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Advertising / Brand Awareness Brand / Advertising Advertising Campaign

4 fearful strategies for brands to avoid during a recession



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March 23, 2023 | 4 min read

The world is going through a lot amidst a widespread pandemic, job losses, global crisis, and rising inflation

Both businesses and customers have endured a lot over the last few years. As we prepare for another recession (or remain in one, depending on who you ask), you may be hesitant to invest significantly in advertising and other marketing initiatives.

You're not alone if you're feeling anxious about all of it. Bear in mind that we have been through more than a dozen recessions throughout the twentieth century, all of which we have survived and will be able to do so again. While it may feel natural to begin cutting budgets, research suggests that businesses that did not reduce their marketing spend bounced back strongly — if not better — than before.

Rather than panicking, keep your brand agile and be prepared to respond to the economy's unpredictable swings. Your brand will succeed with adequate planning and strategy, and we've compiled some helpful advice to assist you get through these trying times.

Pitfalls to avoid in a recession

Economic uncertainty might be terrifying, but hasty reactions will result in long-term repercussions. Avoiding common traps of distressed “recession-proofing” is key! Take advantage of this opportunity to strengthen your current marketing efforts and prepare to gain a larger share of voice while your competitors fade from view! There are several strategies to rethink your brand's marketing amid a crisis, including concentrating on current clients, figuring out your own market niche, or even conducting some market research.

But how can you deal with panicked thinking that you may not be aware would be detrimental in the long run? We've been supporting brands for over two decades and have learnt a thing or two about navigating an economic slump. Let’s dive in.

1. Don't stop brand advertising

When advertisers feel the pinch, upper-funnel strategies & budgets seem to be the first to get the axe. Avoid falling into the trap. During the last recession, six out of 10 advertisers who reduced brand advertising spending saw a 20% or more significant drop in revenue.

Use story-driven ad formats to create positive emotional associations proving your brand cares. When the markets recover, building loyalty will pay off.

2. Don't stick only to lower CPMs

When sales are slow, lower CPMs become more appealing. Expensive, larger ad units become more difficult to justify when the goal is to maximize impressions and get the most bang for your buck. Another trap!

Splashy, high-impact executions work more than twice as hard as standard assets to capture visual attention and brand memorability. To help accelerate the purchasing process, go big or go home.

3. Don't lose your share of voice

When times are good, you should advertise. When times are challenging, you must advertise. If a similar-sized competitor doubles its marketing investment, an average brand could lose nearly 15% of its business.

100% SOV takeover opportunities eliminate all competition-related noise and make it impossible for brands to go unnoticed, particularly in highly sought-after, contextually relevant environments.

4. Don't try to figure it all out on your own

We know it's not easy to ask for help, but figuring out everything yourself will cost you more time and money. Kargo, founded nearly 20 years ago, has been a trusted advertising partner, helping brands stay relevant, cultivating connections, and driving meaningful sales in good and bad times.

When it comes to capturing and retaining consumer attention, we know that differentiated ad experiences on high-quality content deliver better business outcomes regardless of the state of the world.

Guiding your brand through economic instability

During these uncertain times, we at Kargo are happy to act as partners to brands of all sizes. From advertising strategy to designing beautiful creatives, our omnichannel advertising solutions can help your brand.

Unfortunately, recessions cause chaos in the marketplace, which no brand can predict. Brands that weather the storm and emerge ready to compete, on the other hand, may emerge stronger than ever. Keep your brand competitive and lean, and keep an eye out for the aforementioned common recession traps.

Reach out to our team of experts for guidance, and together we’ll assist your brand manage these challenging times.

Advertising / Brand Awareness Brand / Advertising Advertising Campaign


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