When talk of a recession hits the country, many businesses start looking for ways to reduce their expenses. One of the first things that gets cut is the marketing budget. The thought is that if people don’t have money to buy products, the business won’t be able to make a profit, so there’s no point in spending money to encourage people to buy.

The reality is that by continuing to market, even during a recession, you can build your brand and company awareness. When the market improves (and it will), you’ll be forefront in people’s minds, and they may be willing and ready to spend their money on what you have to offer.

It’s important to keep in mind that marketing during a recession will be different than during good economic times. However, you can stay in front during this time. Here are some ways to achieve that goal.

The Benefits of Marketing During a Recession

Project Corporate Stability

A lot of businesses scale back their marketing during a recession, and this can make consumers feel like things are getting really bad, which could contribute to their stress and anxiety. But if you continue to portray an appearance that things are going to be just fine, this could help people feel better and give them a little hope. They may not be able to buy your products at the moment, but when things turn around, since you gave them a sense of normalcy, you may be the first company they turn to.

Marketing Becomes More Affordable

Prices drop during a recession, and the cost of advertising will also be affected by the economic downturn. This is one of the best times to find cost-effective ways to stay in touch with your customers. Since a lot of other businesses will be stopping or reducing their marketing campaigns, you can make your money and your message go further, and this will keep you in front.

Your Voice Will Get Heard

During good economic times, it can be hard to get noticed when so many other companies are making noise. When a recession hits, a lot of these businesses will back off, which gives you the opportunity to have your company’s voice heard. Now is the time to reposition your brand or even consider launching a new product. It may seem risky, but since people are listening to what you have to say, these endeavors could also prove to be incredibly lucrative.

How to Market During a Recession

Marketing during a recession won’t be like marketing during good times. Since you aren’t sure how much you’ll be making in profits, you need to make every campaign count. Some of the things you should focus on during this time include the following:

Send Thoughtful Postcards

You already have customers that trust your business and buy your products, and these are the people you should be marketing to when times get tough. During a recession is the perfect time to let these people know that they are more than just customers, that you actually care about them as individuals. This could lead to referrals in the future.

One of the best ways to achieve this goal is by sending out thoughtful postcards. Letting your customers know that you are thinking about them and hoping they are well can make them feel valued and appreciated. You might also let them know that you are available to answer any questions they might have, so be sure to share your contact information.

You might also share inspirational messages or let them know that they aren’t alone during these uncertain times. Any of these options can be endearing and beneficial, as well as keep your business in front of current customers.

Send Care Packages

In addition to sending thoughtful postcards, you might also consider sending care packages to previous or current clients. Again, this is a way to let them know that you are thinking about them, but it also gives something back. This is one of the best ways to let people know that they mean more to you than just being customers. It’s a small gesture that can have a big impact.

Co-Advertise with Other Businesses

Since the cost of advertising during a recession will be on the top of your mind, one way to reduce the price is to work with other businesses. You can work with businesses that complement yours, such as being a real estate agent partnering with a landscaper or a refinancing company partnering with a general contractor.

Not only can co-advertising with another business save you some of your marketing budget, but it can also increase your potential customer base by getting your information in front of the other company’s customers.

Since there are two businesses with something at stake, both of you may feel invested in the advertising campaign and go out of your way to ensure that you are seen by as many people as possible. This is also a great way to let the local community know that you are willing and able to work with others, which can be very appealing.

Use Your Social Media

During tough times, people might feel isolated and alone. If you’re looking for a way to stay connected, use social media to your advantage. There are so many posts that you can create to get people involved and talking to one another. Some of these include:

  • Caption contests
  • Asking people to share photos
  • Asking people how they could or would use your product during a crisis
  • Having a giveaway
  • Sharing videos about the things you are doing to help during these tough times

Not only are you connecting people to your business, but you are also connecting them to each other. This is the best way to help people feel like they belong.

Get Involved in Community Events

During hard times, another way to let people know that you care is by getting involved with community events. It’s a great way to market your business and let people know that you are concerned about what happens to them and the local area.

Start or Join a Charity or Charitable Event

During a recession, there will be no shortage of people who need assistance. Put yourself in a position to help those in need. This can be accomplished by starting your own charity or holding a charitable event, donating money to a charity that already exists, or sponsoring an event. Any of these options will let people know that you deeply care about their wellbeing and will go out of your way to help. When times get better, they may return the favor by buying your products.

Offer the Best Customer Service

Recessions hit everyone hard, but they are also a time when you can show kindness and gratitude. You may have offered really great customer service in the past, and that should not stop now. One of the things you might consider doing is helping your customers price shop for the best deal. This may mean that it’s not you, but they’ll remember what you did for them and may come back to your company when times get better.

It may be tempting to stop marketing during a recession, but this is when it could work in your favor. By keeping your message strong and engaging with current and potential customers, you could be the ray of hope and normalcy in uncertain times. If nothing else, people will remember you, and that might mean that when they have the means, they’ll buy your products and services.