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Why marketers should diversify ad spend in a recession | Sponsored Content

This article was contributed by Wunderkind.

Recessions are scary, and your C-suite might jump the gun on cutting budgets in advertising and digital marketing. Spoiler alert: this is a bad move.

Brands and investors are always going to be nervous about a poor economic climate. Either they see it as an opportunity to increase spend given that there’s less competition and greater potential to pull ahead of competitors, or they pull back and miss out. In the long run, brands that spend boldly are the big winners.

As Harvard Business Review reminds us, “Recessions are typically short-lived and followed by long periods of growth and prosperity. The period after World War II, for example, is considered the greatest expansionary phase in modern times.” 

By focusing on brand awareness and loyalty now, you’re priming consumers to engage and shop with you during the inevitable period of upcoming prosperity. 

Where and how should you increase your ad spend?

So how can you engage prospects with a strong ads strategy in these tough times? Here are our top tips for engaging your customers through advertising during a recession:

  • Treat your site as a source of revenue: Spending your marketing dollars on other companies bringing you limited traffic or conversions just won’t cut it. This is the year to own your data. “You must consider your site the center of operations because investing in more and more third-party data will just mean prices will increase, then ultimately crash,” says Arushi Khosla, senior product marketing manager of insights and intelligence at Wunderkind. 
  • Diversify your spend: Diversifying your stock portfolio is smart during a recession; the same holds true for advertising investments. This way, if any single platform becomes too expensive or doesn’t perform well, you’ll still have conversions and leads from other sources. Plus, it’s always important to meet your audience where they are (which is, well, everywhere). “Invest in your owned channels, guaranteed revenue, and high-quality ads,” Khosla advises. “Channels such as TikTok have no guarantees, particularly during economic headwinds.”
  • Invest in high-quality ads: Cutting back your ad budget may involve choosing poor-quality or intrusive ads, which then leads to a poor user experience and negative associations with your brand. Use trusted publishers and high-quality ad formats to ensure your brand grabs attention for the right reasons. 

How you allocate your spend will depend on your company’s priorities, short and long-term goals, and financial standing—but the more you put in, the more you’ll get out. The key is to provide a great user experience and diversify your ad spend. This will place your company in a good position when the recession finally comes to an end.

Download “The New Performance Marketing Era: A Marketer's Guide” to learn more.

—Greg Lawrence, Associate Director, Strategy Consulting, Wunderkind