19 Mar 2020
Posted by: Emily Rieger

4 Benefits of Advertising During Tough Times

As Bruce Barton says, “In good times, people want to advertise, in bad times, they have to.”

During difficult economic times, it can be extremely tempting to cutback or completely eliminate advertising. Sales are decreasing, which results in a profit loss, and cutting your advertising budget seems to be the only solution. However, advertising can still help increase sales during and even after tough times.

Cutting back on advertising may create a short-term cash flow increase, but it can also create a long-term brand struggle.

Here are 4 reasons why it’s still beneficial to advertise during tough times.


Firstly, history has continuously demonstrated how advertising during economic downturns not only helps increase sales but also helps businesses outperform competitors who didn’t advertise during those times. A Harvard Business Review study established that “the biggest sales increases were companies that advertised the most” during the 1923 recession (Zimmer).

Buchen Advertising Inc. has also demonstrated that “sales and profits dropped for companies who cut back their advertising” in the 1949, 1954, 1958, and 1961 recessions (Zimmer).

Excellent Opportunities

During a recession, competitors could cut back on advertising, downsize, or completely shut down. When competitors leave the market, your market share can increase, and you have an opportunity to gain new customers. Thus, advertising in a slow economy will show consumers that you exist and are an alternative to competitors.

Increases Brand Awareness

If your business is running, then you should advertise it to show customers you are open, so they consider you when making purchases. Advertising will prevent customers from forgetting about your company or thinking you’ve shut down.

During difficult times, consumers focus more on what they need versus want, and they tend to research more about their purchases. Thus, consumers will pay more attention and rely more on advertising.

Demonstrates Confidence

Marketing displays confidence in your company. If your business is visible in the marketplace, then it helps show that you are a credible and secure choice.