Marketing During a Cost of Living Crisis

We know. Celebrations tubs just aren’t as big as they used to be, and the cost of basic necessities has doubled or tripled in price. In these trying times, it’s essential to acknowledge the growing concerns surrounding the cost of living in the UK and the impact it has on both consumer and industry. We’re going to explore how to navigate marketing your business while remaining sympathetic to the changing buying habits in response to soaring prices. 

Marketing is essential to business. It invites customers into a brand, drives traffic and generates value. After working tirelessly to establish a business, whether it’s a beauty salon or a construction company, the worst thing to do next is to not market it at all. No marketing is bad marketing really, if your goal – and it should be – is to generate buzz. 

However, people in Britain are spending 57% less on non-essentials compared to 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics. On top of that, over half (53%) of the adults surveyed responded that they shop around more before choosing to buy. 

This means that marketing goods and services and converting traffic into sales is harder than ever, but it’s never impossible. So let’s learn how to do it successfully! 

Firstly, we need to look inwards.

Why Does This Matter to Me?

People’s buying habits matter a great deal. With people spending less, companies may start to feel like marketing has no use anymore because it “isn’t working”. It means less clicks, less things in baskets and less revenue. 

For a business, the challenge of generating sufficient revenue becomes apparent during a downtick of customer spending. Marketing, then, plays a crucial role in attracting customers and driving sales, making it essential for the survival of the brand during economic downturns. 

With people less likely to make non-essential impulse purchases during tough times, marketing efforts need to adapt to focus on building brand loyalty and awareness rather than relying on immediate sales. Maintaining brand loyalty and increasing brand awareness becomes more challenging, as customers prioritise spending on necessities rather than indulgent purchases. Therefore, effective marketing strategies are needed to create lasting connections with customers. 

It is advisable to take future-proofing steps to ensure brand longevity and success. Adaptive marketing strategies are vital to allow a business to pivot and turn with the times, otherwise it’s in real danger of floundering. 

What are the steps you can take to future-proof your marketing efforts?

  1. Change in Marketing Strategy 

Businesses must be ready to pivot and adjust their marketing strategies based on the current economic climate and consumer behaviour. Adapting the messaging, pricing and promotions to align with changing customer needs can lead to higher engagement and sales. 

  1. Shift in Target Personas 

Regularly analysing market trends and understanding customer personas is essential. By identifying changes in customer preferences and behaviour, businesses can tailor their marketing campaigns to resonate with the target audience effectively. 

  1. Updated Marketing Campaigns 

Creating updated marketing campaigns that cater to the changing times is crucial for maintaining relevance. This could involve highlighting the brand’s adaptability, addressing customer pain points and emphasising value propositions that align with the current economic situation. 

  1. Refined Messaging

Refining the brand’s messaging to be empathetic, supportive and understanding of customers’ challenges during economic downturns can enhance brand loyalty. Showing a genuine commitment to assisting customers during tough times can foster lasting connections. 

By implementing these initial solutions, the business can bolster its longevity, improve customer loyalty  and strengthen brand awareness even during economic downturns. An agile and adaptive marketing approach will allow the brand to thrive in challenging times and emerge stronger when the economy rebounds.

What else can be done?


Adapting to New Customer Habits

People are looking around more before making a decision. 

There has always been a customer persona involving a ‘researcher’. We all know one, or you possibly are the type of person who needs to research everything before they buy a new item, compare its specs to similar items, find out about the company and people’s experiences with the product and the brand. 

More people than ever fit into this style of shopping and as a result, impulse purchases are less likely to occur in their buying habits. 

The question to ask remains the same, “when a customer is ready, why should they choose me over everyone else?” Most people have already decided, for example, that they’re buying a kettle. What is it about your kettle that’ll make them choose you when they’re ready to buy? 

Keeping your relevancy to your target audience is one of the best things you can do to keep your business growing in a cost of living crisis. Shareability and word of mouth are the best marketing tools out there and one of them is key in particular; community management. 


Community Engagement

Engage with your community to show the humanity of your company. We’ve spoken about this aspect in our previous blog, but it truly is one of the keys to success. Building a community-focused reputation establishes your company as one that cares and has an active role in the community, whether it’s through charity, many times offering work experience opportunities or even helping small businesses; continuing on as a business ‘for good’ shows dedication in bettering the community around a business. 

Community engagement isn’t just local. Social media is the village notice board of the internet, so don’t forget to engage with your followers! Ask them questions; it’s an equal knowledge exchange. You’ll learn about what their needs are, and possibly give suggestions to how you can fulfil those needs further. In turn, you place yourselves top of mind as a company that solves their pain points. 

Final Thoughts

Times are tough. The worry of bills and the cost of essentials is on everyone’s minds and naturally, consumers are more selective about the products they buy. However, do not neglect your marketing. Instead, build a safe haven for your loyal customers by creating relatable and relevant content and you’ll ensure you have marketing’s most valuable asset: brand advocacy. 

By using a creative agency you have the best possible start to developing and implementing an adaptive marketing strategy, as it’s like having your own marketing team at your fingertips that has the benefit of a wealth of experience to take you through tough times. 


If you are looking for marketing that works hard for you, give us a call on 01452 729 953 or email us at 

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