The Secret to Thriving in A Down Economy? Invest in Marketing.

By Amy Foley | | 9.12.21

In times of crisis, it’s human nature to stockpile resources and money. (Check it out— science proves it.) This is why the advice shared by Marzani Marketing owner Doug Morneau on a recent IBO podcast was so surprising, even though he has the experience, evidence, and impressive marketing results to back it up. 

Morneau explained that in a down economy, the best way to make money is to spend money. While many business owners scale back expenses during an economic downturn, Morneau has found that a down economy is a perfect time to invest in marketing and advertising. In fact, he’s helped many clients achieve impressive results by strategically increasing their marketing spend during times when conventional wisdom would suggest putting on the breaks.

Morneau primarily works with nutraceuticals and professionals in the venture capital space. During the 2008 recession, many of his clients in the financial sector struggled to raise capital. Morneau helped many of them not only stay afloat but grow and thrive. Based on this work, he shared a few key insights about scaling sales in a down economy:

  1. Continue to invest in advertising and marketing. Many businesses will cut their ad and marketing budgets during a downturn. This makes the space less competitive, leading to better rates, more room for negotiation, and more opportunity.
  2. Deepen the conversation with a niche audience. Doug advises clients to cast a wide advertising net until they start to understand who their niche audience is and where that audience spends time in the digital world. By targeting digital spaces that cater to their niche audience, clients can reach individuals more likely to convert.
  3. Focus on marketing tactics that are scalable. One strategy that worked well for many of Doug’s clients was targeted email advertising. Doug would often buy ads from publishers who had large subscription bases (1,000,000+, in some cases). By testing ads out on small portions of these large audiences, clients always had room to grow and expand in the future by simply sending the same message out to a larger group.
  4. Avoid the herd mentality. Common wisdom in the corporate world told Doug that summer was a slow time for new business. And yet, he has found July to traditionally be one of his busiest months. He advises marketing professionals to find potential in spaces that competitors may be ignoring.
  5. When you find a strategy that works, don’t be afraid to double down. If a certain marketing tactic is yielding a really good return, seriously consider reinvesting in more ads and doubling down on the approach. Many clients have seen a huge return when they go all-in on strategies that are seeing good results.

Doug’s strategies have helped his clients scale their businesses by more than 400% in downturn economies. (We know, it’s a crazy number!) His tried-and-true results make a strong case for embracing risk and investing in marketing during economic downturns.

Interested in learning more? Listen to the full podcast and visit Doug’s website. Need help scaling a marketing strategy for a client? We can help! Interested in learning the best path forward to scale your agency? Join us on Thursday, September 16th at 11 am Eastern for our free webinar, 3 Critical Actions to Scale Your Marketing Agency. Register today!