Don't stop. As rivals retrench, you'll gain a greater 'share of voice' by promoting yourself more. In the recession of the early '90s, with new car sales in freefall, Renault boosted its profits with the Papa/Nicole Clio ads.
Change your focus. Replace gimmicks with a concrete promise of value and reliability. Reassure your customers: show how you can meet their needs.
Know your customers. How are they responding to the downturn? What are they spending and, most importantly, what do they want? Your existing customers will look to trusted brands - don't lose them.
Cut through the gloom. Showing the confidence to invest in promoting your brand sends out the message that you're in it for the long haul.
Use your budget wisely. Perhaps swap bigger, longer ads for smaller, more frequent ones to maintain your presence. Try to create word-of-mouth buzz with online activity, from social networking to blogs. And shop around - ad rates should now be more competitive.
Measure it. When budgets are tight, your advertising has to do the job. Consider online ads, direct marketing, coupon promotions and point of sale, all of which show tangible results.
Keep it going. A recession may be a choppy part of the economic cycle, but the same basic business sense applies. An approach that works during a recession will fare even better when things pick up.