Digital MarketingMarketing

Should You Stop Marketing During Tough Periods

Should You Stop Marketing During Tough Periods

It’s fair to say that most businesses don’t want to spend more money than necessary, especially when times are tough. But if there’s one thing we learned during the Covid pandemic, it’s that cutting your marketing budget is never the right answer.

Whatever rough patch a business may be going through, it’s marketing that helps keep it afloat — but only when the team’s skills and company’s resources are used correctly. Saving a few hundred pounds in the short-term can lead to you losing thousands in the long-term, so don’t cut ties just yet.

We at Strawberry Forge actually went through our biggest growth period during the global shutdown. Many of the businesses we worked with realised that they could turn the tides in their favour with the right help.

If you’re going through a downturn right now, effective marketing could be the answer. We explain why and how below.

Marketing During an Economic Downturn

No matter what sector you work in — whether it’s property, eCommerce, industrial or anything else — there will always be an audience to consume information. So what happens when 90% of your competitors stop creating content? It leaves room for someone else to take a bigger slice of the action.

Let’s take a look at some well-documented examples.

Back in the mid 70s, the Toyota Corolla car was ranked second in a US Government-backed miles-per-gallon report. This was during a recession triggered by an energy crisis. Rather than put on the brakes, Toyota maintained their marketing spend while other car brands took their foot off the gas. By 1976, the company became the top imported car maker in the States.

In 1990–1991 during another recession, McDonald’s cut their marketing spend in the US. The fast food brands Pizza Hut and Taco Bell took advantage by keeping their own efforts going. They saw a 61% and 40% rise in sales respectively while McDonald’s took a 28% drop.

Effective Marketing Strategies to Follow

As we mentioned earlier, Strawberry Forge actually boomed during the Covid pandemic because we offer marketing services that work in the long and short-term.

Your biggest audience these days is most likely on the internet, so that should be your main focus. True, there will always be a place for print, TV and even guerilla marketing, but not if you’re looking for both modern and low cost solutions.

Here are some of the methods we put into practice for our clients day-in and day-out:

Content Marketing

Content is the best way to educate and influence potential leads without pushing your service too hard. When done right, leads will reach the decision to contact you by themselves with very little prompting.

If you don’t have a blog for your company website, you definitely need one. But your blog can’t be generic company updates or two lines of fluff on a random topic.

Content has to be focused. It has to provide readers with value, whether that’s solving one of their problems, being entertaining or offering them a new way of thinking.

And it’s not just blogs that fall under this umbrella. Infographics, videos and eBooks all have their part to play in attracting visitors, creating leads and closing sales.


SEO is a marketing method that requires patience, but it can pay off big time once the ball is rolling. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation — in other words, it’s how to get the content you’ve produced ranking in a high position on Google, Bing and other search engines.

Whether it’s your industry that’s fallen on tough times or the world in general, there will still be someone out there searching for a solution that only you or a similar company can offer. This is where keyword research comes into effect.

Keywords are the literal words that people type into search engines when they’re looking for something. SEO tools such as SEMRush can tell you exactly what your target audience is searching for. You can then use this information to tailor your content to suit their needs.

We’ve used this to great effect with a number of our clients. You can reach out to us if you’d like to learn more.


If anyone ever tells you that “email marketing is dead”, please do us a favour and let them know they are massively wrong. Anyone who has engaged with your brand enough that they’ve volunteered their own email address is going to have an interest in what you have to say.

Email marketing lets you nurture these existing relationships by providing more useful (and more targeted) information, plus offers & discounts. Since they’re already on your radar, it just makes sense to reach out to these potential customers first to see if they’re interested in buying.

You’ll need a CMS platform such as HubSpot for effective email marketing. The right platform will let you segment your audience lists and automate many processes, which also makes it a more cost-effective, time-saving solution too.

Social Media

There’s a lot of social media platforms out there, so it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to using them for marketing. Our advice is to focus on the platforms you’ll get the most use from.

Let’s say you’re a corporate solicitor. Do you think LinkedIn or TikTok will provide you with the most value? The big mistake we see is that companies either think social media isn’t worth it — or that they have to be on every platform for it to work.

As long as you focus on giving your audience the right information in an easy-to-digest way, then you’ll be doing social media marketing right.

Worried about not having anything to talk about though? We write blog leveraging posts specifically for social media, so you always have content waiting in the wings.

And of course, a branded profile does wonders for your professional presentation. Make sure to ask us about our social media set up service for more information.

Looking for an Effective Solution?

There are many ways that you can keep your marketing efforts going without having to break the bank and without putting in hours and hours yourself.

Strawberry Forge has a wide range of marketing expertise from creating content to managing SEO. Harness the power of evergreen content with the right SEO to supercharge the reach and strength of your website. Then, keep your audience informed and interested with a multi-channel plan consisting of social media, email marketing, CRO and more.

To learn more about how we can help your business, book a free digital marketing workshop.

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