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In the turbulent world of UK retail, November 2023 – thanks to Black Friday – was supposed to feel like the grand finale of a fireworks display. But instead, it was more of a damp squib. Retail growth lumbered at a sluggish 2.7%, a shadow of its former, more robust self from the previous year.

It seems the cost-of-living crisis turned the usual shopping spree into a much more reserved affair. Customers, it appears, were hanging onto their wallets a bit tighter, opting for essentials over luxury splurges. The retail figures appeared to be a barometer for the broader economic mood – a bit grey, with a chance of cautious spending.

And in periods of economic stress, the instinctive reaction for many businesses is to cut down on marketing expenditure. However, this approach might be counterproductive.

Thriving in Uncertainty: Marketing Your Way Through Chaos

Consistent marketing during these challenging times can be a game-changer. With many competitors likely pulling back, a “more is more” approach of maintaining or even increasing marketing efforts can lead to significant gains in market share and brand recognition.

Downturns are a time when the playing field levels somewhat, offering a unique opportunity for businesses that continue to engage actively with their market. By focusing on marketing, companies can stay visible and relevant, keeping their audience engaged and ready for when the economic tides turn.

Those retail figures tell a story of the cautious soul of post-Brexit, post-COVID Britain.

We’ve got inflation doing a high-wire act and investment numbers that seem to have taken a long nap. It’s a landscape begging for change, yet change appears to be lurking somewhere just over the horizon.

And while we’re chatting about B2C, let’s not forget our friends in B2B, who are taking the same bumpy ride.

The Undeniable Power of Persistent Marketing

Businesses and consumers are navigating a challenging economic landscape of uncertainty and change. When times get tough, some companies might think chopping the marketing budget is the way to go. But that’s like saying you should stop fixing the roof just because it’s raining.

Stick with marketing through thick and thin, and you might just find yourself dancing in the rain instead, with less competition and more room to shine.


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Keith Barker Designer & Marketing Consultant
I'm Keith, the driving force behind Keefomatic Marketing & Design. With a career spanning over 35 years in marketing, design and advertising, I offer a comprehensive, results-driven service tailored to the needs of small business owners.