November 9, 2022

Amid a recession, should marketing budgets be low-hanging fruit?

Now is not the time to reduce your marketing budget due to the recession.

That’s the good word from a marketing influencer.

Two thoughts:

  1. There will be marketing opportunities for companies if and when competitors scale back on marketing activities.

Financially strong and strategically committed companies may be able to win more business and outflank competitors in volatile economic conditions.

2. Many companies will have no choice but to reduce marketing budgets due to lower sales or slower growth.

That’s the harsh reality, which is being thrust into the spotlight as companies start to lay off employees.

Marketing cuts are low-hanging fruit.

It doesn’t mean that you’ve lost confidence in marketing. It just means your ability and willingness are tempered for a while.

Regardless of whether you embrace scenario #1 or #2, the most successful companies will adjust their marketing strategies to ensure they’re investing in the right places, in the right channels, and focused on the right people.

In other words, it’s not how much you spend on marketing but how well you do it.

My advice: Take a deep dive into all your marketing activities to determine ROI.

Identify the channels that performed and those that sucked up money and resources when the economy was better and robust sales made it easy to live with marketing that wasn’t doing the job.

Then, focus on marketing that works, and cut back or eliminate things that aren’t performing.

It’s simple advice (aka business 101)

Bottom line: Telling companies not to reduce marketing budgets amid a recession is a sweeping statement that shouldn’t apply to all companies.

It’s an optimistic opinion but not realistic.

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