How do you spend your marketing budget in times of crisis?

Was the marketing budget slashed in 2023? If so, as a marketing manager, you have to make choices and build smarter brand communication. We've put together some insights to help you guide your brand through challenging circumstances.
1. Invest when everyone else is scaling back

When Coca-Cola launched their Open Happiness campaign, they capitalised on positivism during the 2008 financial crisis. This resulted in the company gaining a whole 4% market share.

A key explanation is that they weren't afraid to make money available in uncertain times. Where the vast majority of companies buckle down and stop investing during a crisis, Coca Cola made a clear choice to go full steam ahead.

By holding the line in lean times or even investing more in your branding, you're highlighting your brand more and standing out from companies that are making even bigger budget cuts. It will help you gain market share, and that competitive advantage may become even more important when the economy picks back up. And that countercyclical investment proves your daring and stability, which is a boost for your brand image.

COCACOLA 2023 02 13 152536 tncv

Coca-Cola's Open Happiness campaign

2. Stay committed to brand building

When budgets are limited, it can be tempting to devote them entirely to sales. That might offer security in the short term, but long term it can be disastrous for your brand reputation. Even during tough times, make sure you're using communication budgets strategically. 60% on brand building and 40% on conversion will help you maintain a good balance between short- and long-term ROI. It's the best way to keep your company from being reduced to a source of services or products, and your brand reputation and value-added message will stay intact.


Ideal balance between brand building and conversion

3. Stay creative with communication

A drop in purchasing power can be a real test for brands. Cheap alternatives see a chance to gain market share, meaning you're not going to make it as a brand with a quality promise alone. Consumers invest in services and products they trust and can identify with: hence the importance of continuing to focus on your image, not just on sales. A powerful message is an efficient way to make that happen. You're hitting potential customers in the right place, your message sticks and you build a buzz that builds trust, too.

Just look at Coca-Cola's Open Happiness campaign: people savoured that positive message, and that translated into the numbers. So it's no surprise that in 2023, companies will be fully committed to humour, nostalgia and humanity.

Bron: Hooray, it's a crisis! A publication of ACC, Association of Communication Companies.


Barbara Bataillie

Strategic director

Share this insight