Every recession has three stages: the initial drop, the slow climb out of it, and the growth that follows. The impact of a recession will depend on the depth of the drop and how long it takes to resurface. Right now, we’re in freefall. There’s nothing exhilarating about that. It’s frightening, and there’s an unprecedented emotional weight associated with it as we empathize with the staggering number of people directly impacted by COVID-19.
As marketers and business leaders, we can’t allow ourselves to become paralyzed by the shock of this global crisis. The actions we take now will give us the foundation to survive and even thrive as the economy stabilizes.
You have a lot to sort out when it comes to external and internal communication around this crisis — how you work with your employees and community, and how you speak to your customer base. Let’s focus specifically on digital marketing for now.
In 2008 and 2009, digital marketers faced their first recession. Consumer confidence hit an all-time low, prompting marketing responses that ranged from panicked cuts in all digital marketing budgets to increased digital advertising spends. As we face a growing economic crisis once more, we must look back at how the previous recession played out. At the same time, we must keep in mind that we’re in thoroughly uncharted territory. This is more than a drop in consumer confidence — we’re facing a global health crisis and looking for hope and guidance.