By now you’ve probably read one or more of the jillion articles being published on the subject of how and why you should market in a recession. But, let’s face it. Marketing in a recession is not right for all companies.

How do you know if it’s right for you?

Here are nine triggers that should make you think seriously about expanding your marketing efforts now.

You have some cash. If you’ve got the resources, it’s rarely ever a bad idea to increase marketing. In 25+ years of marketing, I’ve never run across a company that had perfected its marketing efforts to the point where nothing more was needed. In a bad economy, extra cash invested in marketing can pay off many, many times over.
You’re a risk taker. It goes without saying that trigger #1 is pretty much a requirement. But you also need to be comfortable operating outside of the norm. Most businesses will cut back on marketing during a recession. It’s a very common, knee-jerk reaction. You’ve got to be able to sleep at night while you’re moving against the crowd. Most successful entrepreneurs are pretty good at this.
Your competitors are hiding. As I mentioned above, the most common reaction to a recession includes whacking the marketing spend. When your competitors do this, they create a great opportunity for you to jump in and fill the void. If you’re clever, it might not even cost you any extra money.
Your marketing has succeeded and you have market share to protect. This is the reverse of trigger #3. If you pass the test in trigger #1, don’t become one of those companies in hiding. Some smart competitor will pull a #3 on you.
You need to sell to people who don’t know you personally. Trust and integrity are very big in a recession – especially this one where so many problems have been caused by people who were supposed to know what they were doing. Marketing – especially in the form of client testimonials, case studies, education, word of mouth and thought leadership programs – can help you gain your prospects’ trust.
Your sales people are cold calling instead of chasing warm leads. This is a classic sign that you need marketing to find and develop leads for your sales team. Cold calling is a struggle in the best of times, and your most talented closers are never the most successful at it.
Your customers love you. You must be doing something right. Now’s a great time to get the word out to other people.
You believe in marketing. A recession is probably not the best time to test a shaky belief in marketing. Marketing is a process and people are taking longer to make buying decisions now. You’ll most likely get too nervous and quit too soon. Then you’ll have a difficult time ever learning to benefit from marketing. If you question the value of marketing, maybe you should wait.
You like to win. If stealing market share from your competitors, growing your business while others are just hoping to survive, and coming out of the recession on top motivate you, now is a great time to act. Buyers need you. There’s less competition. You may find some good deals on marketing costs. What more could you want?