Growing Market Share

What to Do When Ad Spend Must Be Cut

Increasing ad spend during uncertain times swims against the tide. It often is dependent on business health, appetite to scale and whether marketing is viewed as an expense or catalyst for growth. Either way, many marketers will be required to cut their budget in difficult times. But even with a slashed marketing wallet, you can still limit damage and maximize effectiveness.

1. Focus on your core

Now is not the time to spread scarce resources across multiple brands or variations.

2. Lean on the math

Objectively analyze everything. In what areas do you have the best data to make informed, timely decisions? Every recent recession has resulted in less traditional offline media and more measurable online media for this reason.

3. Look for the deals

Facebook CPM is down ~33% at the moment. Radio is projected to suffer a -14% loss in annual media expenditures. As some marketers retreat, many media outlets will be in a position to discount if their algorithms haven’t already done so.

4. Watch competitors

Many budget reductions are gut reactions. Your competitors, especially the least stable or experienced, will likely cut first. Pay attention to their moves to see where opportunities remain. You’ll see an even greater long-term return on your marketing investments. Look at successes in lateral industries for inspiration and guidance.

5. Don’t cut too deep

Keep the wheels of business turning. Get creative. Families are dependent on it. Nothing greases those wheels like effective marketing.

Keep your hands on the wheel.

Some things are completely out of our control. Like, say, an economic downturn. In these instances, we can still act thoughtfully. We can make informed decisions. We can spend efficiently. We can maintain a level of control even amidst uncertainty. 


Read the other articles in this series:
1: Quarantined Customers & New Behaviors
2: What now? Postpone, Maintain or Double-Down on Marketing
3: Giving Instead of Giving Up
4: Recessions Create New Leaders
5: What to do when ad spend must be cut
6: Pivoting through a Storm
7: Springboarding to the New Normal
8: Coming Back Stronger: A Marketer’s Guide for Recovery

Or skip the articles and get our entire strategy on how to grow market share during economic change. It’s free. It’s not even gated. Just be sure to tell us how you’re putting it to good use.


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