What does Recession marketing mean in marketing terminology?

Recession marketing

Recession marketing is a term used to describe marketing strategies and tactics used when the economy is either stagnating or shrinking (recession). During a recession, businesses often experience decreased revenue, higher costs and greater competition, which makes marketing harder and requires a shift in approach. Recession marketing is all about pitching the right message to the right audience at the right time.

The goal of recession marketing is to create a lasting connection with customers, drive sales, and survive the economic downturn. This is achieved by changing the focus to smart and cost-effective marketing strategies that meet customer needs, suited for their financial situation.

What is Recession Marketing?

Recession marketing is a way of marketing during a recession. Rather than cutting back on general marketing, recession marketing focuses on smarter strategies to reach customers more cost-effectively. Recession marketing also means being able to quickly adjust to changes in the market. It’s about adapting to the current environment by optimising campaigns and focusing on short-term returns.

How to Market in a Recession?

1. Develop a Good Budget Plan

It’s important to have a budget plan in place when marketing in a recession. This should include both long-term and short-term goals and objectives. This helps to ensure that marketing dollars are being spent in the right place, and helps to understand where savings could be made.

2. Repurpose Old Content

When marketing in a recession, it’s important to be able to do more with less. Repurposing old content is a great way to stretch budget and reach newer audiences. Updating and repurposing old blog posts, articles and videos can help bring in new enquiries and sales leads.

3. Focus on ROI

It’s essential to focus on Return On Investment during a recession. Every marketing campaign, no matter the size, should be measured on the return it generates. This can be done by analysing the sales figures, traffic data and customer behaviour. Knowing which campaigns achieve the best results can help to make better decisions moving forward.

4. Embrace Digital

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Modern day consumers are online a lot, and so it’s important to focus on digital marketing during a recession. All of the usual tactics such as email marketing, paid search, display and social media can be used to help drive sales. Different strategies and tactics can be tested to see which one works best and then optimised accordingly.

5. Stay Connected

It’s important to stay connected with customers, both current and potential, during a recession. This can be done through regularly engaging on social media, responding to customer enquiries, as well as sending out relevant newsletters or emails. Keeping conversations going with customers helps to build loyalty and trust between the brand and the customer.

7. Monitor Competitors

It’s essential to keep an eye on competitors when marketing in a recession. This helps to understand what marketing strategies and tactics they’re using, as well as spotting any new trends. Knowing the competitors activities can help to decide what strategies best fit the brand and where to focus resources for the best results.

8. Offer Special Discounts

Special discounts are a great way to acquire new customers and retain current ones during a recession. Shoppers are often more likely to buy if price is a deciding factor, so offering discounts from time to time can help drive sales. This can be done through offering a percentage off on the total cost, reduced shipping costs, or a bundle of products that offers more than what the customer is paying.

9. Analysing Data

It’s important to analyse the impact of every marketing campaign. This can be done by looking at the data and seeing which channel has the best conversion rate. Looking at the current situation in the market can help understand what kind of message the customers respond to, which channels are the most effective and which tactics are the most cost-effective.

10. Track Trends

During a recession it’s important to track any new trends. This can be done by keeping up to date with news and staying on top of any current changes in the market. This helps to identify potential opportunities or areas of improvement quickly and understand how to properly adapt to the changing environment.

Recession marketing needs to be cost-effective, efficient and agile. By focusing on data-driven marketing strategies, tracking competitors and trends, repurposing content and staying connected to customers, brands can effectively market even in tough economic times.


Chris Haycock, Digital Marketing Consultant

"The big companies are going to struggle to offer reduced prices. They've got overheads, staff, expensive premises, fancy accountants, and red tape to overcome. But your small business can thrive by being agile, and adapting quickly to the change in consumer buying habits during the recession."

Digital Marketing Consultant