During a recession, the first thing to go is advertising. It has been like that since the beginning the industrial age, it will continue to be like that in the future. This is not debatable. Though if you dig hard enough you might find one firm (notably P&G) that increases spending during recessions and even during the great depression.
That doesn’t exactly mean that advertising totally halts, it means that massive ad budgets are slimmed down to a fraction of what they were before.
In the last major recession ad budgets took the normal historical hit, but something has changed since the last major recession. It’s now very possible (and in most cases desirable) to run a robust advertising campaign completely online using SEO, SMO and viral campaigns.
Many advertisers are very pleased to see the lower cost of entry, and generally the much higher ROI.
In plain English, you can do more online with a fraction of the cost.
Let’s face it, print media is a dying industry… with every major newspaper showing declines in circulation and even back in 2005 the papers were resorting to shrinking the size of the paper. Americans overall are driving less due to increased gas prices. So your billboards are not getting the ROI you’re paying for, less people are reading the paper… and everyone is online at the expense of TV … literally and of course… the Yellow Pages are being used as door stops… it’s almost not worth mentioning them anymore as a valid marketing strategy.
People are not getting print media, not getting in their cars to see billboards, and not watching TV.. because they are all online searching, playing games, looking up economic reports, basically “hiding online” until the recession is over.
It almost sounds like a storm… and it is of sorts.. when gas exceeded 4 dollars a gallon, people refused to go out.
The last thing however they will cut out is internet access… they depend on it too much as a communication tool… Meaning that the lowest cost advertising method is also the one to help generate a positive ROI.
Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Optimization and digital overall will be the winners in this recession at the expense of TV, Print and Billboards.
It’s quite possible this recession will speed up the changeover to SEO / SMO and Digital faster than expected… as many larger firms are opting to an online only campaign during the recession… for good reason.. it’s the corporate version of what their clients are doing… “hiding online” during a recession.
What a better place to market to them. It’s the only place you will find them at this time.