Three Tips For Marketing Your Business During A Recession


Akram Atallah is CEO of Identity Digital, a global leader in next-generation top-level domains and digital identity.

With prices rising and the economy shrinking, many business owners are rightfully concerned about what lies ahead in the coming months. Some experts are predicting a recession, while others point to the low unemployment rate as a reason there’s nothing to worry about. Either way, the future is uncertain, and it’s best to be prepared for any potential economic turbulence.

When recessions do occur, marketing budgets are often the first to get cut. However, studies show that companies with the best long-term performance don’t cut marketing spending and rather reallocate their budgets. Of course, not every marketing manager has the final say on budget, and when an edict comes from the top, you may have to make do with less. But by continuing to market your brand, you’ll increase the chances that you’re top-of-mind for customers when they’re ready to spend more in the future—and maybe even see faster growth than your competitors as we emerge from the downturn.

Whether you’re dealing with a smaller budget or just looking to adjust your marketing strategy, here are three tips for marketing your business during a recession, from expanding your online content to increasing your share of voice with a descriptive domain.

Tip 1: Meet your customers where they’re at.

Recessions are hard on everyone. While your bottom line may be shrinking, customers’ wallets will be, too, and showing sympathy for the difficulties they’re experiencing can go a long way to earning long-term trust and favorability.

Dell set a shining example of this during the 2008 recession, as Harvard Business Review reported, with an advertising campaign that featured messaging like “Depend on Dell for simple solutions in tough times” and “Out of the box, within your means.” While your advertising doesn’t have to be quite so pointed, simply calling attention to the cost savings or great value you offer can go a long way in resonating with customers in the current moment.

Content marketing is another easy and affordable way to reach your audience. Producing blog posts or ebooks that touch on topics that feel relevant to customers and bring them value will help earn their loyalty. You can answer common questions related to your product or services, or touch on newsworthy topics.

For example,, a company that helps people realize their dream homes, posts articles in their knowledge center about the home-building process in Southern California, simultaneously promoting what they offer and providing customers with useful information. By focusing on how you can help your customers rather than how they can help you will make them feel valued and increase the chances they build a long-term relationship with your brand.

Tip 2: Reinforce your brand name.

Are your competitors rolling back their marketing efforts? If other companies in your niche are staying quiet during the recession, now is the time to claim the limelight. By continuing to get your name out there, you can stay top of mind and remain the go-to choice when spending returns to normal. Plus, doing so doesn’t have to be costly.

Try rolling out a descriptive domain that matches your brand. By leveraging the space before and after the dot—like or—you can drive brand recognition. Like content marketing, updating your domain name is affordable on any marketing budget and is another boon for your SEO. When people search for a product or service in their area, domain names that include those keywords better position your domain to rise to the top of search rankings.

In the age of search engines, when you occupy important real estate on the results page, people will be more keyed into your brand and consider you the expert in your field. And the more attention you gain in the digital world, the greater your share of voice—or greater the number of people who are aware of your brand compared to your competitors. This can help you emerge as a leader in the long run.

Tip 3: Play the long game.

Consumers often think poor economic conditions will last forever. While history has shown us that’s far from true, not everything returns to the way it was before a recession. As the pandemic continues to show us, macroeconomic changes can greatly impact the behavior of individual consumers for months and even years to come.

The best way to gauge how spending habits are changing is to gather data. By tracking what and how much people are spending with your business now and after the economy picks up, you can determine which changes are short-term and which ones are here to stay. For businesses making updates to their offerings, this is incredibly valuable information that can help you stay relevant during bad times and good times.


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