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Whenever we enter a period of economic recession, individuals and organisations alike desperately search for ways to cut down on any unnecessary spending. And when this happens, marketing is often sadly one of the things to take a hit.

The government is set to launch a controversial new campaign encouraging brands to cut marketing spend. And before you ask - no, the irony of a publicly funded advertising campaign to encourage people to spend less on marketing isn’t lost on us. But this campaign isn’t just harmful to the marketing industry. It’s also poor advice to organisations who are using marketing as an essential tool for growth.

Cutting marketing spend during a cost of living crisis is not a good idea. Here’s why…


Staying connected with your audience

The saying “out of sight, out of mind” rings true in the world of marketing. So by choosing to reduce your marketing spend, and therefore your exposure, you’re risking the chances of your audience forgetting all about you. This could ultimately lead them to use other brands and services who are more on their radar, doing your organisation serious harm in terms of both growth and retention in both the short and the long term.

Marketing is what enables you to connect with your audience. It can help you target new prospects and encourage your most loyal consumers to stick with you. So regardless of the economic climate, it’s important to make sure your organisation remains front and centre in the minds of the people that count.


Working smarter, not harder

Good marketing practice should be about working smarter rather than harder – and this is especially true of marketing during a recession. It shouldn’t be about reducing or even increasing your marketing budget, but rather making every penny in your existing marketing budget count. This involves a great deal of market research to evaluate any new consumer behaviours and to determine which platforms and tools are likely to perform most effectively during this specific period.

At Eleven, we’ll always advise on how to make the best use of the budget you’ve got. This is what we did for Samaritans and Network Rail when they came to us with a restricted budget for their Small Talk Saves Lives campaign. They didn’t have a list of activity or assets they wanted creating, and so they asked us to decide on the most efficient way of splitting the budget to maximise the campaign’s reach. We divided the budget across strategy, creative direction and campaign development, with an additional budget set aside for media spend. The result was an impactful multi-channel campaign that delivered fantastic results. Check out the case study in full here.


As a marketing agency that’s helped a countless number of organisations navigate their way through Brexit, a pandemic and an economic recession, we know how to not only survive but thrive during periods of uncertainty. So if you’re looking for support with making your marketing strategy the best it can be in the current climate, get in touch.

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