Why marketing should never be the first thing you cut

In times of economic uncertainty, the first instinct of many companies is naturally to cut costs.

Often, the marketing department is among the first victims of those cuts. It’s certainly something I've seen across my LinkedIn feed in recent months with a number of recruitment marketers adding the green ‘open to work’ banner to their profiles.

Colourful scissors and pens

It's a reflection of the outdated belief that marketing isn’t a strategic function but a ‘nice to have.’ In so many cases, the thinking is ‘we need to save money, let’s scale back our marketing’ and then ‘we need more revenue, let’s hire a salesperson.’

The problem with this is that it’s been shown that through several recessions and when times are tough, marketing is actually more important than before, not less.

But why is that?

Marketing Drives Long-Term Revenue

The purpose of your marketing is to connect with your target audience and develop a relationship between your business and them. Like any relationship, this takes time and is cultivated across a number of touchpoints and in a number of different ways.

However, in today’s economic climate, there will naturally be the temptation to cut back on efforts that don’t pay dividends immediately.

It can be difficult to think long-term when finances are tight and there's a plethora of issues at hand but resisting the urge to cut back on your marketing efforts if they’re not getting immediate results is key.

The idea is that through consistent, relevant and engaging marketing you’ll resonate with your target clients HR team, hiring manager etc. and when the time comes to engage with an agency, they’ll go to you ahead of a competitor.

Think of your marketing as the cost of acquiring and maintaining your client and candidate base. Or, put another way, marketing is the cost of generating revenue. Why would you cut back on those efforts?

Companies that go quiet will be left behind

If you continue to have a strong, compelling voice in your market and you continue to engage with your network, you will reap the rewards down the line.

If you go quiet and stop, you will not.

With recruitment being so competitive and with agencies springing up all the time or adapting to the trying market conditions, you might find you’re unable to catch up with them again.

In my humble opinion, the recruitment businesses that operate with the full understanding of where good marketing can add value will be the ones that not only survive this downturn but thrive in it.

So, if you find yourself needing to kickstart your marketing what can you do?

Think about a strategy that’s going to work for you. What do you want to achieve and how can you do it? It doesn't have to be anything groundbreaking and there are a few things that can get you started easily...

You can empower your teams to engage with their networks and encourage them to share content, insight and thoughts with their connections to build a community. Having an effective individual brand and marketing themselves is every bit as important for a recruiter as it is for a recruitment business.

You can outsource your marketing to a recruitment marketing specialist and work with them on key deliverables that generate results and that won’t break the bank.

Where do we come in?


If you're looking to get help with your marketing activity, Nineteen Marketing can assist you with cost-effective, strategy-led recruitment marketing that’s designed with your end goal in mind.

Speak to us today about how we can give you the tools and guidance to put in place a marketing strategy that works for you.