Some say that it is in testing times that we show our true colours. And in a downturn there are those who go under, those who survive, and then there are those who thrive. What are the secrets of the recession-busters who not only keep their heads above water but manage to outswim their competitors?

Put simply, they don’t cut back. That may sound easy and be hard in effect, but the companies that do well in a downturn are those that push ahead with their advertising and marketing, even increasing their spend, but doing so wisely and making sure every penny of their marketing budget is working hard for them. This means accountability, measurability, ROI and the ability to control the budget without the budget controlling you. In short, this means search engine marketing.

Powerhouse corporations and SMEs alike are realising that digital marketing gives them control. A good SEO provider tailors their web marketing services to the client so that the client can control the amount spent in which area (SEO, PPC, SEM, etc.). This makes the campaign accountable: if your pay per click spend is too high for the results achieved, you know, and you can switch that spend over to search engine optimisation in the organic listings.

Which brings us on to measurability and ROI. Print and television advertising are notoriously difficult to measure when it comes to ROI. Budweiser may be able to measure the number of additional viewers if they advertise around the US Superbowl, arguably the holy grail of television advertising slots, but they can never truly know how many extra people went out to buy Budweiser because of seeing that advert. With an internet marketing and advertising campaign you get to aim solely at your target audience and easily measure the success of that campaign. Being able to engage and interact with your target audience gives you power: power to aquire customers, through directly targeting your demographic, and the power to retain them by engaging with them to ascertain their ongoing needs.

Finally, SEO, SEM and PPC are so economical, especially given the ROI, that they can even help companies expand when everyone around them seems to be shrinking. They can use online marketing to expand into different geographic locations and target different demographics and therefore increase their revenue streams.

Ask yourself, do you want to survive or thrive? Either way, digital marketing is a must.