Blog: 4 reasons now is not the time to cut your marketing budget

US recession 2022.

According to Google Trends, searches for that phrase spiked in recent months.

According to Google Trends, searches for the phrase "US recession 2022" spiked in recent months.

While there is some debate about the current state of our economy, the reality is people are on edge. Whether we’re already in a recession, barreling into one, or narrowly avoiding it, businesses across Fort Wayne are asking the same question: What budgets can be trimmed to keep us afloat?

For many, that answer seems obvious. Marketing. It’s a quick fix that leaves other components of the business untouched.

As a content strategist at Reusser, a digital agency located in Roanoke, I know marketing budgets are a daily topic of conversation. However, even with a recession in mind, here are four reasons to point the budget ax somewhere else.

During the recession of 2008, overall ad spending in the US fell by 13 percent.

1. You don’t want competitors to pull ahead.

During the recession of 2008, overall ad spending in the US fell by 13 percent. That means plenty of companies pumped the brakes. However, the race between you and your competitors never ends. Reducing your advertising can create opportunities for other companies.

“During a recession, specifically, you shouldn't cut your budget because competitors might not,” says Erica Sullivan, Director of Digital at Reusser.  “You are giving them a competitive advantage.”

If an increase isn’t possible, simply maintaining your marketing budget while competitors pull back is one way to grab market share.

2. You don’t want to cut off communication with customers.

The most effective marketing is not a bullhorn. It’s a dialogue. Marketing allows you to start, progress, and evolve that conversation. Without it, for some customers, it can be as simple as out of sight, out of mind. If they stop hearing from you, it’s easy to forget you.

It’s also a two-way street. Marketing allows customers to communicate back to you. This can be direct, like comments on your social media, or indirect. If the response to your latest initiative is crickets, that’s a message you receive loud and clear.

By increasing your publishing cadence, you can continue to stay top-of-mind without actually spending money.


3. You don’t want 2023 to be the same old, same old.

You have big plans for next year. Whether you’re opening a new location, expanding your services, or stretching for new sales goals, word of mouth might not be enough. Marketing could be the fuel you need to make 2023 a success, and your customers don’t know what they don’t know.

Cutting your marketing budget could leave you stagnant or moving backward.

“Overall, it takes you off course from meeting your goals,” says Sullivan.


4. You don’t want to lose momentum.

Recessions end. Instead of getting caught up in the moment, it’s best to be prepared for when that happens. However, marketing isn’t a simple switch you can turn on and off. It’s more like a car left outside on a frigid night. It takes time to get going again. 

Companies that maintain their marketing keep learning and evolving while others are in hibernation.

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If the budget ax is unavoidable, it can be helpful to shift your focus to more free marketing opportunities. Organic social media and blogging are great examples. By increasing your publishing cadence, you can continue to stay top-of-mind without actually spending money. Just keep in mind that anything you post online should provide value to your audience. If not, you are easy to tune out.

Repurposing content is a smart, frugal solution for marketing on a budget.

Repurposing content is another smart, frugal solution. That blog post can be diced up into multiple social media posts. A video could be included in your monthly newsletter. Your most successful social posts could be repackaged into a lead magnet. Any time you invest the time and effort into creating content, look for multiple ways to use it.

Check out 2023 marketing trends for a variety of inexpensive solutions, such as utilizing user-generated content, promoting company values, and optimizing for voice search. A monetary push isn’t always required to stand out. Limitations can foster creativity. 

Our advice? Try something new. You’ll either earn or learn.