Why digital marketing is even more important in a downturn

When times get tough and the cost of living crisis really starts to bite, many businesses feel it’s natural to cut or reduce marketing activity.

You might justify the decision by assuming that your customers are tightening their belts and buying less, so marketing could be a waste of time and money.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Experience shows that marketing in difficult economic periods can be hugely beneficial and help grow your brand faster than during a more stable financial climate.

If you reduce marketing coverage, customers and clients are likely to become less aware of your business and more likely to use other brands that are more visible and active.

Your marketing efforts are your connection to your consumers, so without consistent marketing it’s likely you’ll see an even greater drop in sales.

And if your competitors are cutting costs on marketing, you’ve got a golden opportunity to acquire a stronger market position when the economic situation improves.

Whatever the financial situation, digital marketing is cost-effective, and the right combination of SEO, PPC, content, social media and email marketing will yield a greater return on investment than traditional methods.


Is cost-cutting the right strategy?

In the coming weeks the UK government is due to launch a campaign that will “amplify and channel” the efforts of brands looking to curb rising costs and encourage other companies to follow suit, the BBC reports.

The publicly funded advertising campaign will ironically encourage businesses to spend less on marketing, and it’s believed that businesses agreeing to introduce cost-cutting measures will be able to add the campaign name and logo to their own branding.

The scheme looks likely to promote a message of helping out in tough times, cutting prices for consumers using money from budgets that brands “would otherwise use on marketing.”

But the message represents a misunderstanding of marketing’s role in business and the economy as a whole.

Marketing activity makes sectors more efficient, improves competition, rewards innovation and reduces prices through economies of scale as sales increase.

And while advertising represents only one part of your marketing investment, every £1 spent on it generates £6 in the wider economy, according to the Advertising Association.

Far from boosting your business and the wider economy, suggesting that businesses divert marketing spend into cutting prices could be counter-productive.


Consistent marketing brings higher conversion rates

Businesses that invest in brand awareness during a crisis will benefit from higher profits once the economy recovers, and if you can keep your marketing budget stable or even increase it, you have the potential for higher conversion rates than in a positive financial climate.

Companies that saw significant growth during and after previous downturns took action early on, had a long-term vision and focused on growth, instead of cost savings.

During periods of economic uncertainty it’s important to show the added value of your products, giving your customers a reason to continue to buy from your business.

In difficult times, you need to keep getting your message out there, focusing on your brand image and highlighting what differentiates you from other businesses.


For any organisation in times like these, it’s vital to focus on consistent marketing. Ascensor know how to not only survive in a financial downturn, but thrive. From SEO to social media strategy, we can help you succeed in all aspects of your digital marketing.

Get in touch with our marketing team and let’s grow your business.

Was this post helpful? Help others by sharing it