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Why marketing is your lifeline in a recession

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In our ever-evolving business landscape recessions are inevitable. And, while it’s natural for business owners to want to tighten their belts during economic downturns, history shows that it’s the perfect time to invest in marketing. In this blog, we explore why marketing is a lifeline for businesses during a recession.


The power of perception: A lesson from Procter & Gamble

To understand the pivotal role of marketing during a recession, we don’t need to look further than Procter & Gamble (P&G), a multinational consumer goods company. In 2008, the global economy was grappling with the Great Recession. As with everyone else, P&G – known for its household brands such as Olay, Pampers, Pantene and Vicks – faced the same economic headwinds.

However, instead of retreating and slashing their marketing budgets, P&G did the opposite. They increased their advertising spend by a staggering $600 million. This move might seem counterintuitive during tough times, but it proved to be a stroke of genius. 

P&G understood that consumers were more cautious about spending money during a recession. But they also recognised that maintaining brand visibility was critical for retaining market share and reassuring consumers. By doubling down on their marketing efforts, P&G remained top-of-mind with consumers, effectively conveying the message that their trusted products were still the best choice, even during economic uncertainty.

The results were remarkable. While many of their competitors were shrinking, P&G’s market share grew. Their strategic marketing investments paid off, and they emerged from the recession stronger than ever. The lesson here is clear: in a recession, when your competitors are cutting back, increasing your marketing efforts can set you apart and help you weather the storm.


Why marketing matters – in a recession or not, but particularly in a recession

  • Maintaining brand visibility: Recessions often create anxiety among consumers, causing them to scrutinise their spending. By staying visible through marketing campaigns, you reassure your customers that you’re still there for them.
  • Building customer trust: In times of uncertainty, consumers gravitate towards brands they trust. Effective marketing reinforces your brand’s reputation and maintains customer loyalty.
  • Seizing opportunities: Recessions also bring opportunities, such as acquiring distressed assets or expanding your market share. Marketing helps you identify and capitalise on these opportunities.
  • Long-term growth: Investing in marketing during a recession isn’t just about surviving – it’s about positioning your business for long-term growth. When the economy rebounds, your brand will be top-of-mind for consumers.


History shows that marketing is not an expense to cut during a recession but an investment in your business’s future. P&G’s story shows the power of strategic marketing in turbulent times. By maintaining brand visibility, building trust, and seizing opportunities, you will not only survive but thrive in the face of economic adversity. So, when navigating a recession, remember that marketing can be your lifeboat in the stormy sea of uncertainty.

Call Counteractive for help with your financial planning to ensure you stay top of mind in your market.

Call Counteractive

for help with your financial planning to ensure you stay top of mind in your market.

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