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  • Writer's pictureAmy Neilson

Hacks For Marketing In A Recession

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

What To Do With A Recession Looming?

It can be a bit scary the thought of marketing in the midst of a global financial crisis, following a global pandemic, but here is some food for thought to consider before you cut your budgets. Depending on your industry, now could be a good time to invest in marketing rather than cut back. So, here are some tips on marketing your business during a recession.

1. Shout While There Is Less Noise To Be Heard

Some of the most successful businesses, people and even global brands were born out of tough economic times. Why is it an opportunity? Everything is changing. Big brands are cutting budgets in order to get through and keep their staff, buildings, large fixed assets.

This creates a huge opportunity to small and medium size businesses as it means the world gets a lot less 'noisy'. Now is your time to invest and make your marketing $$ go further.

2. Use Wholesome Messaging To Highlight Your USP's Like Never Before

With people spending less in general, now is your time to highlight your Unique Selling Points (USP's). It is now that key messages like being 'NZ Made' 'Organic' 'Locally Owned & Operated' can be absolute gold. People are feeling quite vulnerable and so cleverly fighting for their attention with wholesome messaging that will make them feel good about not only your brand but also themselves is huge.

Customers buy from you when you make them feel good about themselves. No, really. Think about it. People buy NZ Made so that they can feel good in the knowledge that they are supporting a local business and turning their nose up at international corporations. They buy organic so that they feel good about that next bite of food or sip of wine they feel is simultaneously helping the environment (whilst their friends watch admiringly).

100% NZ Made Fashion with love in Central Otago - by Christinz Clothing

3. Consider How People Want To Feel - They Want To Feel Good

Ok, so this one is a little psychological and might seem a little sneaky, but here in wine country and a tourism and hospitality district, it's good to know none the less. The sad (but equally brilliant) fact you should know is that people DRINK MORE during a recession. They also smoke more and are more likely to spend money on small and simple pleasures to pick themselves up. Coffee shops - I hope you're reading this too.

During tough economic times people spend a much higher proportion of their income on 'demerit' goods. Which are goods that are worse for people than they perceive. These goods generally provide a quit hit of pleasure for a relatively high 'cost' - be that a premium price in a bar, a hangover or simply the oversight that spending that money elsewhere could have been a smarter investment.

This is incredible to know if you are a hedonistic brand - wine, coffee, bar, restaurant. Many will think the people will be spending less on these things. But last time I checked it was quite the opposite.

Quartz Reef Organic Wine at Cargo Cellar Door - Shot With Anda from Food Stories.

4. Actually Consider Increasing Your Prices

& Add Value

Another sad but true economic fact. If a lot of your clients are of a certain income level, changes are they will be less affected by the state of the economy than consumers with different socio-economic tastes.

So, if you are worried about putting prices up or concerned that now might be the time to cut back on marketing. Consider how price conscious your customers actually are. Now might be the time to hit them harder with your captivating brand messaging than ever before.

Conversely, increasing your prices could actually bring people to perceive your brand/product/ service as more valuable and desirable.

The PINC Ladies Long Lunch hosted at The Cloudy Bay Shed owned by global luxury lifestyle house LMVH Group (owner of Veuve Clicquot Champagne & Louis Vuitton)

What's your experience so far?

Follow us for more action at @centralmarketingco on instagram, or drop me a line to and let me know your thoughts or any questions.

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