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You Might Be Tempted to Eliminate This Business Function During a Bear Market, But Don't. Here's What to Do Instead. This department is usually the first on the chopping block when businesses want to cut costs, but it shouldn't be.

By Cara Sloman Edited by Jessica Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When stock prices drop by 20% or more from their recent highs, we enter what's called a bear market. This can happen for any number of reasons — from a financial crisis (like the housing market collapse of 2008) to a group of fearful investors overreacting to a piece of bad economic news. Fear can sometimes keep a bear market going much longer than the thing that actually caused it in the first place.

Volatility is fairly common in a bear market — stocks can go up and down at a dizzying rate. In this environment, investors are typically more worried than usual about losing money and thus are afraid to take on risk.

These conditions then make companies worried that they'll lack the capital to move forward with their business goals. The temptation is to retrench, and the first area that typically suffers is marketing. The thinking goes something like, Why encourage people to buy our products and services when no one is buying? Yet that's a potentially fatal mindset. The reality is that marketing remains highly necessary — perhaps even more so — during times of economic volatility.

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