Why it Pays to Spend More in a Recession

Many people blame economic recessionary times for the failure of their business. But, what if you could flip the negative features of a recession into a marketing edge? Despite the name, economic downturns have both up and down-sides. If you let a recession dictate your actions, odds are you will come out on the losing end. However, leveraging a downturn to your advantage is a completely different story.

Get great deals on business services.

During a recession, the consumer is not the only party that becomes more frugal. Companies, as well, tend to spend less on luxuries. One of these “luxuries” that they hold back spending on is marketing. However, this is a HUGE mistake. Basic economics will tell you that a lesser demand for marketing services yields reduced prices, making it cheaper to invest in your brand. In an economy where everyone is pinching pennies, now is the perfect time to steal a great deal on a website refresh, SEO services, or any other capabilities your business is in need of. This also presents a great opportunity to get a bargain on paid media, as holding companies are more willing to negotiate price. This reduced demand and pricing will bounce back when the market rebounds, so take advantage of the opportunity while you can.

The reason so many business owners see marketing as a luxury rather than a necessity is because they are accustomed to immediate bottom-line results in other divisions of their business. However, this is rarely the case with marketing. The underlying goal of marketing is to tell a story about your business or brand that resonates with the people you want to hear it. As your business evolves, so will the story behind it. For this reason, not only is marketing a long-term process, but a process that will follow your business to its grave – ever seen those “going out of business” sales?

Marketing during tough times indicates a strong brand and instills confidence in your target audience’s perception of your business.

During trying times, consumers become more sensitive – both emotionally and financially. This means that marketers need to deploy new strategies to appeal to this change in consumer outlook. However, many business owners resist change under the assumption that “If it worked before it will work again”. According to a Nielsen study conducted in 2011, “Ads pitching value saw a significant lift in effectiveness during the recession.” This indicates that during recessions, consumers need a brand that they can rely on to get the most value out of every time. It is of every businesses’ best interest to take on this role in order to build trust and eventually brand loyalty.  While you will not receive the immediate patronage of every potential customer, staying top of mind is much easier when your competitors are retreating. This increases the likelihood that they will purchase your product when times are right.


Henry Ford once said, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time”, and this is coming from the man who revolutionized the supply chain. In today’s competitive digital age, it is more important than ever to market your business – It’s pretty difficult to monetize an incredible product if nobody knows about it. In order to build a strong brand, you must be willing to bet on yourself. Take a long-term approach – have faith in the economy, but most importantly, have faith in your brand.