Marketing In A Recession Gives You The Edge

Recessions don’t last forever! Give yourself the upper hand by advertising and marketing your company now – to maintain your market share now and to gain market share during our inevitable recovery.

Successful marketing builds your brand and a strong brand drives sales. In recession, a strong brand is very important, as consumers are reevaluating their choices.

Premium brands Green Giant, Quaker Oats, etc. are increasing spending to convince consumers that their offerings are superior. It works. As long as it’s within an acceptable price range, buyers will continue to purchase a trusted brand when they are reminded of why it’s worth the price.

What should the savvy business owner do?

Step 1 – Clarify your target market. Who buys your products? In a recession, consider – Which buyers bring you the biggest profit?

Step 2 – Determine how best to reach that target. Broad exposure spreads your message across a large audience. Examples include newspaper, trade publications and broadcast. Reach a precise demographic in a very precise geographic territory using direct mail.

Consider a wire service to distribute your well-written press release to regional media and trade publications. Use Yelp, Facebook, MeetUp, and LinkedIn websites.

Step 3 – Be passionate, unique and creative. Do you love your product? Express that in your message! When you demonstrate through passion and creativity that your product is better, you can command a higher price – even in a recession.

Step 4 – One is none. Targets needs to see your message 7-10 times before they become a customer. During a recession, because there is less “noise,” your messages have more impact.

Step 5 – If you live by the sale, you will die by the sale. Only 10% of consumers are driven exclusively by price. Discounting your products leads your competitor to do the same and in the end, you will lose market share permanently.

Step 6 – Recognize and embrace opportunities in this recession. Advertising reps are ready to deal. The possibilities exist for you to increase your advertising without increasing your advertising budget at all. Look at this time as a filter. The companies who have failed to be smart are the ones that will fail.

Listen to your customers. Change your message to reflect your understanding of their pain and how you can heal it. Clarify your business purpose. Make your decisions considering “Does this help me sell?”

Maintain or increase your advertising dollars during a recession. A Profit Impact of Marketing Strategies analysis (March 2008) found companies that cut marketing lost market share after the recession. Companies that spent higher return on capital employed and gained market share. Take the steps now to be successful well into the future.

About the Author

Rebecca Palumbo is Principal/Creative Director of Rollins Palumbo Creative, a full service advertising and design agency. Contact her at 708-614-9766 or

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