November 30, 2022

Recession-Proof Your Digital Marketing Strategy

By: Mary Hiers

Planning your digital marketing strategy for 2023 involves gazing into the internet crystal ball and ruminating on the economy.

Various sources have the U.S. entering a recession in the first quarter of 2023, the second quarter of 2023, or during “late” 2023. Goldman Sachs, which predicted a second-quarter downturn, later revised their prediction to forecast that the country will avoid a recession. 

In other words, nobody knows. 

Regardless of the predictions, businesses large and small are wise to be prepared in case the economy shrinks in the coming year. It’s a good idea to be prepared even when economic predictions are rosy. 

Preparing your digital marketing strategy means understanding what works well and what doesn’t work so well. It may mean scaling back some efforts while ramping up other efforts. Here’s how to build a solid digital marketing strategy regardless of what 2023 brings. 

Do This with Your Digital Marketing Strategy

The first thing to do in bolstering your digital marketing strategy against uncertainty is to understand the data. Which campaigns shone brightly in 2022, and which campaigns disappointed?

Next, you must try to determine why the good campaigns succeeded while the bad ones fell short. It’s not always possible to know these things with certainty, but it is possible to make highly-educated guesses. 

The numbers don’t lie, even though they may not tell you what you expected. Maybe you thought the email campaign with the bright hero image would outperform the one with no image, yet the opposite was true. That’s showbiz. 

If you have time to A/B test a few things before the year ends, do so. You’ve never had to rely on hunches less than you do today. Testing email content, design, or variations in social media advertising has never been easier, so take advantage. 

Don’t Do This with Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Don’t cut things indiscriminately or across the board. You could well be cutting a highly successful campaign. Strategic reduction is almost always better. 

Again, you must know the story the numbers tell before you know where reductions should occur. It’s no fun to look at unsuccessful campaigns, but it’s necessary. Otherwise, you risk chopping off your digital marketing nose to spite your digital marketing face. 

Don’t focus on the short term. Focus on the long term. 

Finally, if you start chopping ad budgets across the board, you could cheat yourself out of prime opportunities to boost your brand share in your industry. 

Agility Benefits Marketing and Business in General

The word agile comes from an ancient Proto-Indo-European root, “ag,” which means to move, draw forth, or drive. If you’re puttering around the house, straightening up, you may not be doing much, but you’re still far more agile than if you were lying on the couch with a bag of Cheetos on your lap.

Likewise, when you analyze, scale back, and clean up digital advertising campaigns, you’re in a much better position to pounce on an opportunity than if you had mothballed those campaigns altogether. 

You may not be spending time shooting videos or writing ad scripts, but you can analyze the data and discover connections that will improve future campaigns. And should a competitor drop out of an ad market, agility lets you quickly determine whether you should be there in their place.

Scale Back What Isn’t Delivering

One of the great things about digital marketing is how it empowers you to choose your audience. A campaign that isn’t delivering the results you expected may need scaling back. It may also need to pivot to a platform that allows you to tailor the audience narrowly. 

Your digital marketing strategy should utilize the tools that help you define and choose audiences for your ads. A slow economy may mean postponing plans to expand your audience. But if the current audiences deliver decent ROI on a campaign, that may be good enough.

Double Down on What Is Delivering

Doubling down on what works is only logical in uncertain economic times. And your digital marketing strategy should include tools that tell you what works. 

These tools can also tell you when a previously successful campaign stops working well. Again, paying attention to analytics is critical. 

Taking a double-down approach isn’t as fulfilling as creating something new and exciting, but economic conditions are cyclical. Those days are coming. Just do what works until the economy regains strength.

Digital Marketing Strategy Dos and Don’ts

The following table lists several tactics to embrace and reject, especially in economically uncertain times.

Do ThisDon’t Do This
Understand customer sentiment shifts toward valueThrow money at “nice to have” campaigns that may or may not deliver results
Focus on maintaining market shareSlack off on following your marketing analytics
Identify marketing gaps that keep competitors at bayBuy new tools without fully understanding how they can affect marketing outcomes
Focus on building brand awarenessIgnore your social media, website, and content marketing
Focus on retaining existing customersGet discouraged

Stick With the Fundamentals

The late basketball coach Pat Summitt delivered legendary success for decades with her University of Tennessee women’s basketball program. She did much of it by focusing on the fundamentals. Her philosophy was, “Send me the good athletes. I’ll teach them to play basketball.”

Every digital marketing strategy should rest on the fundamentals of high-quality work, high-quality research, and high-quality targeting. When you know and practice these things, you can successfully expand to a new platform when the time is right. 

We Can Optimize Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Starting with the highest-quality SEO-enriched content in the websites we design, we help businesses like yours develop the corresponding digital marketing strategy that makes every marketing dollar work its hardest. 

Paid and organic social media marketing, search ads, print ads, and search engine optimization all work together to build a digital marketing strategy that gets results. 

If this is something that you need in 2023, set up a call with our team. We can help you with an agile strategy that works with your resources and adapts to changing conditions.

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