Recession Blues

The “R word” often leads to more scrutiny on marketing budgets. As we teeter on the precipice of a recession, what can you do to prepare yourself? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • Halloween is fast approaching and extra-scary things are in the air this year. Talk of recession is everywhere.
  • We know where this is going. Historically, marketing budgets are often the first thing to go when things get tight.
  • So what’s a marketing leader to do? First, don’t despair. Recessions can shake things up in either direction—losses for some and gains for others.
  • Second, be ready to update your marketing plan as conditions change. Start by refining your goals and objectives—and making it clear what marketing will (and will not) do in pursuit of them.
  • As you craft this revised plan, take a broad view of marketing’s value to the organization. Look beyond the expected (campaigns and demand generation) and factor in things like customer engagement, sales enablement, customer insights.
  • And retention. Definitely retention.
  • On that topic, Bernard May points out that current customers are often a great lifeline during a recession. Focusing your efforts there could help you build a case to retain your budget.
  • Think of your plan as a revision rather than a reinvention. According to Mark Ritson, it’s okay to tweak your positioning in the near term. But, whatever you do, don’t put aside your long term goals.
  • If cuts must be made, Tina Moffet has as suggestion: “Prune any spend that doesn’t drive value for the customer. For example, cut budgets from third-tier publishers and break up with data brokers that rely on third-party tracking pixels.”
  • Lastly, it’s worth remembering that recessions rarely last longer than two years. In the US, the historical average is 17 months.
  • If we can make it through the pandemic, we can make it through this. Keep your head down and keep an eye out for the light at the end of the economic tunnel. It will come eventually.
Issue #154
Oct 23, 2022

Further Reading