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Trading Up Media Blog

How to Recession Proof Your Marketing

As we all know, recessions occur every few years and are a normal part of an economic cycle. For those that are unsure, recessions are defined as periods of economic declines where business activity rapidly drops and GDP subsequently falls. Because recessions are unavoidable,  your brand should have an effective marketing plan in place so that your company can thrive even during an economic downturn.

During a recession, you need to be prepared to make every dollar of your marketing budget count. With these seven tips, you can make sure your brand is prepared to stay top-of-mind when consumer spending declines.

1. Invest in Your Website

As you probably already know, your website is one of the greatest investments you’ll make for your business. Having a well-thought-out website design is bound to generate more leads over time. Focusing on building out your content and resources will not only help build trust with your audience but will also help to improve your search engine optimization (SEO).

During recessions, buyers are less likely to trust a brand they have never heard of. Therefore, having valuable resources and educational content, along with an easy-to-navigate website can build trust between your brand and potential customers. In building this trust and becoming a resource, consumers will be likely to return to your website and recommend your brand to other in-market shoppers.

2. Prioritize Your Strategy

While marketing is an investment,  see outsourcing any aspect of digital marketing as costly and unnecessary. However, marketing can help you bring in new clients to help offset lost business. 

Take a step back and analyze your current marketing strategy and reevaluate your entire buyer’s journey in the current environment. Can it withstand a recession? This is the time to sit and focus on your marketing and sales strategy and determine what channels are best to reach your audience and if you need an outside agency to help or if your in-house marketing team can execute your strategies.

3. Continue to Advertise

While your first thought during a recession may be to slash your advertising budget to save money, don’t be so quick to make that decision. Studies have shown that brands that continue to advertise or increase advertising during economic downturns increased sales and market share during the recession and afterward. 

4. Invest in Client Relationships

Investing in current client relationships will be more beneficial than trying to build new client relationships before or during a recession. When you try to attract new clients, you tend to spend more money that is not realistic to spend during a recession. Therefore, creating the best results and experiences for your existing customers will leave them wanting to do more business with you.

Without realizing it, your happy - existing - customers will tell their network about your business and create new clientele for you. This process will continue, and you will bring in new sales at a much lower cost than trying to attract new clients. 

5. Pay Attention To Your Competitors

It’s crucial that in times like these, you keep a close eye on any direct competitors. How are they handling the situation? What are they doing differently? This creates an opportunity for your business to gain market share. 

You also have to keep in mind that your competitors may be thinking or feeling the same way. They are keeping an eye on what you are doing with your business whether that is dropping rates, investing in marketing, etc. 

6. Work Towards Growth

During a recession, it is difficult but necessary to understand that growth may be challenging or nearly impossible. But make sure you are looking at specific factors that can help your company grow. It’s important to tackle any potential or current problems and create opportunities from them. Now is the perfect time to innovate. Consider how you should prioritize your limited time and resources to push for success. 

7. Use What You Know

Many businesses, especially startups, may not have first-hand experience with the 2008 financial crisis because they weren’t operating at the time. However, the pandemic is a similar crisis to focus efforts on. The pandemic should be utilized as a preparation tool for the recession, businesses should focus on what worked during this time and what didn’t work.


Overall, a recession will affect your business. How you choose to prepare for a recession, determines the outcome for your business after a recession. Recession-proofing your business, even if a recession is not around the corner, will keep you prepared and ahead of your competitors. By using these tips, and having some patience, your business will be sure to thrive before, during, and after a recession.

Caylee Wilson

Caylee Wilson / About Author

Caylee is a lover of all things Marvel, horror, and her cat Kody. She is currently finishing up her Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications from Florida State University.

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