3 Proven Tips to Adapt Your Marketing Strategy for the Nagging Headache Called an Inflation

Tabitha Jean Naylor
6 min readSep 26

The Great Toilet Paper Panic of 2020 demonstrated how fragile our supply chains are and how vulnerable we are to disruptions. The biggest takeaway from global crises and inflation is that how brands respond to customer behavior determines who survives after the dust settles.

Inflation generally makes customers spend less, buy cheaper, and postpone non-essential purchases. The longer the inflation lasts, the more these habits are amplified. That said, consumers don’t have a blanket response to inflation.

While many consumers cut back, some make exceptions for discretionary purchases they consider affordable and morale-raising — think luxury perfume or staycations. Others, especially top earners, simply continue spending as usual.

Presented with this mixed bag of customers, how can marketers adapt their messaging and marketing strategies to meet the customers where they are?

Maintain Marketing Spending for Long-Term Growth

It seems counterintuitive to maintain marketing and advertising during an economic downturn. In fact, many businesses deliberately slash marketing budgets first while funneling resources into production costs and short-term, measurable activations, such as digital and point-of-sale ads.

After all, aren’t consumers spending less? Yes, but they also weigh their purchases more keenly and scrutinize brands.

The key to effective marketing during a recession is to lean more towards a long-term brand-building strategy rather than short-term activations. Since demand is lower during inflation, there’s more value in building brand awareness long-term than in pushing current sales.

What does a long-term brand-building strategy look like?

Bolster trust in your brand

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Tabitha Jean Naylor

Seasoned sales and marketing pro. Owner of TabithaNaylor.com. Founder of WEcanmag.com Sucker for dogs.