Preparing for a Recession: How It Should Be Done

preparing for a recession

Fear of a recession shouldn’t keep your client from investing in advertising in an attempt to save money. According to research from Analytic Partners, “In times of crisis, research shows that cutting marketing budgets is a recipe for long-​term failure, not success.” Your client shouldn't be cutting their marketing budget to save money in the short term. Instead, they should, “protect and recalibrate their media investments, focusing on maximizing advertising effectiveness to achieve the greatest ROI.” Here’s advice on how they should be preparing for a recession, including a recommendation for a competitive marketing intelligence tool.

How Ad Clients Should Actually Be Preparing for a Recession

Research: Media Investment = Growth, even in a Recession

According to Analytic Partners, during the last recession, here are a few benefits brands reaped as a result of increased media investment:

  • 60% saw ROI improvements
  • More than 50% experienced ROI growth in back-​to-​back years
  • Realized a 17% growth in incremental sales

Additionally, if your client isn’t proactive in preparing for a recession by boosting their marketing spend, but their competitors do, your client could lose about 15% of their business.

Have enough research to get your client listening? Good. Now on to some ad strategies.

Diversify Your Client's Media

According to Analytic Partners, when your client uses multiple media channels, they can see a nearly 40% improvement in effectiveness. Paid search is often included in advertising campaigns (and for a good reason: How can consumers make purchases from your client if they can’t find them?), so Analytic Partners feels it’s important to highlight which media types drive paid search. These are the most effective:

  • Linear TV
  • Digital Display
  • Radio
  • Social Media
  • Digital Video
  • Digital Audio

Of course, your client’s media mix should be tailored to fit what their target audiences respond to the most often, especially when preparing for a recession. If you’re not sure what those ad types are, check out your client’s target audience’s profile on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. There, you can find the percentage of each audience that took action after seeing various types of ad media within the last year. With a competitive marketing intelligence tool like AdMall on your side, you can ensure that you’re doing everything possible for your client to make the most of their marketing budget in troubling times.

Advertise Value and Loyalty

Your client isn’t the only one worrying about making the most of their money during a recession. The entire nation is, as well. So, what better to highlight in your client’s advertisements? According to an article on AdAge, your client’s campaigns need to emphasize value. “Value-​based messages build a genuine connection with the customer,” writes AdAge. “Recognizing and overtly addressing challenges in the economy builds trust and more personalized consumer experiences, inevitably moving your relationship beyond just your product or service.” While discounts, deals and low/​fair prices in general are great ways to grab consumer attention, acknowledging their buying experience (and, in this case, your client’s shared experience with them) makes your client come across as more trustworthy rather than some faceless company trying to push their product.

Speaking of value, consumers know that one of the best ways to get the most value out of the brands they know, love and trust is to join the company’s loyalty program. When your client is preparing for a recession, they should give some focus to promoting their loyalty program and the rewards repeat customers can earn. Loyalty programs do more than drive sales and create loyal customers. AdAge points out that, “customers who engage in loyalty programs and self-​identify as fans of a brand are also often less price sensitive and will spend larger share of wallet with that brand. That can be key in an economic turndown.”

Photo by Sasun Bughdaryan


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Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel writes about marketing and media sales for SalesFuel. She holds a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University.