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008 7 Recession Marketing Ideas

Wednesday 10th April 2024
008 7 Recession Marketing Ideas

Christopher Lochhead discusses some of his marketing ideas timely for a potential (we hope not, but economists say otherwise) recession. Here are 7 recession marketing ideas for our listeners that you might want to consider for your business.

1. Never Let A Good Recession Go To Waste!

History proved that recessions are the impetus for change. With change comes both threats and opportunities. Ordinary business people usually panic and focus on threats. However, legendary marketers focus on both. Recessions are a great excuse for taking action, especially those that should have been taken anyway.

“Get on your recession planning now! Do not wait for the recession to happen. Get on it, regardless of whether or not we’re going to have a recession. They are great excuse to tighten up shit on your ship!” – Christopher Lochhead

2. Assume you can’t raise any more money

Recession talks are best paired with the assumption that there is no money available for lending ⁠— no more VCs, bank loans, operating lines or rich uncles. If you do raise equity or debt, expect that your valuation or market cap is likely coming down, so you will have to give up more equity to raise VC. Likewise your costs to service loans or operating lines is going up.

“Focus on your cash and remember that paying customers are your best VCs, your best bankers.” – Christopher Lochhead

3, Measure twice, cut once

Go through your marketing plans and budget with a magnifying glass. Christopher advises to categorize every single investment ⁠— either one time or on-going investments ⁠— into three buckets: must do, good to do, nice to do.

“Do not have more than a 3rd of your investments in ‘Must Do.’ Find at least 10% of your investments that you can cut now. If you want to get aggressive, find 25%. Plan to cut or re-deploy at least 5%, no matter what happens – recession or not.” – Christopher Lochhead 

4. Brainstorm short-term ways to increase revenue

Come up with some packages or offerings you can promote to your best customers now. Brainstorm around 25 ideas on how to increase revenue immediately. Ideas that aims to provide customers with an incentive to buy more from you right now are the key to this before they start cutting back spending hard.

5. Market & Sell Into The Whitespace

Get a list of all of your existing customers and figure out which customers, own / use which of your products and services. This is to identify the white space or which customers are not users of all of your offerings.

6. Consider a competitor trade-in.

Recessions are a unique opportunity to destroy your completion.

 7. Double Down on Your Category

This is an area you should focus on a recession. Chances are, most of your competition is going to panic and they most likely will over-cut marketing. Take advantage of the lower cost of marketing and go hard on content marketing, especially in social media.

“Your prospects and customers will be hearing less noise. Take advantage of this, to evangelize your category point-of-view. Become more visible, while your competition is hiding under a desk, asking for their mommies.” – Christopher Lochhead


Christopher Lochhead is a Top 25 podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger.

He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur.

Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist.

In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive ⁠— which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2006 for $4.5 billion.

He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; was the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive.


We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!