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6 Marketing Strategies to Survive a Recession

6 Marketing Strategies to Survive a Recession

Last Updated:  
March 18, 2024

The US is lucky not to be in a recession in 2022. The country has been hit hard by the COVID pandemic and the global increase in crude oil prices as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war, but it held strong to avert an economic crisis.

However, we are not out of the woods yet. The odds of an economic crisis in 2023 are high, with 37 economists in this Bloomberg survey pegging the possibility of a recession at 30%.  

As a business owner, you need a foolproof plan for your business in case a recession hits. Luckily for you, there are several marketing strategies for recession you can use to stay afloat.

These strategies will help you find success when other businesses are closing down because of tough economic times. Continue reading to discover how to fuel your business growth during a recession.

Strategy 1: Continue Marketing to Your Existing Clients

Focusing on your existing clients is one of the most effective marketing strategies for a recession. A loyal customer base is one of the best assets during a recession because it's cheaper, and definitely more effective to reach this client base than focusing on new customers.

Existing clients are already aware of your products. They know what you can deliver and trust you to always come through for them when necessary.

During an economic crisis when you are trying to keep your operational costs low, you will not spend much to connect with your existing customers. You already have their contacts and can keep in touch with them through emails.  

On the other hand, new customers know nothing about your business. They are also not in the mood to buy with the economy in shambles. As such, it would take a lot of effort and resources to convince them to buy.

Save yourself the trouble and use your limited resources to engage your existing customers. Use these marketing strategies for recession to get more current customers to buy from your brand:

  • Give exclusive discounts – Use a tool like Copper sales management tool to find the products that are popular with your customers and create exclusive discounts for those products.
  • Create a loyalty program – Use the best e-commerce tools to start a customer loyalty program where customers earn rewards for buying more from your business.

Sephora has a wildly popular customer loyalty program called Sephora Beauty Insider. Through the loyalty program, customers earn reward points they can redeem for things like discounts and gift cards.

Image via Sephora
  • Find upsell and cross-sell opportunities – When a customer buys from your brand, recommend relevant products to go with their purchase. Ensure you give them an incentive or discount to encourage them to buy more.

Strategy 2: Focus on the Customer Experience

Today’s market is driven by authenticity and great customer service. 61% of millennials are ready to pay more for a better customer experience. That’s why improving the customer experience is one of the best marketing strategies for recession.

Image via Statista

When you make your customers happy, they give great reviews about your business. This will help you attract even more customers, which will help you increase your sales.

During a recession, customers are only looking to spend their limited resources on brands that guarantee quality.

They use online reviews to determine which brands to buy from. That’s why focusing on the customer experience is one of the most powerful marketing strategies for recession.

There are a few marketing strategies for recession you can use to improve the customer experience during a crisis. They include:

  • Provide quality products – Customers are more careful about how they spend their money during a recession. To get them to pay for your products or services, you need to ensure they are of high quality.
  • Provide excellent customer service – Besides great products, you also need to provide great customer service. Listen to your customers and act on their feedback. Deliver their products quickly when they make a purchase and always maintain a positive attitude when interacting with clients.
  • Find ways to improve – Don’t stop innovating just because we’re in an economic crisis. Find ways to make your products better and deliver high-quality services to your customers.

Strategy 3: Use Email Marketing to Engage Clients

Email marketing is one of the marketing strategies for recession you need to focus on during an economic crisis. Your loyal customers have been with you during the good times and they will also support you during the tough times.

All you have to do is reach out to them via email and reiterate your brand promise. When sending these emails, make sure you personalize them for each customer.

Address each customer by name. Thank them for staying loyal to your brand for all that time. Appreciate them for always recommending your products and acting as your brand ambassador.

At the end of the email, inform them of the amazing products and offers you have for them. Your customers will be happy to hear from you and excited to buy your products.

A photo of two well dressed people working on a whiteboard, while holding a laptop.

Strategy 4: Competitor Analysis

When things get tough, ensure you add competitor analysis to your marketing strategies for recession. The competition for customers will get stiffer during a recession, and the only way to stay in business is to outdo other brands in your space.

Study the marketing strategies for recession your competitors are using to attract customers and capitalize on their failures.

Strategy 5: Leverage the Power of Social Media to Connect with Diverse Audiences

When businesses need to cut costs during a recession, marketing is always the first thing on the chopping block. While this is understandable to keep your business payments low, don’t go slow on marketing just because you have slashed your budget.

Instead, you want to find cheaper marketing strategies for a recession like social media marketing. You don’t have to pay anything to talk about your products on social media. And even if you do, social media advertising is very cheap while delivering a great ROI for businesses.

The following tips come in handy when you need to create a social media strategy to engage your target audience:

  • Create a content calendar – To maximize your reach on social media, you need to post regularly on your preferred platforms. Create a content calendar that will inform you when and how often you publish posts on social media. If possible, create the content beforehand and schedule it to be published on your pages at specific times.
  • Use keywords and hashtags to increase discoverability – Make sure you include relevant keywords and hashtags in your content to increase discoverability. This will ensure your posts are displayed to users when they perform a search or click a hashtag.
  • Prioritize visual content – Social media users prefer visual content to text-only posts. For this reason, social media algorithms also promote visual content to give users the best experience. That’s why it’s important to prioritize visual content when posting on social media.
  • Interact with your followers – Engage your followers when they interact with your post to build a community for your brand. This will portray your business as friendly and help you attract customers.
A photo of an ongoing photoshoot of a model showing off shoes.

Strategy 6: Use Content Marketing to Show Your Expertise

Of all the marketing strategies for recession you can use to show your expertise, none is as effective as content marketing. This strategy allows you to attract prospective customers by offering them valuable information and content.

Video content marketing is more effective than other visual marketing for customer support and boosting brand awareness. For this reason, companies create videos and make edits using good video editing software to add subtitles, special effects, and music.

Nowadays, customers do a lot of research before buying a product. When times are tough, such as during a recession, you can expect them to research deeper to get value for their money.

By creating useful content and sharing it online, you demonstrate your expertise on a particular topic. By combining content marketing with your lead generation software, you will attract the attention of potential customers, drive high-quality traffic to your website, and boost sales.

Use the following marketing strategies for recession to create a content marketing plan:

  • Establish a blog – A blog is an excellent way to share valuable information with your customers. It’s also an effective way to earn backlinks to improve your on-page SEO. Just ensure you update your blog with current information regularly.
  • Share content that inspires action – To improve your conversion rate, you need to publish content that encourages customer interaction. For example, you can publish a portion of an informative guide and ask users to give their contact details to receive the full post.  


An economic recession spells doom for many businesses. Without the right marketing strategies to weather the storm, many businesses don’t survive the tough times.

With economists predicting that the US is set to enter a recession, you want to be proactive and make your business recession-proof. The marketing strategies for recession shared above will fuel your business growth and help you find success in an economic crisis.

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