Should You Keep Marketing and Advertising Under Current Conditions?

  • Aug 21, 2020

Well I wish I could give you an unbiased position but that’s a little difficult given our line of business.  But yes, you should. 

Since I am not an expert on this subject I did some online research and will report that.  Here’s some highlights of what I found.  After that I have listed links to a few articles you may find helpful. 

What are the possible repercussions of eliminating your marketing? 

In 2008, Millward Brown shared evidence that 60% of the brands that went ‘dark’ during an economic downturn (no TV ad spend for 6 months) saw brand use’ decrease 24% and ‘brand image’ decrease 28%. Brands that cut their ad budget at a higher rate relative to their competitors were at a greater risk of share loss. A 2001 analysis from Malik PIMS showed that an increase in spend on marketing and R&D was associated with business success during downturns.  It estimates that brands who go dark to save costs will see a 39% reduction in brand awareness and delay recovery after Coronavirus.

Here's an interesting story about reducing your marketing during a downturn:

In the 1920’s, Post was the category leader in the ready-to-eat cereal category. During the Great Depression, Post cut back significantly its advertising budget and rival Kellogg’s doubled its advertising spend, investing heavily in radio and introducing a new cereal called Rice Krispies, featuring “Snap,” “Crackle” and “Pop.” Kellogg’s profits grew by 30% and the company became the category leader, a position it has maintained for decades.

And here is a summary of some of what you will find in the articles below:

·         Instead of decreasing your budget you should reprioritize it.

·         Improve your online presence, particularly with social media.

·         Create helpful content for your industry.

·         Some of your competitors are ramping up their ad and marketing spend.

·         There is less competition now so your message is more effective, if done properly.

·         Focus on building relationships instead of selling products.


Here are some helpful articles:


Marketing Your Business In The Midst Of Covid-19: 5 Tips To Stay Afloat



Marketing during a pandemic: Dos and don'ts



Marketing During the Pandemic: 10 Stats You Should Know


Canadian Marketing Association

Marketing during the pandemic: Insights from the CMA B2B Council



Marketing strategies during the pandemic should be focused on building relationships



Marketing During An Economic Downturn



The History Of Advertising In A Recession



When A Recession Comes, Don't Stop Advertising


I hope you find some of this information helpful in planning your marketing efforts during these challenging but opportunistic times!  To quote Winston Churchill:  

 “never waste a good crisis”.

Next time we will look at some strategies for advertising and marketing in a downturn.