recession marketing

There has been much talk recently by academics, financial experts and politicians about a possible recession in the not-too-distance future. If you experienced the past recession and its impact on marketing dollars – or lack thereof – you may be thinking it’s time to make a plan on the approach your organization can take to be effective with your dollars without “closing down” the marketing opportunities altogether.


It’s easy to say, but hard to do. Prioritizing your organization’s marketing needs (highlighting those with the highest ROI) will go a long way in making sure the lower-cost, non-impactful marketing initiatives don’t overtake those opportunities which may cost a bit more but truly drive business outcomes. If you want assistance on what marketing efforts lead to the biggest ROI, Chartwell can provide industry insight into this for your organization.

Develop a 12-18-Month Game Plan

When a recession hits, the C-suite often considers marketing dollars as an expense vs. an investment thus it’s essential to have a game plan on how best to utilize your marketing dollars. Using the priority list you’ve developed, determine a phased-in approach for a 12-18-month timeframe that will calm the concerns of leadership but will still allow you to move your marketing initiatives forward without slowing down the impact for the company overall.

Lean into Recession Marketing

During the last recession, when most other companies were scaling back on marketing efforts, one of our clients decided to increase their marketing efforts – and it paid off big time. The organization was regionally based and wanted to gain more national visibility. While other companies in their industry declined opportunities to talk to the media about how the recession was affecting their business and their clients, this company ramped up its efforts and proactively pitched national stories which gained incredible traction for them. If your company is ready and willing, consider how you can separate yourself from competitors by leaning into more marketing efforts rather than decreasing them.

Consider Outsourcing

It’s exciting to have new members join your team, but in times of recession, the numbers don’t always add up: increasing employees on your team rarely equals more marketing outcomes for your business. In times when it’s important to remain lean, it will be helpful to outsource work to a qualified individual or team, like Chartwell Agency. This is not a blatant sales tactic but rather a true budget-and-impact realization.

When hiring full-time employees, you must consider the overhead costs and benefits package all while considering a candidate’s breadth of skills. Some individuals may be really strong in just a few areas (e.g. graphic design or public relations) but not proficient in all capabilities. By outsourcing, you gain the experience you need – for the short- or long-term – at a lower cost with a much higher impact due to their skill sets. For example, in working with Chartwell you can gain a strategic leader, an art director/designer, a public relations expert and a content developer, all for less than if you hired one person internally to try to conduct all that work.

Whether a recession ultimately happens, or our economy remains strong, the suggestions provided are always excellent best practices to move your organization forward in a cost-efficient, and more importantly, impactful manner.