Recessions are always scary, yet surprisingly frequent. The US has sneezed and the world has caught a cold 13 times since 1945. 

Human nature means we forget that the next big recession should be around the corner, and focus on the good times happening in the here and now.

And here we are again, in 2022, with another recession caused by a sudden and shocking convergence of macro-economic and geo-political events.

So, when you combine the challenge of the recession with the end of the tracking cookies, you have a perfect storm for marketers desperate to deliver improved Return On Ad Spend (ROAS).

When consumer purse strings tighten, many industries feel a revenue drop, and marketing budgets are often the target of finance teams keen to ‘trim the fat’. 

Coupled with the death of performance metrics from paid media, the end of ‘last touch’ or ‘multi-touch’ attribution, talented marketers will have to work extra hard to keep the wolves from the door!

So how can you recession proof your marketing? Here are a few ideas to help your planning.

  1. Focus on creating value for your customers. Customers are cautious about spending money during a recession so it’s important to impress them with the value of your offer for the money you are asking them to spend. This can be in the form of high-quality products or services, competitive prices, or added value such as discounts or special offers.
  1. Diversify your marketing channels. Don’t rely on just one marketing channel to reach your customers. Instead, use a mix of channels such as social media, email marketing, content marketing, and paid advertising to reach different audiences and increase your chances of success.
  1. Keep an eye on your competitors. Monitor what they are doing and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly. This could involve offering similar products or services at a lower price, or differentiating your offering by highlighting unique features or benefits.
  1. Be agile and adaptable. Be prepared to change your marketing strategy if necessary. This might involve shifting your focus to more cost-effective channels, or offering new products or services that are more relevant to your customers’ needs during a recession.
  1. Speak and listen to your customers. Keep your customers informed about any changes to your products or services, and listen to their feedback. This will help you to understand their needs and preferences, and adjust your marketing accordingly.
  1. Foster a culture of experimentation. Be prepared to test and learn with every piece of content, optimising your copy and the relevance of your message to even the smallest, most niche audience segments in your database. Leverage the power of Machine Learning with tools like UPLIFT to move beyond cookie-cutter A/B testing methodology. Start sending highly-targeted content to smaller groups, more frequently, to drive better results from your existing customer base.
  1. Get more value from your first and zero party data. The world of marketing technology has gone supersonic with Machine Learning-driven segmentation. You no longer need to hire and train an expensive data scientist to do wizardry on your dusty data. Using cost-effective tools like PREDICT you can identify audience opportunities in minutes. Using a clean, no-code interface, you can spot look-alike customers to your best performing segments in your dusty data, target them accordingly, and turn data coal into data gold. Ultimately, squeezing more bang from your buck!

If you want to learn more about how you can foster a culture of experimentation, reach out to John (john@iota-ml.com) for a 15-minute intro to the platform.