to avoid online efforts and direct mail that is poorly targeted, it needs to be relevant as to what a consumer is still looking for.  At best, during these times, try to avoid running the same monthly promotion.  When promotions happen so frequently and don’t change, consumers come to expect this.  Another option that doesn’t cost you or your client anything, takes very little time and is easy to implement, are testimonials.  Now is the time to update them and/or start collecting them!  The cost-benefit on this small change will go a long way!



In addition to fine-tuning your lead generation efforts, dive into your customers as well! To better understand which categories are being prioritized by consumers, use the following as a guide to see where you fit in when working on your marketing plans. 

  • Essentials - these are deemed as necessary for survival or perceived as one's well-being. 
    • Food, Shelter, Transportation, Medical
  • Treats - these are considered indulgences and when made as an immediate purchase it is considered justifiable.
    • Dining, Movies, Electronics, Clothing
  • Postponables - these are recognized as a desired item where the purchase can be held off.
    • House Cleaners, Snow Removal, Lawn Care
  • Expendables - items that are considered unnecessary and unjustifiable.
    • Lavish Vacations, New Cars

While not everyone is on the “live for today” spectrum, there is still a large portion of your consumer base that will fall into one of these categories.  It comes down to knowing your clients best and how to help them through an economic downturn, which will ultimately help you at the end of the day.  

As a gentle reminder, the impact may not be immediate, but small changes added up over time do make a big difference.  Stay focused on the big picture, do your research and gather the data!  To spend is ok, in fact any sort of spend is better than no spend at all!  We are here to help and we want to help you!  Contact one of our Marketing Consultants today, let’s keep you on the road to success!


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