March 21, 2023
3 Mins to Read

How to plan for a recession: A guide for businesses & their marketing agency partners

How to plan for a recession: A guide for businesses & their marketing agency partners

No one knows when the next recession will hit. It could be tomorrow, it could be a year from now. But one thing is for sure: you need to know how to plan for a recession.

Luckily, if you're working with an agency, you already have a dedicated team of marketing professionals who are working to help your business succeed. This means you're already in a better position than most when it comes to recession planning

If you're wondering how to speak to your agency about recessions, recession planning, and the impact on your business, here are a few tips.

1. Consider existing projects and services

It is important to re-evaluate your major projects and strategic initiatives regularly as the market changes. You need to be proactive about market conditions and stay a step ahead of any potential threats. This is especially important if you’re working in a recession-prone industry.

When market changes do happen, your agency is there to help you pivot to suit the changing needs of your customers. It's possible an upcoming release may need to be delayed or cancelled if it isn’t aligned with what your customers need right now.

Internally, audit your existing products and services to see what's profitable and what's not. This is a good time to streamline your offerings and get rid of anything that's not working. Be mindful to not cut anything that may not be profitable on its own, but generate sales from other products or services.


2. Nurture your agency relationships

During a recession, your relationship with your agency will inevitably become closer. You'll rely on them more and they'll rely on you. This is a two-way street, so it's important to be transparent and honest with each other. When mistakes happen, own up to them, resolve the issue and move on.

Keep in mind that more time with your agency will likely mean more money. But there are ways to make your relationship more efficient and keep your budget down. This could look like being invited into the agency’s Slack channels (or vice versa), restructuring meeting times, or cutting down on the number of reports produced (leverage real-time dashboards!).

In cases where you may need more support than your agency can provide, encourage them to leverage freelancers on sites like Fiverr or UpWork. This can help with creative work or content creation, freeing up your team to focus on other areas.

3. Invest in marketing and infrastructure

While it may seem counter intuitive to spend money on marketing when revenue is tight, this is actually the perfect time to invest in your internal marketing efforts. This will help you not only retain your current customers but also attract new ones when the economy improves. Not to mention, while your competitors may have been forced to make cuts, you can use the recession as an opportunity to invest in your agency’s future.

Talk to your agency partner about ways to solidify your place in the market. This might look like writing more blogs,  increasing your social media presence, or developing new email marketing strategies. Whatever it is, make sure you’re prepared to put your best foot forward when the recession ends.

Here are a few examples:

  • Creating or revamping your website
  • Building new case studies
  • Repurposing content in new and creative ways
  • Building an industry-centered newsletter
  • Conducting market research

Remember, during a recession, people are still spending money, they’re just being more selective about where they spend it. If you and your agency can show potential clients that you’re worth investing in, you’ll come out ahead when the recession ends.

growing tree on coin piggy bank

4. Align your organizations

In Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, Gino Wickman states that one of the key components of successful businesses is having a clear vision. Wickman says, “Getting everyone in the organization 100% on the same page with where your company is going and how you’re going to get there.” While Gino was talking about internal teams, this philosophy can be extended to your marketing agency, too.

Your agency should be there to help you develop all recession-related updates. This includes insights into recession planning, execution, and recovery. You should feel confident that your agency is on the same page as you are and that they understand your recession-related goals.

You also need to be considering the long-term health of your business. Recessions can put immense pressure on businesses and if you’re not careful, it can lead to some tough decisions being made. Your agency can help you navigate these difficult times and ensure that your business comes out stronger than ever.

5. Look past the recession

Finally, it’s important to remember that the recession will eventually end. And when it does, you want your brand to be in a position to take advantage of the rebound. Being transparent with your agency partners, staying nimble with your offerings, and investing in your business will put you in a prime position to succeed, no matter what the economy throws your way.

Need a hand with your marketing leading up to the recession? Major Tom has helped many brands through previous recessions and is here to help you too. Reach out if you're ready to take your next marketing campaign to the moon.

Hannah Macready, Digital Marketing Copywriter

To create is to live twice.

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