It can be tough to market your business during a recession. Consumers are watching their pennies more closely than ever, and it’s harder to get them to invest in new products or services. However, if you put a little thought into it, you can keep your customers loyal and even increase sales.

Official figures released on July 28th showed that the U.S. economy shrank for the second straight quarter. While this news may be discouraging, it doesn’t mean your business has to suffer. Marketing during recession can be difficult, but if you follow these six tips, you can weather the storm.

1. Keep your existing customers happy.

Marketing to your current customers is more useful and less costly than trying to find new ones. During a recession, a loyal customer can be one of your business’s biggest assets.

Studies show that nearly 80% of your future profits are likely to come from 20% of your repeat customers! So, if you’re not already doing so, now is the time to start focusing on customer retention. There are a number of ways to keep your customers happy, such as offering loyalty programs, discounts, or simply providing excellent customer service.

The best way to keep customers happy? Listen to them. 56% of customers stay loyal to brands that “get them.” Use surveys, social media, and other channels to get feedback on what your customers want and need. This will not only help you keep them happy, but also give you ideas for new products or services to offer.

Another key part of retention is making it easy for customers to do business with you. During a recession, people are looking for convenience, so consider offering things like online ordering, flexible payment options, or even delivery.

By focusing on customer retention, you can maintain your sales and profits during a recession.

2. Keep your message positive.

A vital step in marketing during recession is to ensure that your brand is sending a positive message into the world—one that is calibrated to the sensitive mood of your clients and prospects.

Your message should avoid any resentment, anger, or frustration. Instead, focus on hope, togetherness, and overcoming challenges. This will resonate with your audience and help you maintain a positive relationship with your customers.

Your marketing message should also be sensitive to the current economic climate. For example, if you’re selling luxury goods, now is not the time to flaunt your wealth. Instead, focus on value and quality.

Keep your message positive, optimistic, and relevant, and you’ll be able to connect with your customers even in tough economic times.

3. Offer flexible payment options.

People are always looking for a good deal, but during a recession, they’re even more price-sensitive. If your product or service is on the higher end, consider offering flexible payment options to make it more affordable.

75% of consumers say they favor companies that offer rewards. You could consider offering discounts, coupons, or even a loyalty program that rewards customers for doing business with you. This will show your customers that you value their business and appreciate their patronage. You could allow customers to pay in installments or offer discounts for paying upfront.

By offering flexible payment options, you can make your product or service more affordable and attractive to price-conscious consumers.

4. Reward customer loyalty.

As we mentioned before, customer loyalty is crucial during a recession. To encourage your customers to stick with you, consider launching a loyalty program.

There are a number of ways to structure a loyalty program, but the most important thing is to make it valuable for your customers. For example, you could offer discounts, free shipping, or early access to new products. 15% of members interact with their loyalty programs daily, so it’s important to make sure yours is engaging.

You could also offer loyalty points that can be redeemed for prizes or rewards. Whatever you decide, make sure your loyalty program is easy to use and provides real value for your customers.

By rewarding customer loyalty, you can encourage repeat business and keep your sales steady during a recession.

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5. Simplify your marketing message.

In tough economic times, people are bombarded with messages from businesses trying to sell them something. To cut through the noise, you need to simplify your marketing message.

Focus on one key benefit or selling point and make it crystal clear in your messaging. Your customers should be able to understand your message quickly and easily.

Have you heard of the Paradox of Choice? It’s the idea that too many choices can actually lead to paralysis, and it’s something you should avoid in your marketing. According to an experiment done by Columbia University’s Business School, when confronted with too many alternatives, customers are less likely to make a purchase. Pots of jam were placed on tables in groups of six or 24 in the study. While just over one-third of those given six alternatives bought some jam, only 3% purchased anything from the greater selection. Too many options cause stress and uncertainty rather than assisting consumers in finding what they want!

Don’t try to sell everything to everyone. Instead, focus on a specific target market and craft a message that resonates with them. By simplifying your marketing message, you can make your business stand out from the competition.

6. Improve the customer experience.

Even in a recession, people still expect a good customer experience. In fact, during tough economic times, it’s even more important to focus on the customer experience.

Look for ways to improve the way your customers interact with your business.

57% of shoppers will abandon a site if they have to wait more than three seconds for a page to load – and 80% of those shoppers will never return. Can you optimize your website to improve loading times?

Furthermore, could you make your website easier to use? Could you offer a more personalized service? Could you make it easier for customers to contact you with questions or concerns?

By improving the customer experience, you can encourage repeat business and build loyalty, even in a recession.


Marketing during recession can be challenging, but if you focus on your existing customers and improve the customer experience, you can weather the storm. By following these tips, you can keep your business afloat during tough economic times. Thanks for reading!

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