"Don't stop marketing. Scrutinize your marketing budget to make sure you're not wasting money, but don't stop marketing or advertising completely. If you can afford it, you may even want to increase your sales and marketing team."
From BNET, (even though this article is dated 1992, the information is similar to tips from today):
"5. Marketing is everything in a recession.
Smart firms continue with a strong marketing effort even in difficult times. But don't expect instant gratification. Marketing in tough times paves the way for future profits. It's the best way to keep your name in front of both clients and prospects.
..... Maintaining the status quo is for those destined to be the dinosaurs of the 80s, not the dominant firms of the 90s."
Besides marketing, it's also important to operate your business in a lean manner. If you think you're already lean - think again - you can probably get leaner. Through the Merchant Marketplace, you can compare prices on products you're already using to operate your business.
During a recession, you can find some great deals, from hiring excellent employees, to cheaper products, including advertising. It's important to clear your books of expenses that don't work, namely the Yellow Pages. Of course, this isn't for everyone. Some businesses still find the print Yellow Pages to be effective. The majority of MerchantCircle's 650,000 members do not. Here's a list of quotes from merchants from almost every state who have turned their attention away from the Yellow Pages and their high prices and long contracts.
If you haven't already claimed your MerchantCircle listing, you should know that it's free. You can write blogs, newsletters, upload your business pics, connect with other business owners, and communicate with your customers online. Even if you already have a website, MerchantCircle strengthens your overall online presence in a Web 2.0 way. If you're looking for advertising options, MerchantCircle has the most extensive, affordable, and effective advertising options on the web.
Remember: Be aggressive, stay lean, and stay strong.