15 Mar, 2023

Should you revise your content strategy during ‘Recession’ or halt the marketing efforts?

It is common for businesses to slash marketing budgets the moment a recession rears its ugly head. The advertisement market in the US dropped by 13% in the last recession in 2008.

However, the companies that continued with their marketing efforts recorded significant benefits. As per a report by Analytic Partners , 60% of brands that raised their content marketing investment during the last recession saw a jump in their Return on Investment (ROI). The report says, “In times of crisis, research shows that cutting marketing budgets is a recipe for long-term failure, not success.”

A McGraw-Hill Research study studied 600 companies from 1980 to 1985 and discovered that enterprises that maintained or raised their marketing during the recession recorded higher sales after the economy recovered. Companies that advertised during the slowdown recorded higher sales by as much as 256% than those that had discontinued marketing during a downturn.

Consequences of cutting down a content marketing budget during a recession:

  • FOMO effect: During a downturn, customers become a little sceptical about the brands and tend to do business with those that are visible in the market. With little or no marketing budget, a potential new customer wouldn’t be able to find you online and will end up reaching out to your competitor, who might have continued with the marketing during a downturn.
  • Tough bounce back: Reducing the marketing budget may take you off the race. Content marketing typically takes some time to start generating leads. If you discontinue with content marketing, it will become difficult for you to bounce back once you start marketing again. The effort and the financial resources you had invested in building your content marketing funnel would have gone waste and your rivals may get an edge at your expense in the race.
  • Communication breakdown: Besides establishing the brand value, marketing also builds communication with existing customers. Without marketing, this bridge will collapse, leaving a brand disconnected.

So it is crucial to rethink the strategy so your online presence continues to be robust and you are able to grow brand trust and loyalty which is bound to help in the post-recession recovery.

This is not to say that businesses should continue to spend as much on marketing as they used to. The idea is to rethink the marketing strategy as well as budgets in line with the new market reality and to use the limited funds to not just survive but to come out stronger on the other side. So what should you keep in mind while formulating your marketing strategy during a recession?

Leveraging content marketing during a recession

Content marketing is not just about selling but it is also about building trust and thought leadership, which makes it especially relevant when the budgets are tight. Investing in an evergreen content piece which truly helps your target audience is bound to be much more effective than paid ads. So the choice is easy if the option is between paid ads and producing compelling and impactful content that speaks to your audience and will continue to reap benefits for a long time.

What further tilts the balance in favour of content marketing is that now it is relatively easy to measure Return on Investment (ROI). While paid ads demand continuous investment, a great content piece is a one-time investment that can be used on multiple channels and refurbished several times for greater value.

Further, customers don’t stop investing during a recession, they are just extra cautious and want to get the maximum bang for their buck. A brand which is visible and continues marketing during recession spells that the company has things in control and is going to be around for a long time. It also helps your business stand out if other companies have discontinued marketing during a recession. Clearly marketers are realizing this in this recession as the ad spend has come down in consumer and B2B tech and marketing budgets (as a percentage of revenue) are up in 2022 as compared to 2021.

Improve customer engagement

Typically, content marketing teams have little to no customer engagement, but now is the time to change this. While direct customer engagement might still not be possible but improving interaction with the sales teams is a must, so they are aware of the changing concerns of the customers and are able to change their content strategy accordingly.

A recession is a crucial moment for the content marketing department. This is the time to innovate and think of out-of-the-box content projects to reinforce your value in the company’s growth.

Outsource marketing to lessen down burden

A recession is not an end to a business. Instead, it helps a company reallocate its resources strategically. During a recession, most companies reduce their marketing budget and freeze hiring, leaving the marketing department in a lurch. The Content Marketing Institute, in its 2022 Annual Report, shared that 67% of marketers surveyed had revealed that over the last year their content teams were asked to make more efforts with limited resources. An apt solution in this scenario is to outsource some parts of marketing. Besides proving to be cost-effective, an outsourced marketing agency will also bring its years of experience to your advantage. In the same survey, 50% of all marketers surveyed also stated that they had outsourced some marketing functions.

Trust DeepWorkz for strategic management

Deepworkz comes with over 40 years of expertise in the telecom and technology space and is well-versed in the nuances of content marketing. It offers end-to-end services – right from defining content strategy, content creation, and creative design to managing your entire digital marketing efforts. Be it acquiring business leads, enhancing brand value, or developing thought leadership, it is skilled in identifying key B2B marketing messages and insights that enable you to stand out from your competitors.

Doing nothing during a crisis can be fatal. Adopting new strategies and experimenting with new ideas is the need of the hour. With so much available in the technological space nowadays, marketing content has become much easier than before. Those who stay put and explore new avenues of content marketing gain rewards that follow them well beyond the downturns.

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