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Imagine a recession as a dark room, full of muted voices and dim lights from businesses that have cut or reduced their marketing. Now imagine a consumer fumbling their way through the darkness—uncertain and searching—and looking up to see a glowing neon sign with your businesses' name. The consumer now has direction, clarity, and hope. Imagine that same room, full of glaring neon signs from every business and brand, with yours somewhere in the mix, and an overwhelmed consumer squinting to distinguish any single one. In which scenario is the consumer most likely to find your business?

What many businesses fail to see during a recession is the opportunity to not just survive, but thrive by continuing marketing efforts. It may seem like a good idea to cut marketing budgets during a recession, but the reality is it is more crucial than ever to market during a downturn to compete for limited consumer spending and establish your brand for long-term success.


"When times are good, you should advertise. When times are bad, you must advertise," is a common adage among marketing experts that has been proven time and again to be true.

More than ever, during a recession, it is vital to establish your business as a reliable and relevant brand during uncertainty in the consumer's journey. Continue marketing to reassure consumers your brand will meet their needs and is worth spending their limited resources on.

One study of 600 B2B companies by McGraw-Hill Research showed that companies who continued advertising as before or increased spending during a recession saw a 256% growth over those that either cut marketing or reduced it by the end of those five years.

Alternatively, going dark during a recession creates a perception of failure for the consumer and can be as much, if not more, detrimental as the impact of a recession itself. One study showed that 60% of brands saw a decline in key brand metrics after going dark with their advertising. It is vital to reassure your consumers of your brand value more than ever when they are more critical and careful with their spending due to limited finances.

By playing the short game and staying consistent in marketing, you establish yourself for the future.


During a recession, marketing will not only impact your survival but also affect your brand and business's long-term sustainability and growth.

As others reduce their competing marketing, you can increase your share of market (SOM) by positioning yourself front and center with less noise from competitors, effectively growing your share of voice (SOV) and, therefore SOM.

Increasing top-of-mind awareness during a recession will also allow your business to recover more quickly from any impacts of a recession.

According to a study done by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), businesses that cut all marketing budgets during a recession took five years to recover in sales. Businesses that cut their marketing budget in half took three years to recover, and those that maintained or increased their marketing budgets saw growth during and after the recession.


At Sun Graphics Media, we fancy ourselves problem solvers! Are you wondering how to market your brand and business during an economic downturn? Or how you can make every dollar count and work for you? Contact our team of experts to get solutions! We are the only full-service marketing agency with all of the experts under one roof. We offer end-to-end solutions to help your business not just survive but thrive in any economic climate.

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