Why You Should Increase Your Out-of-Home Ad Spend in a Recession

In times of economic uncertainty, many businesses tend to cut back on their advertising budgets in an attempt to save money. However, this knee-jerk reaction can be counterproductive and lead to missed opportunities for growth and increased market share. In this article, we investigate the benefits of increasing your advertising expenditure during a recession.

Long-Term Goals

Remember: recessions don’t last forever. History shows that companies that bounced back after previous recessions usually did not cut their marketing spend and, in fact, many increased it (Harvard Business Review, 2020).

Billboards have always been a successful component of long-term marketing strategies. Out-of-home advertising maintains its ability to get noticed, regardless of the economic climate. Billboards are a proven way to maintain extended audience exposure, incrementally building brand reach in a cost-effective format that is proven to increase the ROI of marketing campaigns (Outdoor Media Association, 2023).

Advertising during a recession can also be an opportunity to position your brand for future growth. By maintaining a consistent advertising presence during tough economic times, you can build brand recognition and establish a loyal customer base that will be more likely to stick with your business during the recovery phase.


Build Brand Loyalty

Another reason why out-of-home advertising, including billboard advertising, can be effective during a recession is that it is often seen as a more trustworthy form of advertising. In an era of fake news and online scams, consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical of online advertising. In contrast, out-of-home advertising is perceived as more legitimate and trustworthy, as it is often associated with established brands and reputable businesses.

Often, campaigns that involve eye-catching initiatives that resonate with the economic climate, such as acts of generosity and humanity, act to help keep brands salient. Data shows that such campaigns can help create positive emotional associations with brands that will help with brand retention when markets recover (Field, P., 2021). Recession-friendly messaging can help reinforce the value of a brand so it is important to focus on analysing consumer behaviour to optimize messaging and increase the impact of ad spend.

Bishopp Anne Street Digital Billboard

Increase Your Share of Voice

Maintaining communication during a recession is important because, as many companies will reduce their ad spend, this gives other firms a larger voice in the market. Nielsen data shows that marketing accounts for 10%-34% of a brand’s equity (Nielsen, 2022) so, while cutting marketing spend may be a short-term solution to profitability, the sacrifice to your market share of voice can have extreme and expensive fallout in the long term.

In a world where businesses are constantly bombarded with new marketing techniques and trends, out-of-home advertising remains a tried and true method for reaching a broad audience. While digital advertising may have its place, billboard advertising offers a tangible, physical presence that can’t be ignored or scrolled past.

Be Bold & Future-Proof Your Brand

Growth is still possible in an economic downturn. Instead of cutting advertising spend, brands should assess the landscape, put time into understanding their consumers changing needs and behaviours, and look at reallocating budgets to optimize the impacts of their advertising spend.

In conclusion, advertising during a recession requires a bold and forward-thinking mindset. By investing in out-of-home advertising, such as billboard advertising, businesses can gain a competitive advantage, build brand recognition, and establish a loyal customer base that will help them weather tough economic times and emerge stronger on the other side.

So why wait? Contact Bishopp today and future-proof your brand with billboard advertising.