In Tough Economic Times, the Small Businesses that Increase Marketing Win

During tough times, the knee-jerk reaction of every small business is to downsize its marketing.

In a recession, the safe and more obvious decision based on general economic numbers would be against boosting your marketing.

Inflation is at or over nine percent, and consumer sentiment has been on a downward spiral since the pandemic. Not to mention, material and production costs are way up.

While it may seem counterintuitive, the best course of action in a recession signals that you should be more aggressive in your marketing efforts.

Here is why now is the time to push your marketing harder and how to protect your business from new risk exposure associated with marketing using media liability insurance...

marketing in a recession

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Budgets are Limited, But Business Opportunities are Not

As a small business owner, you are probably concerned about the economy. But you also have your own plans for your business. Even when money is tight, you cannot stop.

As any marketer will know, marketing budgets are the first to be slashed during an economic downturn.

However, marketing isn't like a light switch that you can turn on and off. In the digital age, marketing never stops.

Word of mouth and viral content are mediums in which a single post can reach more potential clients than television or print ads.

Even before the dawn of social media, advertisers were more than willing to double down on their marketing efforts. Since the roaring 20s, many companies have stopped marketing because they’re putting their cards close to their chest, and smart business owners have taken advantage of the lull.

Businesses advertising their goods when the competition is closed can take over the market.

A lack of marketing means that you miss out on lucrative business opportunities. You need low-cost digital marketing methods like social media, email marketing, and email marketing to stay in the game.

Today's marketing landscape rewards risk-takers and innovative thinkers. Digital marketing is personal, needs-driven, and unprecedentedly targeted.

This means that a good marketer can take risks with content that generates leads and with content that tests the boundaries of both societal and industry norms.

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Bold Advertisers Have Lower Cost-per-Click During The Recession

In a recession, people think that advertising space becomes scarce.

The truth is that businesses have more open markets. Buyers can’t stop buying if they feel a product alleviates their pains.

Marketers that stop offering their products and services lose out while their segments blow wide open. Marketers are forced to seek out different media options to reach their audience. 

If your competitors are slashing their advertising budget, it does not mean that you should follow suit. On the contrary, you should be more aggressive in your advertising.

A competitor’s lack of advertising means more opportunity to capture valuable consumer mind space and market share. 

During a recession, cost-per-click (CPC) is cheaper. It is because you compete with many advertisers for the same handful of clients. Competition lowers prices. 

Bold advertisers can go toe-to-toe with larger competitors for a piece of the pie. You can increase your exposure, client base, and profits by developing an aggressive marketing strategy. 

When competitors are decreasing their marketing budgets, it provides a golden opportunity to overtake the market. When you are the only advertiser in your space, you are more visible to your audience. 

Brand recognition is much easier to establish when you are the only option. People are drawn to things that deviate from the norm. Being the first to discover someone new or see something different makes exploitation marketing lucrative. 

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Smaller Firms Can be More Agile In A Recession

Being small affords you several advantages. As a small firm, you have lower operating costs, fewer employees, and fewer assets.

These advantages allow you to be more flexible than larger firms, which can be weighed down by bureaucracy and red tape. 

Being small gives you the freedom to respond to the market. When the market changes, you can adapt faster. You can enter the market with a unique offering or offer better deals.  

Smaller firms also take on fewer clients. This means that your brand has a greater opportunity to make a deeper connection with them. These advantages can result in higher customer satisfaction.  

You can pursue the opportunities that your competitors are dropping. You can jump on marketing opportunities that are being underexploited.  

The slow market means that you can take advantage of lucrative advertising deals. A great deal or hot offer can attract clients. You can boost your sales even before the economy recovers.  

You can help your customers by providing affordable services and solutions if your customers are hurting. You can offer discounts, extensions, and loyalty discounts during hard times.  

You can still make money by providing virtual services if you offer services. You can offer your advice and consultation services online.

You can digitize your product so that it is cheaper to produce. You can offer your clients more value and charge them less.

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No Need To Reinvent Marketing To Succeed 

The key to surviving a recession is not to rethink how marketing works but to beef it up.

Times of crisis mean higher wages and surpluses; some people; can take vacations and buy things. There’s also consistent demand for specific products. As marketers, you aim to attract these spenders to your brand.  

One of the best ways to reach these extra spenders is to create marketing that they will respond to. If your target market is price-sensitive, then target them with relevant deals.  

If your target market is aspirational, then position your brand as aspirational. If your target market is status conscious, use your marketing to capture that group’s attention.  

Don’t focus all of your marketing on price, status, or on aspiration. 

Marketing isn’t just about selling; it's about identifying your customers’ problems and providing a solution to that pain. 

As marketers, you are not here to appear like we know our customers superficially. Instead, we want to genuinely understand our customers and their problems to offer them something of value.

When you focus on offering value, you position yourself as someone providing a solution to a customer. This nonassertive approach makes it seem like you are giving something.

Protecting Your Brand With Media Liability Insurance


The media liability insurance market has proliferated in recent years. It is no longer enough to protect your property and assets. You can also save your reputation from slander, libel, and harmful content.  

When you don't advertise, someone else will take your place. It is when you advertise that you protect yourself from competitors.  

A good media liability insurance policy will provide you with legal expertise to defend you against allegations.

It will negotiate with the claimant's lawyer and cover all legal costs. The correct media liability insurance policy will deter the claimant from filing the suit.

The right media liability insurance policy will also provide crisis communication assistance. You can use it to salvage your public relations.

You can contain the crisis when your audience reads about you in negative press. You can minimize damages and build a better relationship with the affected parties. 

Why You Need A Media Liability Insurance Policy

The scope of media liability insurance is broad. It covers defamation, copyright infringement, plagiarism, and invasion of privacy.

The right media liability insurance policy will protect you if your business is exploited through advertising.  

The law is changing, and it favors consumers more than ever. They are increasingly able to find better lawyers to seek greater justice. Nowadays, one lousy review could derail a business.  

As a small business, one lawsuit could threaten your business. Companies can't thrive when they keep dipping into cash reserves to fund legal fees.

You will need a legal expert to defend you against claims. You will need legal expertise to negotiate with the claimant's lawyers.  

The best media liability insurance policies cover legal expenses to defend you against allegations. A good policy will also enable you to negotiate legal costs. The right policy will deter the claimant from filing a lawsuit in the first place. 

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Marketing During The Recession Today Helps You Win Tomorrow

In a recession, businesses should increase their marketing.

The slow market means that you can take advantage of lucrative advertising deals. Help your customers by providing affordable services and solutions if your customers are hurting.

Protect your brand with media liability insurance and capture your audience with bold marketing tactics that work.

At Rogue Risk, we believe a solid commercial insurance program provides the sustainability needed for businesses to take the necessary risks for profitable growth.

If this is the relationship you want with your insurance broker, we would love to talk to you.

I look forward to introducing you to a new way of viewing your insurance program.

Thank you,

Ryan Hanley



  • Article by Sophia Young

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