Your C-suite may be quick to cut budgets for advertising and digital marketing during recessions, but this can be a detrimental move. It is natural for brands and investors to feel apprehensive about poor economic conditions, and some may choose to increase spending to gain an advantage over competitors. However, in the long term, the most successful brands are those that are not afraid to spend boldly.
As stated by Harvard Business Review, recessions are often brief and followed by extended periods of growth and prosperity. For instance, the post-World War II era is regarded as one of the most expansive phases in recent history. By emphasizing brand awareness and customer loyalty now, you can prepare consumers to engage with and purchase from you during the upcoming period of prosperity.
To achieve this, where and how should you increase your advertising spend? Here are our top tips for effectively engaging customers through advertising during a recession:
Focus on improving your SEO, website, and branding.
It’s crucial to regard your website as a revenue source. Allocating marketing funds to other companies that generate limited traffic or conversions won’t suffice. This year, prioritize owning your data. According to Arushi Khosla, Wunderkind’s Senior Product Marketing Manager of Insights and Intelligence, “Your site must be viewed as the center of operations because investing in more third-party data will only increase prices, ultimately leading to a crash.”
Invest in owned channels.
Diversifying your advertising investments is wise during a recession, just like diversifying your stock portfolio. By doing so, you’ll have conversions and leads from various sources if any one platform becomes too expensive or underperforms. Additionally, meeting your audience where they are is always crucial, but Khosla advises investing in your owned channels, guaranteed revenue, and high-quality ads. According to Khosla, channels such as TikTok are not guaranteed, particularly during economic headwinds.
Diversify and lean in.
Cutting back on your ad budget may result in selecting poor-quality or intrusive ads, leading to a poor user experience and negative brand associations. To ensure your brand captures attention for the right reasons, use trusted publishers and high-quality ad formats. Now is not the time to cut and run. In fact, there are some deep CPM discounts to be had in the market at large. Now might actually be a great time to experiment with new platforms, placements, and offers.
The trick to surviving an economic downturn is to not run with scissors in your hand. In other words, keep calm and resist the urge to cut everything off. Those who run ads through an economic downturn are proven to gain market share by having done so.