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Marketing research has long overlooked the impact of business cycle (BC) fluctuations.

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Among national-brand purchasers, bottom-tier brands lose, mid-tier brands gain, and top-tier brands remain relatively unaffected.

National-brand manufacturers reduce major new product introductions, advertising and promotional pressure, while retailers support their private labels in a contraction, causing a counter-cyclical private-label success that is only partly recovered in subsequent expansions.

The differential effectiveness of both instruments is especially pronounced in highly cyclical industries.

Although short-term price and advertising elasticities do not change over the BC, long-term elasticities do.

Before 2000, academic marketing research on the topic was scarce.

In a 2005 review by Srinivasan, Rangaswamy and Lilien (p.

In this study, we review the growing marketing literature on how to attenuate or amplify the impact of BC fluctuations.

Our discussion focuses on three key aspects: (1) the scope of, and insights from, existing BC research in marketing, (2) advancements in the methods to study various BC phenomena in marketing, and (3) some emerging trends that offer new challenges and opportunities for future BC research in marketing.

Triggered by impactful changes that force many managers to reconsider, and even turn around, their “normal” business activities, BCs (and especially economic contractions) have caught a renewed attention from marketing researchers over the last 15 years.

This has resulted in a new stream of literature that provides marketing managers with guidelines on how to weather tight economic times.

110), only three studies (Coulson We organize our discussion of the main insights from these studies along the following five dimensions: (1) the key focus of the study (output metric, marketing input, or marketing-mix effectiveness), (2) the type of industry (durables, non-durables, and services, in either a B2B or B2C setting), (3) the geographic coverage (single country, multi-country, or global), (4) the data characteristics (temporal aggregation and time span) and, finally, (5) the temporary versus permanent nature of the BC impact.

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