Making the Most of Your Marketing During a Downturn: why you should maintain your marketing during tough times.

By now we have all heard talk of another recession. From rising interest and inflation rates to falling sales, it is not an easy time to be in business. You may be re-evaluating your budget to reduce overhead costs., and you might think that cutting marketing during the downturn will keep you afloat a little longer, but this will do more harm than good in the long run.

Here are some reasons you should maintain your marketing during a downturn and weather the storm.


Reason 1: The Economy Will Recover.

The economy has always had its peaks and falls, this is as inevitable as death and taxes. What is just as inevitable is the recovery that follows a downturn. Just as we saw the dot-com bubble burst, the Great Recession of 2008, and our recent bout with the pandemic, the economy always comes back around.

It may feel like a waste to continue your marketing when sales are down, but this is a great time to build brand awareness. When the economy recovers, sales will too, and you’ll want your business to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds.


Reason 2: You can pull ahead of the competition.

Your competition may have similar concerns to yours, so they may also consider pulling back on their marketing efforts to save money. Their loss in SEO rankings and market share is your gain! 

Continuing with your marketing efforts will allow you to increase brand awareness, consumer trust, and brand loyalty while your competitors are on hiatus. Not only can this increase your industry standing and help your business stay afloat during a troubling time, but it can really help your business take off when the economy stabilizes. There is only so much room at the top, and the market leader might as well be you. 


Reason 3: You can re-evaluate your marketing strategy and website.

A sluggish economy may be bad for business, but it is also an opportunity to revamp your strategy. When times are good, it’s hard to justify experimenting with the business and the website. After-all, why mess with a good thing? However, this mindset can prevent you from finding new opportunities to enhance your business. 

A slow time is a great time to try new things in marketing and web design. When times are tough,  many marketing and financial teams see that the risks of experimentation are outweighed by the potential gains. Instead of wondering “what could I lose if I try this?” they think “What could I gain if I do?” Suddenly the lost opportunity cost equation has flipped in the favor of experimentation. This may open the door to entirely new avenues you would have never explored before!


What Marketing Should I Keep Up?

Now that you see the reasons why you should maintain your marketing during an economic downturn, let’s talk about two particular strategies that could help you maintain and even grow your business during hard times: Search Engine Optimization and Conversion Rate Optimization. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  increases the amount of organic traffic that visits a website. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) increases the rate at which that traffic turns into paying customers (or subscribers, appointments, etc.)

There’s many reasons why SEO and CRO are hot topics in the digital marketing space, but let’s explore how they help you in an economic downturn.


Number 1: You’ll make the most of the traffic you have.

SEO keeps your business visible by keeping your website high in SERPS. This also increases traffic flowing to your website in addition to the paid traffic you quire through your PPC efforts. These benefits are extremely important, but awareness does not always equate to business. CRO helps you turn that traffic into revenue by learning what your current visitors need to take that final step in the sales funnel.

By increasing your conversion rate, you can increase revenue without increasing traffic or ad spend. In fact, CRO is the best way to decrease your cost-per-acquisition, because it makes use of the users you already have!


Number 2: You can learn more about what your audience wants during this tough time, and how to adapt for it.

Knowing your audience is key for your business’s success. Knowing your audience’s wants and needs can help you tailor your website for a smooth shopping experience. CRO does just that. 

CRO is all about learning. Through testing you learn what helps your audience, and what hinders them. The more you know about your audience, the better you can predict and adapt to their preferences and concerns. However, this valuable information doesn’t come out of thin air. This information is gathered by observing audience behavior, which requires an audience on the site. That’s where SEO comes in. SEO brings people to your site, and CRO helps you learn more about their wants and needs.

Together, SEO and CRO will take the guesswork out of website design. SEO brings people to your site, and CRO tells you what those people need to see. 


Number 3: You’ll make the most of your marketing strategy.

This one is CRO specific, but is the golden goose of marketing.

Have you ever wondered which of your marketing channels had the highest ROI? Have you ever wondered how you can increase the ROI on each campaign? CRO has the answer!

CRO can help you break down your existing acquisitions strategies and their effectiveness through audience segmentation. This segmentation can help you determine where the traffic is coming from, what devices they are using, and their current conversion rates. Once you know what channels are struggling, you can design tests to find out what is working and what isn’t working for that particular strategy. 

For example: are your PPC customers converting at an alarmingly low rate? This could indicate an issue with your PPC campaign. You can design a series of tests to learn what keywords, landing pages, and page layouts work best for your ad campaigns. Once you know what works and what doesn’t, you can get the biggest bang for your buck with your campaigns! 

A penny saved is a penny earned, so the better your acquisition channels are at converting, the lower your cost-per-acquisition will be, and the higher your ROI!

Wrap up:

Marketing may not help you outperform the economy but it can help you mitigate your losses and maintain growth. With the right strategy, a good team, and patience, you can come out of the downturn with a sound business and a head start in the race. 

Ashley Mae Biggerstaff