Setting a Marketing Budget in Times of Economic Uncertainty

Richard A Meyer
3 min readSep 24, 2023

Navigating the unpredictable waves of economic uncertainty can be daunting for any business. When resources tighten, and consumer behaviors shift, one question inevitably surfaces: “How much should we allocate for marketing?”

1. Re-Evaluate Your Business Goals

In times of stability, your goals might be aggressive growth or expansion into new markets. However, it might be wiser to focus on retention or survival during economic downturns. Adjust your marketing strategies to align with these recalibrated goals.

2. Prioritize Digital Marketing

Historically, during economic downturns, businesses that continue to market often become stronger. With the rise of digital platforms, this has never been more cost-effective. Consumers increasingly turn to online media, especially in times of uncertainty. Digital marketing offers targeted, measurable, and often more affordable avenues to reach them.

3. Monitor ROI Closely

Every penny counts. Focusing on campaigns that provide the best return on investment (ROI) is crucial. Use analytics tools to track the success of your campaigns, and be prepared to pivot if certain tactics aren’t yielding results.

4. Flexibility is Key

In uncertain times, being agile can be your most vital asset. Avoid locking your budget into long-term campaigns without exit strategies. Opt for short-term campaigns that can be adjusted or halted as needed.

5. Engage Your Existing Customers

Acquiring new customers can be expensive. Instead, consider focusing on retaining and deepening relationships with your current customers. They already know and trust your brand, making them more likely to purchase again.

6. Cut Wisely, Not Hastily

While it’s natural to consider cost-cutting, avoid across-the-board cuts. Instead, assess each marketing activity for its impact and potential ROI. Preserve those with a strong track record or significant potential.

7. Consider Partnerships and Collaborations



Richard A Meyer

Marketing and Political thought leader — Writer- Audiophile