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  • Data-Backed Marketing Direction Regarding Recessions

    August 16, 2022 | About a 2 min read

    Blog, Marketing

    Data-Backed Marketing Direction Regarding Recessions

    By Pathfinders Advertising
    August 16, 2022
    About a 2 MIN read

    It’s 100% understandable – when you’re staring down the barrel of a potential economic downturn and hear “recession”, you may immediately react with “we have to cut spending.”

    But is that the right response?

    The short answer is no. Unless your goal is to decrease your net income then the data shows you need to take a different approach.

    A Wealth of Knowledge to Guide You

    Whenever you are faced with this situation, remember – this is not the first recession that the US has gone through. We have a veritable bounty of valuable historical data to guide us.

    Numerous studies have been conducted since World War II. This includes work from the following:

    • American Business Press: They have continuously been studying and reporting findings on recession data since 1949
    • McGraw Hill: Conducted a study on the 1980s recession involving 600 companies across 16 different industries
    • Meldrum & Fewsmith: Conducted a series of six research studies of recessions
    • Penton Research Services, Coopers & Lybrand, in conjunction with Business Science International: Conducted research on the 1990-1991 recession

    What the Data Conclusively Shows

    All of their findings showed that aggressive spending on marketing and advertising during a recession greatly benefited the brands both in the short- and long-term.

    256% – that’s how much higher sales were for brands that aggressively marketed and advertised during the 1980s recession (MacTech). Those who chose not to advertise during the recession? They only saw about an 18% increase in sales after the recession.


    • Brands were able to solidify their customer base
    • Opportunity allowed them to increase market share
    • Because they were more visible and top of mind, they took business away from competitors that less aggressively marketed and advertised
    • These brands took advantage of opportunities to reposition products to meet new customer needs and got those products in front of those customers
    • Because of all the above, they were positioned well to capitalize on growth opportunities coming out of the recession

    A look back at the recent “coronavirus crash” of 2020 shows how those brands that focused on consumer retention and relevance (staying top of mind with consumers) have been some of the top performers that came out of that recession.

    The Data Doesn’t Mince Words

    Don’t get caught in the trap of being reactive.

    The data is robust, and it’s clear. The brands that spend aggressively on marketing and advertising during a recession come out ahead.

    Still questioning? Let’s talk. Pathfinders has helped brands and their marketing efforts traverse multiple recessions over our 43+ years in business. As your partner agency we’re committed to helping you get the most out of your marketing efforts, and we’ve got your back.

    Whether you reach out or not, remember – in a recession, investing in marketing and advertising absolutely matters.

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