The Best Ad Strategy in an Economic Downturn

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Thursday, Jul 14
person holding lightbulb with a piggy bank on a desk

What’s the best advertising strategy in an economic downturn? Although advertisers’ instincts may be to reduce ad spend, that strategy can have negative consequences. I spoke with SMI’s Senior Media Buyers Pam Wolfgram and Josh Knock about how advertisers can utilize an economic downturn to get more for their ad dollars. Here are their top three reasons why advertisers should stay the course even in a tough advertising budget season.


Gain Share of Voice at Lower Costs

“Economic downturn can actually be a brand response advertiser’s best friend if they have the fortitude to stay the course,” said Pam Wolfgram, who has been buying media for Strategic Media, Inc. for 16 years. “We’ve seen it before. Brand advertisers will pull back. And when they do, the doors on prime inventory previously closed will fly wide open, presenting an opportunity to gain share of voice at lower costs.” 


Maintain Lower CPMs in the Long Term

“There’s also real value in maintaining steady relationships with audio vendors as well,” said Wolfgram. “If an advertiser sticks through the tougher times, their audio partners will remember them when the world begins to normalize. Their rates will be slower to increase again on the other side, leading to a longer tail on the lower CPMs.”


Be Ahead of the Game When the Market Stabilizes

“You don’t want to lose all the momentum built up over time just to restart a campaign. By keeping budgets consistent and relying on creative to help navigate through an economic downturn, you are way ahead of the game when markets stabilize,” said Senior Media Buyer Josh Knock.

For more information on how to defend your advertising spending in a downturn, see Nancy Hill’s guest column for Ad Age. 


Are you ready to hear your brand on AM/FM, streaming, satellite radio, or podcasts? Contact SMI today.

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