Rick sevenseven

Written by Rick in Marketing

Why stopping your marketing in a recession can impact your business for years to come

Marketing in a recession

Marketing plays a crucial role in the success of a business, especially during a recession. While it might seem like a good idea to cut back on marketing expenses during tough economic times, doing so can have long-lasting consequences that can impact the business for many years to come.

"But you're a digital marketing agency, so you're bound to say that," we hear you say.
So let's look at the data. Below are a few statistics that highlight the importance of marketing during a recession.

Loss of Market Share
During a recession, many businesses will be looking to cut back on their marketing expenses, and this is when companies that continue to invest in marketing will have a significant advantage. According to a study by the Nielsen Company, companies that increased their advertising spending during the 2008-2009 recession grew their market share by an average of 2.5%. On the other hand, businesses that cut back on their advertising spend saw their market share decline by an average of 1.5%.

Decreased Brand Awareness
Marketing is a crucial tool for building and maintaining brand awareness. A study by the Association of National Advertisers found that during the 2008-2009 recession, 60% of companies reduced their marketing spend. This resulted in decreased brand awareness and a decline in revenue for these companies.

Difficulty Re-Entering the Market
Re-entering the market after a long absence can be a challenging task. According to a report by Forbes, it can take a business up to five years to regain the market share it lost during a recession. This is why it's crucial for businesses to maintain their marketing efforts, even during tough economic times.

Missed Opportunities
Recessions can provide businesses with unique opportunities to increase their market share and grow their customer base. A study by McKinsey & Company found that during the 2008-2009 recession, companies that continued to invest in marketing were able to increase their market share by an average of 3%. On the other hand, businesses that cut back on their marketing spend saw their market share decline by an average of 4%.

What marketing strategies are effective during a recession?

During a recession, the best marketing strategy will vary depending on your industry, target audience, and business goals. However, some proven approaches that can be effective include:

Emphasising value
Focus on the benefits that your products or services offer and how they can help customers save money or improve their lives.

Utilising data and analytics
Use data and analytics to inform your marketing decisions and target your audience more effectively.

Being cost-effective
Look for cost-effective marketing channels, such as digital marketing and content marketing, to reach your audience while reducing your marketing spend.

Building brand awareness
Invest in building brand awareness through public relations, sponsorships, and influencer marketing.

Fostering customer loyalty
Focus on building relationships with existing customers to encourage repeat business and reduce the cost of acquiring new customers.

Offering promotions and discounts
Offer promotions and discounts to attract new customers and drive sales during a challenging economic environment.

Adapting to changing consumer behaviours
Stay attuned to changing consumer behaviours and adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.

It's important to regularly review and adjust your marketing strategies to ensure they are aligned with your business goals and the changing economic environment.


In conclusion, stopping marketing during a recession can have significant long-term consequences for a business. By maintaining your marketing efforts, you can maintain your market share, build brand awareness, and take advantage of opportunities for growth. Investing in marketing during a recession is an investment in the future success of your business.

Why not get in touch and let's discuss how we can help optimise your marketing spend whilst achieving results that drive your business?

  • Nielsen Company. (2010). "Recession-Busting Marketing Strategies."
  • Association of National Advertisers. (2009). "Marketing in a Downturn."
  • Forbes. (2009). "Rebranding After a Downturn."
  • McKinsey & Company. (2009). "Marketing in a Downturn."
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