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Investing in Marketing During a Downturn: A Strategic Move for Industrial and Commercial Businesses



When an economic downturn hits, industrial and commercial sector businesses often face the dilemma of cutting costs or continuing to invest in critical areas of their business. One area that frequently comes under scrutiny is marketing. While the industrial and commercial sectors might consider reducing their marketing budgets to save costs, compelling evidence suggests that maintaining or even increasing marketing investment during a downturn can benefit future growth.

1. Standing Out in a Quieter Market

The best time to stand out, is a downturn.

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Amid the doom and gloom of an economic downturn, slashing marketing budgets seems like the go-to move for most businesses. But here’s a twist: what if I told you that ramping up your marketing in these times is like being the only ray of sunshine on a cloudy day? While your competitors are playing a game of budget-cutting limbo, your business can be the peacock among pigeons, strutting its colourful marketing feathers in a monochrome market.

Think of it as your brand sending out the bat signal while others are hitting the snooze button. And with ad costs dropping like hot potatoes, your marketing dollars suddenly turn into supercharged, budget-friendly ninjas. It’s like shopping at a discount sale but for ads!

Being bold with your marketing during a downturn is like showing up at a costume party when everyone else forgot to dress up – you get noticed! Plus, it’s a golden opportunity to jazz up your marketing strategies. Investing in marketing now is not just brilliant; it’s essential for your business’s future growth.

2. Building Long-Term Customer Relationships

Not just survive but thrive.

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In the rollercoaster world of economics, downturns are like those unexpected drops that have everyone screaming. But, in this topsy-turvy scenario, there’s a golden ticket: strengthening relationships with your existing customers. Think of it as hosting a delightful tea party amidst a thunderstorm. Continuing to market during these times, with a dash of value-driven supportive messaging, is like serving your guests the finest tea blend.

It shows your customers that you’re not just a fair-weather friend but a sturdy umbrella in the storm. This consistent and caring approach is like a secret handshake that reassures customers of your unwavering commitment and stability, solidifying your bond.

3. Capitalising on Lower Advertising Costs

There is no time better than during a downturn.

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An economic downturn is like spotting a kangaroo on a trampoline – it’s unexpected, but still, it has its upsides, especially regarding advertising costs. They drop faster than a koala off a eucalyptus tree after a long nap! This creates a ripper of an opportunity for savvy people in the industrial and commercial sectors. Suddenly, stretching your marketing dollar becomes easy.

With these lower ad costs, you can get your message out as far and wide as the Australian outback, reaching new customers who might’ve never heard of your brand. And here’s the best part – you can try out new marketing channels without betting the farm. It’s like having a go at surfing in safer waters where the only thing you risk is a bit of pride, not your board. So, when a downturn starts hitting your bottom line, think of reduced advertising costs as a chance to be bolder with your marketing because, let’s face it, playing it safe in marketing is like a crocodile in a ballet class – it just doesn’t make a splash!

4. Gaining a Competitive Advantage

Get ahead of your competitors while they sleep at the wheel.

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During a downturn, where many businesses might hit the brakes on their marketing efforts, choosing to continue your marketing endeavours can be a game-changing strategy. It’s a bit like deciding to keep running in a marathon while others are taking a breather – your continued effort doesn’t just keep you in the race; it potentially puts you miles ahead. By pushing forward with your marketing when others are retreating, your business emerges as a beacon of resilience.

This approach doesn’t just maintain your presence in the market; it amplifies it, setting your business apart as a leader in your field. And when the tide of the economy turns, bringing with it a wave of recovery, your business is perfectly poised to ride this wave. The groundwork laid during the tougher times can blossom into an increased market share as your business reaps the rewards. Continuing to market during a downturn is not just about weathering the storm; it’s about building a lighthouse that guides your business to new heights when the skies clear.

5. Innovating and Refining Marketing Strategies

Take the time to reflect while it’s quieter.

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While challenging, a downturn presents a prime opportunity for businesses to introspect and innovate their marketing strategies. Think of it as a strategic pit stop in a relentless race, where you have the chance to fine-tune your engine. This is the time to scrutinize your existing marketing efforts keenly, discerning what’s effective and discarding what’s not.

It’s an open playground for experimentation – a chance to test new digital platforms, explore varied content formats, or even revamp your brand messaging. This isn’t just about making minor adjustments; it’s about a complete overhaul of your marketing approach tailored to navigate the unique challenges of a downturn. By using this period to refine and innovate, you’re effectively setting the stage for your business to emerge more resilient and ahead of the curve once the market recovers.

6. Enhancing Digital Presence

Build your brand presence even higher.

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In the ever-evolving digital landscape, where the online realm becomes increasingly central to business success, maintaining or ramping up online marketing efforts is beneficial and crucial. The unique context of an economic downturn provides a silver lining; it’s the perfect moment to bolster your digital presence. This is when potential customers, more than ever, turn to the internet for solutions, making it an opportune time to capture their attention.

For businesses, particularly in the industrial and commercial sectors, where digital footprints are ever-widening, investing in a robust digital marketing strategy isn’t just throwing a line in the water; it’s casting a wide, well-prepared net in a sea teeming with online opportunities. This approach is far from a mere stop-gap measure; it’s a strategic investment that promises substantial returns, ensuring that your business stays afloat and sails ahead in the digital waters, even amidst economic ebbs and flows.


While it may seem counterintuitive, investing in marketing during a downturn is strategic for industrial and commercial sector businesses. It offers unique opportunities to stand out in the market, build stronger customer relationships, gain a competitive advantage, and set the stage for growth in the rebound. Remember, downturns are temporary, but the brand equity and customer loyalty built during these challenging times can have lasting benefits.

If you want to make this year the best year for your business, why not book a strategic planning session with us? We can go over your entire business to help you identify growth opportunities.

Live Large and Take Charge – Coach Cam


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