A Digital Marketer’s Advise On How To Prepare For Recession

So, wait, let us get this straight, after surviving the COVID-19 pandemic and about to achieve normalcy,  we now have to face the impending recession. Some experts predict that this recession will be the worst since the 1980s, and the economic disruptions are likely to hit in the first quarter of 2023. 

With geopolitical instability increasing across the globe, global banks have taken drastic measures to hike up interest rates to cope with the inflation, which reached 9.1% year over year in June 2022, the highest reading in over 40 years. With this, we can also predict that the stock market prices will plummet and become extremely volatile as well.

How does the recession relate to digital marketing? This is where, Primal, as a digital agency in Malaysia, comes in. In this article, we will discuss some potential effects of the recession and how companies can prepare for it.

The recession can have disparate effects on businesses all, depending on the type of business you run.

Source: Freepik

Digital Marketing During Recession: Should You Still Do It?

While the future may seem uncertain, one thing is clear: digital marketing is here to stay. If you have the budget, it may be wise to double down on your marketing efforts. Although the economy is in a bad state right now, your business can still flourish as long as you know how to adapt and use it correctly. After all, even if people have less money to spend during tough times, they are more likely to search for services or products that they need at a cheaper price. This makes it easier for small businesses to gain new customers who would otherwise be unreachable through traditional methods of advertising.

During the Great Recession of 2008, businesses in the US slashed their advertising and marketing budgets by 13%, which proved to be an unsuccessful strategy. In fact, Market Sense stock noted that businesses which performed both long-term and digital marketing strategies during the 90s recession grew leaps and bounds compared to businesses that didn’t. However, before prepping for digital marketing, a safety net is important in your business. Whether it’s having emergency savings or clearing your credit card debt and high-interest debt, all these ensure your SME comes out the other side of the recession unscathed. Continuing or increasing your marketing budget ultimately comes down to what makes the most sense for your bottom line. 

How much cash reserve your business has in the end ultimately decides whether you can survive the recession

Source: Pexels


Nevertheless, apprehension during the recession is common, and business owners are bound to put digital marketing at the back of their heads. Well, read on to see how companies can use digital marketing to weather the recession.

How To Prepare For A Recession With Digital Marketing?

1. Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers rather than pushing your products and services on them, which works well during both good times and bad. With inbound marketing, content is king! To get started with inbound marketing, you can use tools like HubSpot or Google Analytics to gather data about your target audience, create useful content that appeals to them, and optimise your website, so it ranks higher in search results.

Taking a step back and focusing on “essential expenses” can be great for realigning your business priorities

Source: Pexels

2. Widen Your Customer Base

As we face the potential recession, it’s important to take steps to protect and grow your business. One effective strategy is to expand your customer base by targeting new markets that may be less affected by the economic downturn. This can be done through running your digital marketing campaign in new geographical regions or selling your products in international markets. 

3. Focus on Customer Retention

It may seem counterintuitive, but focusing on customer retention can actually help your business thrive during hard times in the economy. When customers feel secure with their current provider, they’re much less likely to switch over to a competitor when they need products or services. This means that it’s more important than ever to make your customers feel valued and appreciated through things.

Set your financial priorities now before it’s too late!

Source: Freepik


4. Create Empathy with Your Campaign

Wholesome ads go a long way and especially during a recession when people are struggling with financial stability and job loss. Throughout the recession and other tumultuous times, it’s best to shift the campaign time to be more empathetic. Though there are two schools of thought on this campaign messaging during a tumultuous time. While the recession in ’08 saw brands shifting towards more serious and logical content, certain studies also showed consumers responding positively to “feel good” campaigns.

The study also revealed that brands with a human touch connected with their audiences presenting a “knight in shining armour” image without appearing condescending. Look through your ad copies to ensure that content does not push sales too hard.

5. Search Engine Marketing

According to the Search Engine Journal Survey, search engine marketing, including PPC and especially SEO, has been said to be recession-proof. SEO gives an opportunity for businesses to grow online naturally, and it even gives the best long-term ROI.

Investing in SEO is like taking the tortoise approach to marketing. Sure, there may not be an immediate payoff, but you’re guaranteed a steady return over time! A Search Engine Journal survey found that despite digital distractions and trends coming and going – 48% of businesses still chose organic search for its reliable ROI, this goes as far back as 2018! Statista also revealed 32% of marketers worldwide prefer SEO because it offers consistent long-term results compared with other types of online advertising. Plus, unlike most forms of marketing, this type rewards effort rather than funding – so if your business wants to stay afloat during economic downturns, then focusing on good old-fashioned SEO with the right SEO agency could just do the trick.

As a business owner, keeping your personal finance a separate entity also helps your business and you to not face the full effects of the recession.

Source: Freepik

Let Primal Malaysia Help Your Business Thrive During The Recession

Remember that the key to successfully marketing yourself during a recession is staying ahead of the competition. Do some research on your competitors and identify any weaknesses that you can capitalise on. Additionally, try to stay up-to-date on the latest digital marketing trends, so you have a leg up on the competition when things get tough.

However, we understand how keeping up with trends on top of trying to stay afloat throughout a recession can be overwhelming. This is where a full-service digital agency comes in. What other digital agency but Primal Digital Agency to help your business weather the recession and come out the other side stronger. SEO services, SEM services, just name your service and our experts are ready to put our heads together and produce curated solutions to get your business just the boost it needs.