Colleagues working on a digital advertising campaign.

Benefits to Advertising in an Economic Downturn

ACTIVE Network
August 24, 2020

Thanks in part to the Covid-19 pandemic; much of the economy has taken a downturn. Accordingly many community organizations and non-profits are tightening up spending and taking a closer look at budgets. If you’re trying to cut costs, it might be tempting to slash your marketing budget, but that could be a mistake. Research has shown that there are actually many benefits to advertising during a recession. Here’s why you should maintain and perhaps even increase your advertising spending.

A report from the Harvard Business Review showed that when brands increase advertising during an economic downturn, particularly when their competitors are scaling back, brands could bolster their market share and return on investment. And most importantly, this can be done at a lower cost compared to when the economy is flourishing.

When deciding where to spend your marketing dollars, pay attention to the platform—digital is the way to go. The benefits of social media advertising during lean times are two fold—Facebook and Instagram ads can reach targeted demographics while also costing less than other forms of advertising (television, print, etc.).

Still need to be convinced? Here are some great reasons to continue advertising no matter the economic forecast.

You can take advantage of less competition.

If your competitors pull back on their ad spending, it can be a great time to increase your market share and/or share of voice. With fewer ads competitor for a consumer’s attention, you won’t need to buy as much to make an impact.

During economic downturns, it’s often a (media) buyer’s market.

Now is the time to work on negotiating rates and asking for value adds. When times are lean, your marketing dollar needs to work harder and go farther.

Increased screen time = more eyes on your ads.

With more people connecting virtually and spending additional time in front of screens, you’ll likely get more bang for your marketing buck right now.

Now is a great time to focus on the consumer’s emotional connection with your brand or service.

Many consumers are eliminating luxuries and focusing on the necessities. Be aware of this when advertising. Perhaps it’s the time to spotlight a virtual yoga class rather than a private personal training package.

Regardless of budgets, it’s always a good idea to work on fostering a positive emotional connection with your brand. Are you a summer camp? Consider running ads featuring images or videos of past summers. A picturesque canoe ride or campfire can be just the thing families need to get excited for next summer.

Many YMCAs and parks departments are partnering with the community on food drives and other types of service. While it may not be what you’d traditionally advertise about, running ads showcasing your community work is great way to boost your reputation. When programs are back to normal, people will remember how you helped in a time of crisis.

The current economic downturn won’t last forever, so when you’re planning your marketing spend, remember your organization’s long-term goals.

Set yourself up for success.

See how ACTIVE can help your organization grow.
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