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Marketing During an Economic Downturn

By Colt Passey – Industry Correspondent on April 9th, 2020

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I have few thoughts about staying present and focused on marketing during an economic downturn and what some companies have done in the past. I am not saying that companies should increase spending, but they should continue to drive content out and find ways to market themselves even more now. 

“As sales start to drop, businesses typically cut costs, reduce prices, and postpone new investments, Marketing expenditures in areas from communications to research are often slashed across the board–but such indiscriminate cost-cutting is a mistake.”

The studies show that companies that continued strong marketing during the 2008 downturn had a quicker bounce back and yielded better outcomes coming out of recessions. This could be very impactful in direct sales, as some consumers will turn to this vertical as a way to earn extra money. Historically, the travel industry is often first to bounce back as higher consumer discretionary, and IT spending led the way. Maintaining marketing during this downturn shows customers that your business is still investing and that you are still strong and doing well as a business. 

Now is the time to assess your brands and products and services. Look at what can be dropped or stabilized, and what will be successful. After making these hard decisions, focus on your marketing efforts. Content during this time should NOT be sales-oriented but focused on thought leadership, education, and empathy to what your customers are going through. “Thought leadership is not about being known. It is about being known for making a difference.” Determine how together you can help them get through this. 

Every industry right now is facing massive transformation, faster than any other time in recent history. Companies are having to find ways to go digital, manage a remote workforce, scale infrastructure, and financial instability. Approaching this with thought leadership, and education will help everyone. In the long run, being consistent will help your business survive and grow during this time. 

Colt Passey is the SVP of Business Development at Nexio. He received his B.S. in Marketing from the University of Idaho.

Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

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