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Marketing 360® Blog

Why You Should Keep Advertising During a Recession

In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the world for all of us, and small businesses are certainly no exception. But, if there’s one thing that seems to be clear is that we’re headed toward a recession.

Small businesses will have a lot of tough decisions to make in the coming weeks and months, including some very important financial decisions. When businesses are faced with the possibility of a decline in revenue, they start to take a long hard look at how to cut back on their expenses, but the one area that you shouldn’t consider cutting back on, though you may be tempted to, is advertising.

More than ever, small businesses rely on their ability to attract new customers and stay fresh in the minds of existing ones, and the only way to do that is through advertising. And, believe it or not, there are actually a number of unique benefits that come from advertising during times of economic struggle.

4 Reasons to Keep Advertising During a Recession

#1. You’ll have less competition.

During the great recession of 2008, ad spending in the United States fell by 13 percent as businesses in many different industries pulled back and refocused their advertising dollars. But here’s the thing, the businesses that maintained or increased their ad spend actually saw an increase in their sales as well as their market share.

All signs point to something similar happening with the next recession. And, just like in 2008, the businesses that do decide to stick around and keep advertising will have less noise and less competition to contend with.

Just because other businesses are diverting their marketing dollars elsewhere, it doesn’t mean that you have to, too. In fact, if you can maintain your advertising budget or even increase it, you’ll be able to take advantage of the fact that your competitors are pulling back.

#2. You’ll get more for your money.

The rules of economics dictate that, when demand is low, prices fall. That means that when fewer and fewer businesses advertise online, it makes advertising more affordable for the businesses that decide to keep doing it. That means that every dollar you spend on marketing will go even further than it did before.

Just as there’s a buyer’s market in real estate, there’s also a buyer’s marketing in advertising. During a recession, when the demand for advertising falls, the market becomes a buyer’s market, giving businesses more leverage over their marketing budgets.

With cheaper marketing solutions at your disposal, you can experiment with marketing channels or tactics you may not have tried before. It gives you a chance to fine-tune your strategy so that, when competition does pick up again, you’ll have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t.

#3. You’ll ensure that your brand stays relevant.

Right now, while people are focused on staying safe and healthy, they are mostly spending their money on the necessities (and shopping for lots and lots of toilet paper). If your business doesn’t supply the necessities, you might think that there’s no point in advertising your business.

However, it’s important to realize that nothing lasts forever. We may not fully know the scope and scale of coronavirus or the recession that will result from it, but sooner or later, things will get back to normal again, and when they do, you want to be in the forefront of consumers’ minds.

When people need or want your services or products, you want your brand to be the first thing they think of. The only way to do that is to stay in front of them through advertising and marketing. Businesses that are able to take advantage of that can position themselves for success both during and after the recession.

#4. Your confidence will be contagious.

People are very social creatures, and we take cues from one another in many areas of life. The toilet paper shortage is a good example of that. Toilet paper won’t prevent anyone from getting sick, but people are buying large quantities of it because it helps them feel like they’re in control. And, when we see others buying lots of toilet paper, it makes the rest of us feel like we should, too.

Just as panic can lead to more panic, calm can also lead to more calm. Businesses that continue to advertise during a recession help to project the image of corporate confidence and positivity. That helps to breed more confidence in consumers, which is something we could all use about now.

Take the opportunity to make a name for your business.

During every recession, there have always been businesses that have emerged as leaders. For example, in 2008, instead of resting on their laurels, Amazon continued to advertise and innovate. The next year, in 2009, Amazon had grown its sales by a whopping 28 percent, and that Christmas, for the first time ever, e-books outsold physical books.

There are countless success stories out there just like this one, and study after study has shown that businesses that keep advertising during times of economic uncertainty see the biggest growth and brand recognition, not just during the recession, but in the years following.

When times are tough, it’s tempting to slash your marketing budget, but if you can maintain or even increase that budget, you can take advantage of that same opportunity that businesses have before and make a name for your brand. Learn how Marketing 360® can help today!