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How to Navigate Marketing in an Economic Downturn

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During times of economic uncertainty, slashing marketing budgets is often a knee-jerk reaction for business owners who want to protect cash in the short term.

But shaky economic times also present an enormous opportunity to capture online sales and awareness at a discount — and come out stronger on the other end.

Now, more than ever, business owners need to zero in on scalable, high-ROI marketing strategies that will produce revenue to sustain their businesses — not shy away altogether. 

The scalability of online marketing makes it one of the most profitable ways to reach your target or customers at the lowest cost.

Here 10 ways your business can benefit from investing in digital marketing during a recession:

  1. Save on advertising costs. During economic downturns, more companies drastically reduce or turn off advertising spend, creating less competition, lower ad costs and increased visibility for companies that stick around.

  2. Capture market share. As your competitors shy away from digital, use this opportunity to grow your audience and top-of-mind awareness. Once consumer spending habits normalize, you’ll have their attention first.

  3. Get in front of high-intent prospects: There are still plenty of businesses and people who need what your company offers. And those searching for your offering during an economic downturn are more serious than ever. Doubling down on low-funnel campaigns will help you stay in front of high-intent prospects for a fraction of the cost.

  4. Build trust and rapport: More consumers turn to the web for advice, tools and conversation during unstable economic times. Help and contribute instead of hiding, and you’ll appear stable and trustworthy to your audience.

  5. Scale out through automation. Through marketing automation, bulk campaigns and cheaper ads, you can reach more prospects and customers, especially as the strain on your workforce tightens.

  6. Invest with confidence: Non-measurable marketing activities are risky during economic downturns. With digital marketing, you can track the ROI of every dollar spent to understand where to allocate budget to get the highest return.  

  7. Diversify your revenue streams. No company should rely on one or two channels for the majority of its revenue. Building up your online presence serves as another business development lever to protect your business.

  8. Build an audience to convert later. Depending on your business, you might not convert as many customers while consumers are wary of spending. But don't put yourself at a disadvantage because of that. Use this time and cheaper ads to educate, add value and build your audience now for conversion later.

  9. Double down on sales. Now, more than ever, you should be focused on closing business. Marketing fuels your sales funnel and assists heavily with customer nurturing. Today, 70% of a sale happens before a prospect ever speaks to anyone at your company. Leverage that through sales automation and enablement

  10. Monetize your existing database. For companies that have invested well, a recession is not the time to curb your marketing efforts; it's the time to monetize all those hard-earned leads and customers. Lean on your list and solid foundation to run extra monetization campaigns as needed.

Facing a recession is a frightening reality. 

Of course, turning to digital marketing won’t make sense for every business enduring economic hardship.

If your business is operating on a limited runway or investment, you’ll be hit with tough budgetary decisions. 

But if you can invest wisely in online marketing now, you won’t just weather the storm. You’ll come out ahead of competitors and better positioned to hyper-accelerate growth once the economy rebounds.

At Human, we believe in combining intelligent software and humans to create a one-to-one digital marketing experience that generates better results for our clients. 

If you’re looking for an agile marketing team to identify and double-down on high-ROI activities for your business, let’s chat!