A View from our Global CEO, Steve Martin, on the Value of Marketing in a Recession

The past two years have been challenging for many across the globe.

As the world comes to terms with the recessions that are taking place in several countries, companies take a look internally into cost-saving techniques and ways to increase revenue during uncertain times. With many aspects to consider, there are two sides to the debate – one saying ‘cut the marketing spend first’, and the other that says ‘brands that advertise during a recession emerge stronger than the competition that cuts.’ But which side of the coin should brands and agencies take?

Our global CEO, Steve Martin, talked to LBB Online on why passions are a best bet in times of recession. Check out the full article on LBB here.

“As economic adversity looms, brands face the important decision of whether or not to protect marketing investments and prioritise long-term brand-building in the midst of a recession. This isn’t a new dilemma for brands; in fact, it’s familiar territory for brands which weathered the covid-19 pandemic. Covid taught us that passions are resilient to even the most challenging of circumstances. We learnt that the brands which continue to invest in marketing throughout times of great difficulty are ultimately the ones that win.

The reason for this is that passions are deep-rooted in the fabric of our everyday lives, they define us. In times of social and financial challenge, when the routines of day-to-day life are tough, we actually see consumers divert to their passions more. Brands should go into the market with value propositions, but the opportunity remains to capitalise on the current circumstances because people are, and always will be, most invested in the things they love.

We know that the rules of brand strategy don’t change in a recession. While sales strategies can afford to be versatile and flexible to meet consumers’ changing needs and reduce spending power, brand strategy should be a constant. Brand strategy isn’t built on everything being amazing all the time, it’s built on clarity, resilience, and the ability to endure the highs and lows of the times. Brands should be able to take recessionary hits without the brand itself being diluted. While those brands that do turn off brand strategy, risk turning off brand sales too”.

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