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Recession-Proofing Your Marcom Strategy: A Balanced Mix of Paid, Earned and Owned Strategies FTW!

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The economy has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the U.S. is now officially in a recession. The National Bureau of Economic Research notes the steep declined in employment and production as contributing factors. How long the recession will last is dependent on how quickly the economy can bounce back. Smart marketers and PR professionals are currently looking to recession-proof their marketing strategies. One of the best ways to do that is with a balance of paid, earned and owned media placements—avoiding putting all of their marketing budget eggs into one basket. A mix of strategies is a good start for sustainable recession-time marketing.

Why paid?
Paid marketing placements are just what they sound like, brands pay to participate or be included. Paid media includes print advertisements, television placements, and in the digital world sponsored/promoted posts or pay-per-click (PPC) placements. As many brands have taken a back seat to these types of placements, there may be less competition, giving a more favorable bidding environment to those who decide to continue their efforts during the downturn. Paid media is a wonderful way to support your other marketing efforts, but in a time of recession with eyes on the budget, you may not want to lead with this type of placement.

Why earned?
Earned media is exposure in those outlets that are covering you or your brand because you have something exciting to say or something important to contribute. This includes news stories, featured stories or profiles and even shares and reposts of your own content. During a recession, the market often sees cut-backs in print advertising, which can lead to fewer reporters and more opportunity for this type of contributed content. A seasoned PR team will be able to help you secure these types of placements through cultivating a media list and pitching the right editorial contacts. They’ll also be able to help you craft owned media content that will catch the eyes of press looking for content.

Why owned?
Owned media is any communication that the brand puts out itself. This could be social media posts, blogs, articles, thought leadership pieces, video content and more. The most important thing about creating owned content is that it should be interesting to your followers and should be more than just promoting the brand’s products. Authenticity is key here! Having a consistent presence, especially through a recession, can keep your brand top-of-mind for customers when they are able to engage.

Mix it up
Having your brand participate in multiple marketing tactics and platforms with an omni-channel approach will ensure it has a solid presence and means your company will stand out. In times of a recession, being budget conscious is a must! By moving forward with a mix of paid, earned and owned media, you will be able to extend your reach and make the most of your marketing budget.