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Business growth in a recession – here’s what you need to know

4 mins read

It’s a challenging time for businesses everywhere. With the seemingly inevitable global recession, high inflation and historically high-interest rates, you might want to change your business tactics. 

Too often, companies respond to a recession by drastically reducing their marketing spending. Instead, optimising the marketing strategies you already have in place is the best move. Why waste your good ideas?

This blog will teach you exactly how to thrive in a recession.

How the recession is impacting marketing

The UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) predicts that inflation will continue to grow steadily, reaching 1.8% by 2023. This is a slower growth rate than seen in other parts of Europe and North America, but it still has significant implications for those living and doing business in the UK. 

Recessions can bring significant challenges for both businesses and consumers. Understanding how recessions affect consumer behaviour and the overall business environment is essential to remain competitive during these challenging times and thrive during a recession.

Effects on consumer behaviour

Recessions cause a decrease in demand for products and services, meaning consumers spend less money on goods and services than usual. Consumers are more likely to save their money rather than spend it, creating an uncertain market. 

Businesses can often take a hit as they face lower sales while still paying operational costs such as rent, salaries and utilities. Adapting to these changing consumer trends is necessary to make sure your business remains stable during a recession.

One way of addressing fluctuating customer demands is to adjust your product offering by including a discount through bundling. For example, buy three and get one free. The customer’s ultimate goal is to save money during a recession, so promoting savings will encourage them to keep spending instead of not spending at all. 

Want the lowdown? Watch our webinar "Marketing in a Recession" on-demand here. 

Cost-effective marketing strategies

By embracing a few simple strategies, companies can thrive in a recession, even with a limited marketing budget.


Embrace inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on attracting customers by providing highly valuable content and tailored experiences. It’s the opposite of traditional outbound marketing, which pushes your message out to as many people as possible, regardless of their interest. 

Inbound marketing involves creating content that speaks directly to potential customers’ needs and interests. This content can be in the form of blog posts, ebooks, social media posts, webinars or anything else that provides valuable information to your target audience. 

By delivering engaging content, you can build relationships with potential customers and establish yourself as an expert in the field.

Optimise your website with SEO

In addition to creating content that appeals to potential customers, inbound marketing also involves optimising your website for search engines like Google so that more people can find you online. This could include keyword research and SEO optimisation so your website ranks higher on search engine results pages. 

SEO tips from our specialists:

  • Keyword targeting in your content: Add keywords early on in your content but don’t do any keyword stuffing — adding in keywords multiple times unnecessarily
  • Writing meta titles and descriptions: Ensure they both contain the target keyword. Maximum length for titles is 60 characters and 160 for descriptions
  • Optimising images for page load speed: Compress the file size of images and use the correct format to improve page speed and loading time
  • Internal linking: You should have an internal linking structure, making it easier for users to navigate your website and for Google to understand. For example, adding a service page link to a blog post
  • Schema markup: Essentially, this is code you add to a website header that creates a rich snippet giving context to a webpage and improves the search experience

Track your PPC

If you want to get the most out of your online marketing strategy to thrive in a recession, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. 

However, it’s not just about firing up ads and hoping for the best. You need to ensure you have tracking setup to analyse and optimise your campaigns. 

If you don’t track where your money goes and what kind of results it delivers, you won’t be able to manage or optimise your campaigns effectively. ROI is an essential metric to track, particularly during a recession when budgets are tight and you need to spend your money wisely.

Tracking setup helps ensure that everything runs smoothly by providing valuable data about how people respond to each ad, such as which ones work better than others and how long they stay on each page after clicking through. 

This data will give you invaluable insights into where changes need to be made to improve results while keeping costs low.

Use the best of email marketing

With segmentation and A/B testing, you can improve your email campaigns and maximise their impact.

Segmentation involves splitting your contacts into smaller groups based on their behaviour or other criteria. 

A/B testing is when you compare two versions of an email campaign with slight variations to determine which performs better. It’s a great way to test different ideas and see what resonates with your audience.

Combined, you can create a powerful email marketing campaign with these two strategies. Start by segmenting your contacts into smaller lists with which your email content will resonate. This will help ensure you’re reaching the right people at the right time with the right offer. 

Then use A/B testing to help fine-tune the message and maximise its effectiveness. Try creating multiple variations of each element, such as different subject lines, content formats or call-to-actions (CTAs), which can greatly impact whether someone opens and engages with your email. 

Use case studies to your advantage

Case studies are an excellent tool to use during a recession because they build trust with your potential customers and are shareable content — essentially, free marketing for your business. 

During a recession, potential customers may need extra convincing. You will increase your chances of turning a lead into a customer by providing valuable insight into how well your services meet customer needs. 

Your customers can easily share your case studies online via social media, email or blogs, which can help market your brand — for free!


Building and maintaining customer relationships

One of the best ways to build and maintain customer relationships is through customer relationship management (CRM) tools and strategies. 

CRM helps companies understand their customers better by collecting data about them, allowing for better segmentation and targeted marketing efforts. It also allows companies to track customer engagement levels and loyalty over time so they can adjust their strategies accordingly. 

Another important way to build customer relationships is through communication and outreach efforts. Companies should use digital channels such as email newsletters or social media campaigns to reach and engage with their target audience.

Measuring and optimising performance 

When measuring your marketing campaigns’ performance, there are several key metrics you should be tracking. 

Firstly, tracking website traffic is essential for understanding how many people engage with your content. You can also look at conversion and customer engagement rates, which will give insight into how many people are taking the desired action from your campaign. 

Additionally, you should keep track of metrics such as cost per acquisition, return on investment and customer lifetime value. All of these metrics will help you understand whether or not your campaigns are bringing in results.

Learn more in our 'Thriving in a recession' webinar

Optimising your marketing strategies in tough economic times like these can help ensure your business continues to thrive even when times are hard.

Want an even deeper insight into these strategies and tips? Watch our webinar on-demand. 

Watch webinar on-demand