Reducing costs is a common practice whenever a recession hits, and most of the time, it’s the marketing budget that gets cut first.
Big marketing budgets are hard to justify during a recession because customers are unwilling to spend money. Even Google cut its marketing budget by half during the first year of the pandemic. But this doesn’t mean that marketing isn’t important – they did increase it from 2.5 billion U.S dollars in 2020 to 3.6 billion in 2021 after all.
Marketing is crucial to business success. In economically uncertain times, marketing is less about cutting back and more about key investments; making the right decisions and knowing where business opportunities lie.
Reasons to Invest in Digital Marketing During a Recession
People are more careful when buying goods and services during a recession. The focus will be on necessities, and indulgent spending will take a back seat. The usual ads won’t easily move buyers. Customers will do more research to ensure they’re getting the exact product they need.
Similar behaviour may apply to businesses that need services from other businesses. Their budgets will be reduced and they will want to make the most of their resources.
Here are the reasons to invest in digital marketing during a recession.
1. It can help you reach new audiences
Traditional marketing has been the main strategy for marketers to communicate their messages to a wider audience for years. But people have become more attached to their computers, phones and tablets over the years. The pandemic has increased people’s dependence on gadgets as many are now spending more time online, visiting websites, video chatting, streaming, and emailing.
This change in user behaviour should propel businesses to change their marketing strategies as well. Investing in digital marketing is now the smartest way to connect with your target marketing as they’re spending more time online. You can do this with social media, blogging, paid ads or all of the above, depending on where your target audience is.
2. It helps your website convert more visitors into customers
Your website may just be the hardest working “employee” you have during a recession.
From attracting, engaging, converting, and closing leads, then turning them into your loyal customers and advocates, your website is capable of doing all of these once it’s optimized.
Business is all about forming trusting relationships with your clients. With an optimized website, you’re providing your customers with a place where they can stay updated with your brand all the time.
Search engine optimization or SEO is one way to maintain your website so that it’s competitive, searchable, and ready to serve your customers. You should always make sure that your website is updated and primed to resolve any client or lead concerns.
Here are some tips to help you make your website provide business:
- Update the content. Your website is competing with millions of websites, and fresh content is one way to attract visitors. In addition to new articles, videos or images, your content must also be authoritative and relevant to your target users. Follow Google’s SEO guidelines so that your website is ranked accordingly.
- Make sure you have a messaging portal. One of the reasons customers trust brands with a website is because they have this notion that a website enables them to reach the business immediately with a concert, issue or a simple question. Make sure that your website has a direct communication portal (like a chatbot or a message board) so that they have instant access to you.
- Install a secure payment gateway. Install secure payment portals that can process payments from credit cards to digital wallets, enabling simple, secure, and seamless transactions that put your users minds at ease.
3. Digital marketing is more affordable and cost-effective
One of the major selling points of digital marketing is that alongside being effective in attracting and converting leads, it’s cost-effective. Some digital marketing campaigns like email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, and producing website content can cost you a fraction of what you would spend on TV or radio advertising.
If you don’t have a huge marketing budget, use social media campaigns to advertise your brand.
Create a series of posts related to your business or engage your audience by holding competitions. Prizes can include some of your products or services.
4. Less marketing or advertising noise lets your brand shine
When most businesses cut back on marketing and advertising, your campaigns will have less competition. It’ll give you an opportunity to become top-of-mind for consumers.
5. It helps show that your business is reliable
Stephen Hawking once said: “Half the battle is just showing up.” When everyone is cutting back their spending on visibility, increasing your advertising efforts could boost your sales and credibility.
Being visible despite hard times shows people that your business is reliable and stable. In times of instability like an economic downturn, marketing inspires consumer confidence.
Although some consumers may not be buying your products or services during a recession, they may turn to you when the economy is better.
6. The digital economy is flourishing
The pandemic has shown the necessity of the internet. People were able to access services without leaving their homes and businesses were able to continue their operations on digital platforms.
Although the crisis has led to supply chains being disrupted, the internet and other digital platforms were able to help many companies and businesses pivot during a global pandemic.
This is just the beginning. Technology is still evolving.
As these trends and innovations in technology keep evolving, the way people engage with technology will also evolve. One thing’s for sure, the internet will be accessible to more people and user experience will continue to improve allowing more people to comfortably use tech devices anytime and anywhere.
Now is a good time to invest in digital marketing to position yourself for success today and in the future.
7. Leverage data to shape your marketing strategy
One advantage of digital marketing compared to other forms of advertising is that you get access to relevant data.
You’re just a click away from knowing how many saw your advertisement, how many visitors read your blog, at what point they stopped reading, what device they used, or if they came from another marketing channel.
You have the power of information and you can leverage this to fine-tune your digital marketing strategy. You’re making informed decisions that allow you to focus your marketing efforts on campaigns that work.
Digital marketing is measurable and trackable, making it more effective than traditional marketing.
Flourish During a Recession with Digital Marketing
Despite the fall in retail sales over the pandemic and the recession, data reveals that e-commerce sales have gone up by 45%. It’s also revealed that businesses in gardening, building and grocery stores saw a 13% growth during this period. This illustrates that transactions occur online.
Investing in digital marketing during a recession is the smarter choice. Neglecting it gives your competitors an advantage over you because the visible business encourages consumer trust and attracts new customers.
Instead of cancelling digital marketing campaigns, minimize spending on marketing channels that are not effective and invest in ones that maximize returns.
Digital marketing is a long-term investment plan, especially during a recession. It will help give you the upper hand you need to overcome the challenges of today, giving you a boost in the future.