Marketing in a Recession: Should I bother?

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Richard's thoughts on marketing in a recession.

It’s not news to anyone that New Zealand is in some form of financial slowdown or recession. I’m not going to delve into this. Instead, I wanted to share some thoughts around marketing in a recession and explore the options. 

I’d like to start with a famous quote from Henry Ford.

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”

While l agree with this quote, as business owners we’re juggling a few other priorities! So while this sounds great, it’s just not that simple, we have loads of other things to consider. 

Continuing to advertise in a slow market is a good idea and if you can do this you will likely grow your market share, because not all of your competitors will be able to do the same! 

You might also have a product or service that excels in a slow market, when money is tight. If this is you, you probably have a smile on your face. 

So rather than turning off your marketing and advertising what options do you have?


Option 1 - Work on your offering

If your product or service requires a bigger investment from prospective clients, maybe consider breaking it into smaller parts and marketing the high value, lower cost aspect. Something that has a clear or easy problem-solution. 

What you are looking to do with this approach is lower the barrier to entry. Some products and services are like eating veggies or saving money. It's good for you in the long term, but has less immediate appeal. In a slow market customers don’t have surplus, so these options are not attractive. What you need to do is move your product towards more immediate value, something that helps today. 


Option 2 - Adjust your plan

Consider changing the allocation of your budget, maybe pull back some of the investments in long-term brand health and invest this into firming up more short-term sales. This combined with option 1 can give your immediate results.

A good example is buying a phone - you've got two key audiences. In the short term, someone who’s ready to buy, wanting facts, hard data, performance stats, which has the better camera etc. In the longer term, someone who’s considering an upgrade in 1-2 years cares more about the brand, how the brand makes them feel, so brand building is more important for them. It's important to work out which market should be your focus. Be deliberate.


Option 3 - Stay active

If your competitors are feeling it, maybe they have less margin, is now the time to try to grow your market share? Increase your advertising and marketing efforts. Consider offering something for free that helps you build leads. 

Your spend might go further! On platforms like Google Ads the competition pushes the price up, so less competition will see this go down. You might find other advertising channels waiting to offer more value too. 


So if you want to increase your leads, adjust your plan, or hone your pitch, get in touch. We offer a free 30 min marketing road map.

P.s. If you found this useful or have any feedback we’d love to hear your thoughts.


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