How Marketing Can Weather an Economic Downturn

Sequoia Money introduced a 52-webpage memo, “Adapting to Endure”, to its portfolio providers at May’s Founders All Hands meeting. In this presentation, Sequoia predicted the opportunity economic downturn and inspired portfolio business CEOs to prepare on their own to “avoid the dying spiral.”

To handle a company, you should really always have designs to put together your self for uncertainties. As B2B entrepreneurs, we must do the identical.

I took parts of their information and provide my feelings on how promoting should really proactively get ready for the uncertainties and financial hardship to come.

The most agonizing choices that founders and senior professionals will need to make are the place to make investments and the place to minimize. And wherever to devote or slash has penalties.

For illustration, if you make a decision to enable some of your marketing staff members go, you will need to choose at a foundation degree what skills are needed to “keep the lights on,” this kind of as site routine maintenance, target outreach, and diminished profits guidance. Then, modify your B2B advertising and marketing strategy and targets accordingly to match your lowered spending budget and resources.

If you come to a decision to do away with sure capabilities of your merchandise, will that determination make your existing accounts angry? How will that effects the projected profits or upcoming merchandise roadmap?

In the end, “to lower or not to cut” is guided by your company strategy, strategic focus, and revenue business design.

Then, your small business approach and profits model will manual gross sales targets, marketing preparing, material internet marketing endeavours, and revenue enablement.

The strategic directions need to have to arrive from the best for advertising to execute perfectly.

Below are 5 proactive methods that marketing and advertising choice-makers of B2B organizations can just take to get teams prepared for what is ahead.

1. Incorporate marketing and advertising into your merchandise and services

Promoting can do what they can to endorse new merchandise. Nevertheless, after they push the targeted traffic to the sites for indicator-up, the general digital indicator-on and self-onboarding need to be seamless and easy to stimulate purchasing conclusions.

I use Lucidchart to enable my purchasers build workflows. Lucidchart has a new solution, Lucidspark, to assistance groups brainstorm and acquire alignment. They make it uncomplicated to indicator up with the “One-simply click trial” button. The duplicate “limited-time offer” implies urgency and nudges you to give it a consider.

Marketing and advertising can do everything to market your merchandise, but finally, the indication-on and self onboarding steps require to reside up to marketing’s promotions for all that function to suggest some thing.

How Marketing Can Weather an Economic Downturn

A further illustration of incorporating digital advertising and marketing communications into products is to apply applicable information to your applications or software package platforms.

For occasion, inside of the SEMRush platform, you can accessibility all the sources you see on a normal web page.

When you program your content material advertising and marketing tactics, you need to consider by means of the kinds of information that apply to your web page and within the system.

Business Tools - How Marketing Can Weather an Economic Downturn

Dependent on how you start your solutions, you can also embed self-education and self-onboarding as component of the system.

In this example, you can see Monday.com’s new Work Management Product or service.

To self-provide and self-understand, the website page assists people in “getting started,” “steps 1-3” to complete the setup, and “learn additional.”

Business Tools - How Marketing Can Weather an Economic Downturn

In a way, your product or service gets to be a channel of your marketing communications and gross sales enablement equipment.

2. Crisp, apparent messaging, and no fluff

I generally say that Amazon spoils us (customers in the B2C current market) with options like a single-click contact and <24-hour delivery. Well, the pandemic accelerated not only digital transformation but also digital interactions.

Your potential customers no longer have the patience to wait for you to respond in 5 days. Now, they also want B2C-like services and responses.

In addition, digital touchpoints need to be easy and seamless, and your copy and product messaging both need to be crisp and direct.

There is no time to beat around the bush.

Clearly say what your product will do, and reinforce it repeatedly.

I’ve learned to cut sentences out when I write copy to keep it concise and to the point. Pare things down wherever possible.

The best way to start evaluating your copy is to build a messaging framework.

I wrote an in-depth blog post on how to construct your messaging framework, which you can check out here.

3. Understand your audience deeply through rigorous testing

The keywords here are “deeply” and “rigorous” testing. Although my target audience is B2B marketers, I still can’t say that I understand my audience completely.

I am learning about them every day based on the content I publish, comments I receive, and direct conversations with them.

If you are on the show floor, talk to them. If they send emails or comments on social media, read and respond to them. Use a variety of ways to test your messaging, copy, and creative concepts.

Find out what makes your audience tick. Then, optimize your digital communications and products constantly. Sadly, this never ends.

4. Complete sales and marketing alignment via sales enablement

The function of marketing is to build brand equity, drive demand, and enable sales. When every dollar counts, it’s even more critical to lend a hand to sales teams. Marketing needs to qualify their sales contribution.

One of the best ways to support sales is account-based marketing. Complement sales efforts when the team is working on new strategic accounts.

You can find my ultimate account-based marketing guide here.

Another option is to gauge the purchase intent of potential leads. For example: if you have a list of attendees from your regular webinars, can you run a particular email campaign for attendees who came to your webinars at least 3 times in the past 6 months?

Write your email with specific calls to action to gauge their interest in your products and services. Whatever content you add in your campaigns needs to provide clues if they are interested in buying now or learning more about your services.

Present your finding as a case study to share with your sales.

5. Continue to optimize your marketing outreach with relevant content

Educate your management and sales team about your marketing plan and the channels you are using to build awareness and drive demand. Help them visualize your strategy and plan for implementation.

Be transparent about campaign results, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you do well, let them know. If you didn’t do well, let them know why and how you will do better next time.

If LinkedIn ad is an essential part of your marketing campaigns and your management questions why spend money on LinkedIn while it’s cheaper for search per Link (paid search engine marketing).

It’s your job to help everyone understand LinkedIn may be pricier, but the platform will lead to bigger deal closures in the long run. Explain that you don’t want to be penny-wise or pound foolish.

There are pros and cons for each marketing channel. Have a deep understanding of what you’re doing and why, and then help others to see your logic.

Should you cut marketing when times are tough?

Your marketing budget and staff tend to be the first ones on the chopping block.

Cutting your budget and/or staff members is never an easy choice, so it’s crucial that you understand the consequences alongside the potential benefits.

Be very focused and intentional about your product roadmap and revenue business model. Then, use that to guide your marketing and sales efforts.

Downturns and recessions challenge everyone. The key is to have a collective plan as a team, stay close-knit, and adapt and change as a unit.

Remember, no matter how rough things get, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Stick to your values and you’ll be able to weather any storm. #cando