How to Overcome Recession 2023 with Digital Marketing

What is recession?

According to Agency Growth Event (AGE), here is the explanation:

A recession is an economic cycle where the economy is contracting typically defined as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. 

This can be caused by many factors, such as a decrease in consumer spending, a decrease in business investment, or a rise in unemployment. 

When the economy is in a recession and economic growth is negative, it can be difficult for businesses to grow. 

Eventually, things will calm down and the global economy will experience economic recovery again but nobody (including the Federal Reserve Bank and the International Monetary Fund) knows exactly when that will happen. 

This is a business cycle where the money supply and monetary policy be tight and every business needs to be aware of that.

Why is marketing important during recession?

To survive a recession, your business needs cash flow, which comes from sales.

To generate those sales, you need to continue reaching your customers and convincing them to buy. Unless your business is one of your industry’s best-known brands.

The cost of living has increased, let alone the business costs. That resulted in an unhealthy economic cycle.

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People spending less, businesses cutting costs and prices, and investment being halted. Plus, when businesses cut costs, it’s often their marketing and advertising budget that is the first to go.

A lot of startup companies now are struggling financially, thus causing massive layoffs. Marketing team is one among the impacted, which caused the reduction of marketing costs.

But, many businesses react to economic downturns by playing it safe and cutting back on advertising, but most professional business analysts agree this isn’t the best strategy.

What needs to be highlighted is we could still do marketing activities with less budget. Start from doing SEO to organic search and paid per ads with competitive keywords and cost.

“Digital marketing is not something to turn off during a recession,” said Josiah Wiles, Vice President of Client Experience at Thrive.

Corona impacts to recession

But if we look at the corona situation back in 2020, some people were still buying things other than needs. So as the companies who were still doing marketing activities by trying different marketing methods.

The result is, the people will have new shopping behavior or shifting shopping habit based on the situation and marketing trigger.

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Digital marketing is one that overcomes corona. The fact is, the number of searches for groceries online shopping related has increased during the quarantine, which also brings revenue.

Then, we need to adjust the customer habits with keyword searches. Having good SEO also means having a good understanding of what the audience needs.

There’s a lot of free SEO tools that you can use to improve your SEO to become on top of the first page.

Who knows if we become outstanding and become hits when everyone stops doing SEO or ads. But, no one can guarantee anything. It also depends on the brand awareness of the company.

We can call it an investment.

The decisions we make today will determine the influences for the business in the long term.

Is SEO still a good marketing strategy in a recession? YES! Here’s why:

  1. A well-thought-out SEO campaign can help you reach new audiences and grow your business.
  2. SEO can help you improve your website so that it converts more visitors into customers or leads.
  3. SEO can help you lower your other marketing costs by helping you get more organic traffic from Google and other search engines.
  4. SEO can help you weather the storm during a recession by helping you keep your business visible online and driving traffic to your website. Keep in mind that Brand awareness is KEY in a recession.

What to do during recession (internal)

A lot of company are freezing their hiring.

A July 2022 poll by Alignable, for example, found that 45% of small business owners in the U.S. have already frozen hiring ahead of expectations for a recession later this year.

Then, how to resolve the need for more resources and/or skills?

We could augment the staff, especially marketing. With that being said, we have an option to choose to work with internal staff or a digital marketing agency.

We have guidance on how to choose a digital marketing agency.

If you have concerns to choose digital marketing agency, just let us know and we’ll help!

Marketing Staff

Both have plus and minus. You need to choose which is the most suitable for your company, it can be based on skill or financial condition.

Talking about skills, what skills are exactly needed for a digital marketer?

Here, we give you the top 10 skills required for a digital marketing career, alongside these tips to kickstart a digital marketing career.

Some staff registered for a digital marketing bootcamp. But whatever the method is, you know the ways to improve the skills.

What to do during recession (external)

What should we do with the digital marketing to prepare for a recession that is out of our control?

First, we could identify what learnings can we apply from past recessions or some inflation cases.

One study cases for this matter are Pizza Hut and Taco Bell during 1990-1991 recession.

Both Pizza Hut and Taco Bell took advantage of McDonald’s decision to reduce its advertising, resulting in a 61% increase in sales for Pizza Hut and a 40% increase in sales for Taco Bell, whilst McDonald’s sales dropped by 28%.

We cannot change a financial value, but we can analyze how people act to the value. We could analyze three points:

  • How the marketing channels changed.
  • How consumer behavior changed.
  • Whether the decisions marketers made were good or bad.
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Let’s look at the example below.

“Someone working from home may cut several of their monthly subscriptions but will choose to maintain their roasted coffee delivery because they know the quality is high and taking a moment to make good coffee adds a positive moment to their day, printing physical documents also could be reduced and substitute it with digital documents.”

A situation can entirely change one’s habit. This is what we should analyze. Are they searching with keywords? Seeing digital media ads?

With this result, we can plan on what is the next step we should take.

Don’t stop, but go wise

Don’t ever stop digital marketing activities, but be more critical in planning and execution. Thus, that causes us to use the budget wisely.

If you don’t believe that marketing strategies are one of the most important elements in a business, see this for yourself.

As the example explains that their campaigns does much effect to their brand.

If you just started your business, read this digital marketing strategy to help you planning your business critically.

Also, read these articles to inspire you and make you a better digital marketer:

Last but not least, try to plan your financial and see the opportunity in it. Optimize what you have and utilitize everything at best cost.

If you had a mind to use a digital marketing agency to help you manage your marketing activities with minimum budget, we cover you!

Don’t hesitate to contact us and see the magic.