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  • Writer's pictureCindy Schrauben

Increase your business by marketing during a downturn

By Cindy Schrauben

Great Gus Marketing

Business owner going over the books

In an economic downturn, business owners often need to cut costs, and marketing is often the first thing to go. While it may seem sensible to reduce your financial outlay by cutting marketing, it's probably the wrong move. In fact, good marketing during a recession can save a faltering business and help a solid business soar. Here's why:

You’ll stand out

Chances are if you have to tighten your belt, your competitors are, too. If your competition is scaling back their marketing and you're not, your message will stand out in the marketplace. Remember, spending slows but does not stop altogether during a recession. So, if your competitors pull back on their marketing, they're ceding ground to you. Take advantage by letting potential customers know you're open for business.

Nurture connections with current customers

When times are tough, it feels good to know you're special. You can make your current customers feel good by paying particular attention to them. Consider sending an exclusive offer to your existing customers on your email list. This extra attention will build brand loyalty and let them know they're appreciated.

Begin and grow new customer relationships

Even if, as previously stated, not all spending stops during a recession, chances are some of your customers will fall away because they don't have as much money to spend. You will probably lose some current customers, and you will need to appeal to new ones. A recession is an excellent time to begin new customer relationships and develop trust with them. As the economy improves, you will be well-positioned to keep these new customers and earn even more as the economy expands.

Your business will look strong

When you continue marketing during an economic downturn, you portray your business as stable. You will also continue to build brand awareness. Once you lose brand awareness, it is difficult and expensive to build it back up. So, don't give up what you already have by pulling back on your marketing.

Fine-tune your message

Take the time now to learn what worked for you in the past. Study your previous marketing campaigns and identify what strategies were most effective. From there, get creative and put a new spin on the campaigns to reach a new audience and engage your current audience. You should also test new campaigns to see what works best. For email campaigns, do A/B testing with different subject lines. For social media advertising campaigns, change up the headlines and photos, then evaluate what has the most impact.

A final note

If money is very tight, consider scaling back some on your marketing but do it strategically. Evaluate the marketing methods that have worked best for your business in the past and invest in those first. Next, consider those tactics that have given you the most bang for your buck and put effort and money there. Just remember, don't stop marketing!

If you’d like assistance in planning your next strategic marketing move, Great Gus Marketing is here to help. Please contact us at or call 269-215-1505.

Based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Great Gus Marketing specializes in strategic marketing, copywriting, and content writing.


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