Are we in a recession? Maybe, maybe not. However, let's assume that the US economy will be in a recession and that as marketers we need to work within that reality. Here are some tips for what you should do.
1. Spend smarter
You may have to spend less on marketing. Not because marketing should be cut first or most (it most certainly should not), but because your company may cut budgets across the board. In fact, by showing how you intend to spend smarter, you will make it easier to fight for your resources (see below).
By "spend smarter" I mean create a clear-cut justification for the investment. While you won't always be able to measure the ROI (this is marketing, after all), you can have your people create a compelling business case for each investment. Then, when it comes time to justify the investment, you will have established sound business reasoning behind it. And that's what the CEO and CFO need to see in a recession.
2. Double-down on your current customers
Sure it's more fun to get new customers, but it's more practical in a downturn to provide more value (and get more in return) from your current customers.
When customers make decisions in a downturn, they're more likely to go with a more trusted source. If they're more likely to go with you, then you want to make it easier and more obvious to them to go with you. Market to them. Enable your sales teams to be more effective with them. Ask current customers what they need from you.
Care for them, and they will be even more likely to stick with you if the going gets tough.