When dealing with a recession, how to cut costs understandably climbs to the top of any company’s agenda. To reduce expenditure and survive an economic downturn, marketing, and advertising costs are often among the first to make the cut, yet this is not always a prudent strategy to adopt. Cutting marketing costs too drastically could very well end up causing more harm than good. The reduced expenditure can keep your business afloat for some time, however, it can cause long-term harm which a company may never recover from.
Digital marketing offers a low-cost and effective option to weather the storm. If you’re wondering how to prepare for a recession using digital marketing approaches, we have some guidance. From reasons why digital marketing is the best choice to the best way to get started; we’ve included everything you need to give your business a leg up in times of economic crisis.
What is a recession?
Before diving into why digital marketing can help you survive a recession, let’s take a look at what a recession is. Defined as a time of negative economic growth, a recession may be caused by a number of circumstances such as a spike in oil prices, political instability and the subsequent impact on global financial markets. In general, if a country experiences two consecutive quarters of decline in the gross domestic product (GDP) it is safe to say that it is in the midst of an economic recession.
With the possibility of lasting from months to years, recessions can be a fearful prospect for business owners as they face the inevitable steady decline in consumer demand and economic output.
As revenues steadily drop in the face of an uncertain future, most companies suffer. However, research shows that digital marketing can successfully help businesses to navigate through such periods of economic turmoil and go on to flourish in spite of it.
Is a recession on the horizon?
At the start of 2022, countries saw a somewhat return to normality with the easing of COVID-19 measures. Yet, in the face of Russia’s war with Ukraine, China’s zero-COVID policy, and the energy and food crises, experts are warning that a global recession could be underway. Times are uncertain and with the prospect of an economic recession looming on the horizon, business owners should start considering the best way to weather the storm.
5 Reasons why digital marketing is effective
#1 Cost effective
Whilst some marketing tactics can be costly, numerous aspects of digital marketing – such as SEO, email marketing and social media marketing, to name a few – offer inexpensive and lucrative options.
For example, marketing experts praise the effectiveness of Social Media Marketing (SMS), which may be strategically used to boost brand awareness. However, the beauty of this marketing approach lies in its ability to generate great revenues without requiring a high financial commitment. Similarly, statistics for email marketing show a great return on initial investment whilst remaining a low-cost option that may be scaled to one’s budget thanks to pay-per-send subscriptions.
Of course, any digital marketing strategy can be duly enhanced with the proper use of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). When done well, SEO directs much more traffic toward your online platforms, giving you more bang for your buck.
#2 Great metrics
Surviving a recession is not about reducing expenses, it is about reducing the right expenses. Certainly, it is logical to cut the costs of ineffective marketing efforts, and you should definitely start there. Unfortunately, most companies tend to stop there and that’s the error that could sink your ship. Instead of cutting all marketing costs, analyze which marketing efforts have been successful and work to maintain and reinforce them whilst eliminating less fruitful approaches.
From all aspects of business, few provide more or better metrics than digital marketing. With all the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are available online, digital marketing remains a highly measurable option that gives you the tools to make informed decisions and helps you to make smart, data-driven choices at all times.
#3 Digital marketing is flexible
Uncertainty goes hand-in-hand with a recession. For sure, it is impossible to predict how customers will react in the midst of an economic downturn and any changes in the way they shop, buy, browse or find their products could negatively affect the success of marketing strategies.
Fortunately, digital marketing is highly adaptable, allowing companies to swiftly shift strategies and meet new consumer demands. It is also entirely customizable – tailoring the approaches to your budget and business needs – making online marketing an absolute no-brainer in times of crisis.
#4 Grow your business with multi-channel marketing
Whilst it is difficult to target a specific audience using offline marketing approaches, it is much easier to achieve this with digital marketing. Online marketing opens up a world of numerous online platforms, all reaching different audiences and incorporating varying marketing techniques.
With multi-channel marketing, it becomes possible to leverage the power of LinkedIn to reach career-driven professional individuals, but also target the younger demographic through TikTok and the general population with Instagram. Using multiple platforms means you can reach a wider audience but it also allows companies the option to focus on a particular platform and target specific audiences.
#5 Opportunity for improvement
Whilst an economic recession can hit suddenly and without warning, take the opportunity to solidify your digital platforms and build your site’s domain authority.
In a 2010 study by the Harvard Business Review, it was discovered that 17% – out of the 4,700 companies they analysed – went bankrupt, went private, or were acquired during the recessions of 1980, 1990, and 2000.
However, 9% of the companies did not merely stay afloat but absolutely thrived after the recession, beating their competitors in both sales and profit growth. The distinction rests on strategy and preparedness. Whilst those companies that responded by going into survival mode – with drastic budget cuts and short-term planning – fared particularly badly, the ones that navigated through the recession with more flexibility flourished later on.
Ideal for the uncertainty that defines recessions, digital marketing is a flexible type of marketing that may easily be adapted to suit both consumer needs and budget cuts. Additionally, certain aspects of digital marketing – such as SEO – can take time to grow organically and become effective. So why not use a recession to work on strengthening your site’s domain strength and develop your company’s online presence. In the long run, this would ensure that your digital marketing efforts yield the best possible results.
How do I get started?
In summary, spending time and money on the right digital marketing approaches is crucial. Yes, it might be tempting to try to save your pennies by handling the marketing aspect yourself, however, marketing is truly a science on its own. It requires various technical skills and a strategic approach that is backed up by professional knowledge and experience.
To ensure that your efforts are efficient and fruitful, we recommend outsourcing to a professional digital marketing agency. Hiring marketing specialists affords you the peace of mind that comes with benefitting from professional guidance and ensures that your marketing approach is strategically backed up.
Bullshark is a sales-driven digital marketing agency focused on driving results. We have helped 150+ brands across all industries to achieve their digital marketing goals and are committed to seeing every client succeed. If you’re interested in professional digital marketing services, send us a message by clicking here or send an email to [email protected]. We look forward to helping your brand grow. No matter the economic climate.