13 Tips for Marketing During a Recession

With a recession potentially on the horizon, marketers must prepare and strategize for how they are going to market their product and/or service during a recession. Oftentimes companies want to cut marketing and sales costs during a recession to try and save money. However, in most cases, that is not the best decision. In this article, we will go through 13 tips for marketing during a recession to help your company make the most out of the foreseeable future.

1. Social Proof

Social proof has never been more important. Marketing during a recession is different from marketing when your industry is booming. As a result, prospects are more hesitant and will do more research prior to purchasing. In fact, 93% of prospective customers will review case studies before they make a purchase. But, we all know that it’s not as easy as it sounds to generate client case studies. With the help of otrillo, generating high-quality case studies has never been easier. Simply enter in the questions that you want to ask, and send your client a link to complete the survey. We’ll do the rest with our Professional Editing as a Service (PEaaS), so you can sit back and relax. Stand out from your competitors while generating new customers. Join the otrillo waitlist today to be the first to access our unique software.

2. Recession Psychology

Marketing is all about psychology. And, recessions can be very difficult for a lot of consumers. Because of this, it’s important to understand what your customers are thinking. According to the Harvard Business Review, there are four segments of customers during a recession. Slam-on-the-brakes, pained-but-patient, comfortably well-off, and live-for-today. How your consumers’ behavior changes will change how your company will market during the recession. If your consumers have the live-for-today mindset, your marketing strategy will look very different to consumers that want to slam-on-the-brakes. 

3. Organic Social Media

While paid social media is a great way to get more prospects to your website, marketers often forget about the value of organic social media. And, the best part of organic social media is that it’s free. Regardless of the industry that you’re in, there will be a channel that you can use to engage with your prospects and current customers. Your marketing strategies may be different between various channels, like if you’re using LinkedIn and TikTok, there is a good chance you won’t be posting the same content. Once you understand what your audience responds best to, it’s relatively straightforward to create organic social media content.

4. Focus on Retaining Current Customers

During a recession, a lot of SaaS companies will often see an increase in unsubscribe rates. This is because companies often try to cut their expenses during a recession. So, it’s best to have a game plan to combat this before you see it happening with your company. To try and retain your current customers, focus on giving them superb customer service. Live chat support is one of the best ways to do so. If you notice that more customers than normal are unsubscribing, try to offer them an incentive to re-join. A 20% lifetime discount is a great example of an incentive that will help encourage customers to stick around.

5. Monitor Your Competitors

You should always be aware of what your competitors are doing. However, when you are marketing during a recession, you should keep a closer eye on your competitors. This is because companies will try even harder to find holes in the industry to target, create enticing sales, or other promotions which can attract more customers. For a lot of industries during a recession, one competitor will likely do better than the rest. Aside from checking on their website and social media channels, one of the best ways to check on your competitors is with a software called Semrush. You can type any website into their software, and gain access to keywords they are bidding on, top pages they rank for, and other opportunities that your company can take advantage of.

6. Don’t Cut Your Budget Immediately

When a recession is looming, companies tend to jump the gun and cut their marketing budget. But, that can put a halt on growth. While it can be a good idea to reduce your budget in some areas, there are other ways that you can pivot your business. As an example, if your company doesn’t offer essential services, it can be beneficial to market your use cases and case studies as if you are an essential service. Changing your messaging to how your current clients can’t live without your services can help encourage prospects. 

Marketing During a Recession - Don't Cut Your Budget

7. Invest in SEO

SEO is one of the best ways to increase your website traffic, for free. SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the practice of optimizing your website to increase the chances of a search engine, like Google, suggesting your website when a prospect is searching for a relevant term. There are a ton of different ways that you can optimize your website with search engines in mind. Some of the most popular ways include using relevant keywords, metadata, and ALT text. Outside of implementing these on your website, using them on your blog in a fantastic way to greatly increase your website traffic. In fact, a study done by Hubspot mentions that companies that blog will generate 55% more website traffic than those that don’t.

8. Make Data-Driven Decisions

It can be easy to make big decisions without looking at the stats. Executives try to look at the bigger picture and how they are going to survive the recession. This often includes budget cuts, laying off employees, pausing marketing campaigns, and trying to remove extra software and tools. However, if one of your software helps you increase your revenue, it might not be the best one to cut. Spending more time in Google Analytics or other analytics software to make these decisions is the smartest way to make these big decisions.

9. Focus on What Works

We’ve all heard the expression “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. This reigns true for marketing during a recession. While you can definitely try out new marketing initiatives during a recession, it may not be the best time to try out new strategies that will use up a lot of time and resources. Focusing on marketing strategies that are proven to work is a great way to stay consistent. Updating certain aspects and staying agile can help your marketing stand out during a recession, but it’s best to take small steps than overhauling your entire marketing strategy.

10. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great way to generate highly qualified clients. With the help of an affiliate marketing software, you can set up an affiliate program where you can offer your current clients the ability to invite others, and earn a recurring commission. With recurring commissions, you’re providing your clients with an incentive to refer others. An affiliate program will benefit all parties involved. And, with an affiliate marketing software, you won’t have to worry about managing payments, sign ups, or other aspects of running a successful affiliate program. Additionally, you are more likely to retain clients with an affiliate program, as they would be less likely to switch to one of your competitors.

11. Video Marketing

Video marketing can be a great strategy to use during a recession. This is because it is affordable to create and distribute. You don’t necessarily have to invest in a high-quality camera, you’d be surprised what you can do with a phone. YouTube is usually the go-to for B2B companies, but we are starting to see companies create short-form videos for TikTok and Instagram Reels. Video content can include tutorials on how to use your software and tips and tricks relevant to your industry. An example of a company that has a fantastic video marketing strategy is Hubspot. They have dozens of videos for marketers of all skill levels, and include links to keep learning on their website in the description of each video. 

13 Tips for Marketing During a Recession

12. Integrate, Integrate, Integrate

With the number of tools that marketers use on a daily basis, integration is essential. Especially when time is of the essence in a recession, marketers don’t have time to manually do all of the tasks that can be automated. If the software that you use doesn’t have a direct integration, a tool called Zapier will be a great asset. With Zapier, you can create custom integrations in minutes. While integrating your software at first might take some time, it will save you so much time in the long run. 

13. Keep Morale High

While this tip is not exactly a marketing tip, it’s still important to mention. Marketing during a recession can be draining for your team. It’s even harder than normal to reach goals and increase revenue. And, as a result, employee morale can quickly decrease. So, it’s essential to keep your employees motivated and happy. There are a ton of different ways that you can keep employees motivated, including staff lunches, coffee breaks, or going out for happy hour. In addition, simply telling your employees that you appreciate the hard work that they’re doing and that you acknowledge their work can go a long way. The happier your employees are during a recession, the more productive they will be, and the longer they will stay with your company.

Closing Statements

Marketing during a recession is no easy feat. Most companies will struggle at one point or another to come up with new strategies, combat industry changes. Keep in mind that just because a recession is looming doesn’t mean you should stop marketing. This time can be worrisome for most, if not all industries. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your team must be agile, and ready for anything. Recessions are unpredictable, and it can be hard to prepare, but a rough game plan can help. If you need any help generating high-quality case studies don’t forget to join the otrillo waitlist.