When budgets at tech companies are cut, one of the first things to get the axe is marketing. (In 2008, 60% of large companies cut their marketing budget, according to MarketingSherpa.) 

Internal staff is reduced. Agency relationships are severed. Paid tactics like PPC and trade shows are paused. And that’s all because executives have traditionally viewed the marketing department as a cost center vs. a profit center. 

In reality, scaling back on marketing leaves tech companies vulnerable to competitors who can easily gain ground during a recession. As a popular adage says, “When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you must advertise.”

Looking for more reasons to stay committed to marketing during hard financial times? Here are some of our favorites.

Less competition = more affordable leads

As other tech companies stop writing blogs, it will be easier for your organization to rank higher in Google. When the competition pauses their PPC campaigns, you can benefit from a lower cost-per-click. You get the pattern…even if your spending stays the same, your ROI will be much greater during a recession due to decreased competition. Use this “buyer’s market” to your advantage as the cost of advertising drops!

Coopers & Lybrand and Business Science International concluded the following: "Businesses that maintain aggressive marketing programs during a recession outperform companies that rely more on cost-cutting measures. A strong marketing program enables a firm to solidify its customer base, take business away from less aggressive competitors and position itself for future growth during the recovery.”

Out of sight = out of mind

If competitors stop posting on social media or sending out nurturing emails, they will soon be forgotten. If you continue to produce helpful content during a crisis, you’ll stay top of mind even if prospects aren’t ready to buy immediately. Enjoy this temporary period of reduced “noise” in the tech marketing space to showcase your message.

Continued communication = strong brand

Going dark signals to employees, customers and prospects that you’re in financial trouble. By contrast, continuing to communicate on a regular basis will project an image of corporate stability and strong leadership. Instead of emerging from a recession battered and bruised, you can establish your place as a thought leader…starting now.

Continued communication = strong brand

It’s inevitable…customers will churn. And while it’s always easier to keep a current customer than get a new one, you need to have a back-up plan. Turn off marketing and your pipeline dries up. Without a continual flow of new leads to replace exiting customers, your tech business is guaranteed to shrink.


So, while the natural inclination for organizations is to cut back on marketing during a recession, this could prove to be a costly mistake in the long run. Your tech company’s “share of voice” in the digital marketing space is ultimately your “share of mind” with customers…so if you go dark then they will, too. By contrast, if you're able to maintain, or even increase, your marketing spending during hard times, you’ll be in position to experience a long-lasting boost in sales and market share.