These 5 strategies can help recession proof your ad business

By Mark Challinor


London, United Kingdom


In these economically hard environments, we need to protect our media ad businesses from any downturns and, in many parts of the world, a likely/coming recession.

Whether you’re a large or small media businesses, it’s important to have a plan to secure our ad revenue streams if a recession does hit. Fortunately, there are a number of recession-proof strategies we can utilise. These ideas should help any media business continue to be successful, even during a downturn.

Planning to care for your advertising customers can help keep the relationship during an economic downturn.
Planning to care for your advertising customers can help keep the relationship during an economic downturn.

Some advice is not rocket science, but we can easily overlook what we need to do. The points below, especially when actioned together, can be most powerful in developing closer ties with agencies and advertisers — and keep them spending when the temptation might be to cut back or even temporality cease advertising with us.

Here are my top five strategies, which I hope can help you prepare for what might be coming your way.

1. Concentrate on the customer experience

In a recent survey by Statusphere, 65% of Millennials (many of which are media planners and buyers) are willing to pay more for a good customer experience.

Successful businesses (media or otherwise) know having content customers will mean they will be likely to submit good reviews and will spread that good news quickly through their networks. It’s obviously a lot easier to advertise our services when customers have already mentioned your company as one of their preferred brands.

Indeed, the “word-of-mouth channel” is a crucial factor in a whopping 74% of buying decisions. It drives an unbelievable six trillion U.S. dollars of spending every year (see further reading below).

The point is, by concentrating on the UX, you’re communicating that you want to be seen and positioned as the best in the marketplace. And there are a few ways you can improve the customer experience:

  • Provide top quality products. In times of a recession, customers will be even more wary about what they spend their money on.
  • Make sure your ad products and services are of the highest quality — and that clients will not only be happy with them but even be prepared to pay a premium for them.

Sometimes the best customer service you can provide is just listening. Take the time to really listen to your clients and build a lasting partnership with them.

Always look for ways to improve. As an ad media business, you should constantly find ways to improve your ad packages, the image of offerings, etc., while still providing high-quality service levels. Can you provide any guarantees on your products or services? Could that be a USP? Exceed their expectations and emphasise how you’re different from your competitors.

2. Increase conversion rates via e-mail supplements

All media ad businesses teams can improve their conversion rates. One important thing is to make sure you’re sending out regular e-mails to your customers.

E-mail communication/promotion is a good way to keep advertisers engaged.
E-mail communication/promotion is a good way to keep advertisers engaged.

By promoting your services through e-mails, you can ensure you’re regularly reaching each one of your client customers and getting them interested in about your offerings without always having to visit personally.

Of course, face-to-face/consultative selling will remain really important, but e-mails can be a great, cost-effective supplement to that.

3Study your competitors closely

Studying your competitors is one of the smartest ad strategies you can utilise. By analysing their packages, services, SEO strategy, et al, you can capitalise on what they are failing to do in the process. This can, of course, be used with your ad clients as a “tool of armour” and in securing closer relationships with them, being seen as totally understanding your environment.

4. Use social media to engage with client customers

Social media is a great way to get your business in front of the eyes of media planners and buyers who are usually heavy consumers of such channels. Having a decent social presence and a robust social media strategy is another way of cementing relationships and being where your potential buyers are locating themselves.

By interacting with client customers via social media you again, reinforce yourself as the authority in the area, and ultimately ensure you get the best potential sales and/or reviews your media business can achieve.

5. Monitor your progress

You should be able to see if your recessionary ad strategies are working. Obviously, with regular calls, e-mails, updates, etc., you can keep the relationship close with your ad clients. But by going beyond that using certain back-end analytical tools, you can confirm internally that you’re actually seeing the benefits and even growth.

By using the appropriate analytics tools, you’ll be able to leverage data to place your media business in the best place for ad growth and gain a march of your competitors. (See further reading below for some tools that might be of use both to you and as a recommendation to your advertisers for their own use).

Keep close! Reap the rewards.

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About Mark Challinor

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