Four Fearful Strategies to Avoid to Survive Economic Instability

September 14, 2022

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Bradley Umane

Global crisis. A widespread pandemic. Rising inflation. The past few years have definitely put businesses and consumers through the wringer. As we face another recession (or continue to be in one, depending on who you ask), you may be feeling less than emboldened to spend big on advertising and other marketing efforts.

If you’re feeling uneasy about all of this, you’re not alone. Keep in mind, since the 20th century, the United States has been through more than a dozen recessions — all of which we have gotten through and will be able to do again! So, while it may feel right to start cutting budgets, research shows that brands that did not decrease their marketing spend have bounced back strongly — if not better than before. 

Instead of panicking, keep your brand agile and be ready to adapt to the chaotic swings of the economy. Through proper planning and strategy, your brand will come out ahead — and we’ve put together some helpful tips to get you through these trying times.

Pitfalls to Avoid in a Recession

Economic uncertainty can be frightening, but knee-jerk reactions will lead to lingering challenges. Avoiding common traps of distressed “recession-proofing” is key! Take this time to double down on your current marketing efforts and get ready to reap a larger share of voice as your competitors shrink from the spotlight! There are several ways to reimagine your brand's marketing during a crisis, such as focusing on existing customers, identifying unique business positioning, or even conducting a bit of market research.

But how can you address panicked thinking that you may not know will be harmful in the long term? We've supported brands for over twenty years and learned a thing or two on how to navigate an economic downturn. Let’s dive in.


  1. DON’T! Race to the Bottom:

When advertisers are feeling the squeeze, upper funnel tactics intuitively seem like the first thing to hit the chopping block. Don’t fall for the trap. In the last recession, 6 out of 10 advertisers who cut brand advertising spend saw revenue fall by 20% or more.

Be genuine and authentic and utilize story-driven ad formats to create positive emotional associations proving your brand cares. Building loyalty will pay off when markets recover.


2. DON’T! Stick with the Standard:

Lower CPMs become increasingly attractive when sales are slow. Expensive, larger ad units become harder to justify when the goal is to maximize impressions and get the biggest bang for your buck. Another trap!

Splashy, high-impact executions work more than twice as hard in capturing visual attention and brand memorability vs. standard assets. Go big or go home to accelerate the path to purchase!


3. DON’T! Lose Your Voice:

In times of prosperity, you should advertise. In times of hardship, you must advertise. An average brand could lose almost 15% of its business if a similar-sized competitor doubles its marketing investment.

100% SOV takeover opportunities block out all noise from competitors and make it impossible for brands to go unnoticed, especially in highly coveted, contextually relevant environments.


4. DON’T! Go at it Alone:

Asking for help is hard. Kargo, founded almost 20 years ago, has been a trusted advertising partner helping brands stay relevant, cultivate connections and drive meaningful sales through the good times and the bad. 

When it comes to capturing and keeping consumer attention, we know differentiated ad experiences on high-quality content deliver better business outcomes no matter the state of the world.


Guiding Your Brand Through Economic Instability

At Kargo, we’re happy to act as partners to brands of all sizes during these uncertain times. Our omnichannel advertising solutions can help your brand from strategy to beautiful creatives.

Unfortunately, recessions bring chaotic changes to the marketplace that no brand can predict. However, brands that weather the storm and emerge ready to compete can come out of this stronger than ever. Keep your brand competitive and lean, and don't forget to watch out for the aforementioned common traps that a recession can bring.

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

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