So, it seems the UK is in recession. And there’s talk it will be global.

Forecasts suggest it will last up to two years.

How should you respond?

Cue the inevitable advice from what seems to be every corner: cut costs.

Cut, cut, cut. Only that way will you balance the books in the face of reducing demand.

Of course the first thing to cut is marketing. It’s a soft target. It is seen as discretionary. Dial down marketing spend and dial it back up again when things get better. Easy, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, although it may be easy, it is more than likely the wrong thing to do.

Automatically reducing marketing spend in the face of a down-turn is a bad thing. At best it will extend your woes. Or deepen them. At worse it will do both.

The danger of turning down the marketing dial is that while you may save some money in the short term most of the negative impact will be felt in the future. Flexing marketing activity is like steering a battleship.

The problem is, when the economy eventually turns a corner your battleship will be in the wrong place.

By all means conduct a spending review, but look across your entire operation and not just the apparent easy targets. Or rather than looking for cost savings, seek efficiencies. Where can things be done better to free up resources that can be applies to add value?

But don’t cut marketing spend. Instead aim to trade your way out of the troubled waters. It’s quite possible your competitors will be cutting back on marketing and by maintaining your activity you could snatch market share.

And when the upturn does come, you will make the most of the bounce and enter the next cycle with outstanding performance rather than playing catch-up.