How Marketing Can Weather an Economic Downturn


Sequoia Money offered a 52-web page memo, “Adapting to Endure”, to its portfolio organizations at May’s Founders All Arms meeting. In this presentation, Sequoia predicted the prospective recession and inspired portfolio company CEOs to put together them selves to “avoid the dying spiral.”

To manage a small business, you need to usually have plans to put together yourself for uncertainties. As B2B marketers, we should do the identical.

I took items of their assistance and supply my thoughts on how internet marketing ought to proactively put together for the uncertainties and economic hardship to appear.

The most agonizing decisions that founders and senior administrators require to make are where by to spend and where to slash. And the place to spend or minimize has implications.

For instance, if you choose to enable some of your internet marketing group customers go, you require to determine at a base stage what competencies are needed to “keep the lights on,” such as web-site servicing, goal outreach, and minimized gross sales support. Then, modify your B2B marketing and advertising system and aims accordingly to match your decreased funds and resources.

If you come to a decision to get rid of specified functions of your merchandise, will that selection make your present accounts offended? How will that affect the projected earnings or foreseeable future product or service roadmap?

Eventually, “to reduce or not to cut” is guided by your business enterprise approach, strategic focus, and earnings organization model.

Then, your enterprise technique and revenue model will guideline revenue ambitions, advertising and marketing setting up, content material internet marketing initiatives, and product sales enablement.

The strategic directions need to have to arrive from the leading for marketing and advertising to execute well.

In this article are 5 proactive steps that marketing determination-makers of B2B businesses can acquire to get groups prepared for what’s forward.

1. Include advertising into your merchandise and services

Internet marketing can do what they can to promote new goods. Nevertheless, as soon as they push the traffic to the web-sites for indication-up, the overall digital indicator-on and self-onboarding will need to be seamless and simple to inspire getting choices.

I use Lucidchart to aid my clients create workflows. Lucidchart has a new merchandise, Lucidspark, to aid teams brainstorm and gain alignment. They make it uncomplicated to indicator up with the “One-simply click trial” button. The copy “limited-time offer” indicates urgency and nudges you to give it a try out.

Advertising and marketing can do almost everything to endorse your products, but in the long run, the indicator-on and self onboarding methods will need to stay up to marketing’s promotions for all that do the job to signify a little something.

One more instance of incorporating digital promoting communications into products is to utilize suitable content material to your apps or software platforms.

For occasion, inside the SEMRush platform, you can obtain all the sources you see on a typical site.

When you system your content material advertising and marketing procedures, you have to have to believe via the varieties of written content that use to your site and inside the platform.

Relying on how you launch your merchandise, you can also embed self-training and self-onboarding as element of the system.

In this example, you can see’s new Get the job done Administration Solution.

To self-serve and self-learn, the page can help people in “getting began,” “steps 1-3” to full the set up, and “learn more.”

In a way, your product or service gets to be a channel of your advertising communications and income enablement resources.

2. Crisp, distinct messaging,
and no fluff

I generally say that Amazon spoils us (individuals in the B2C marketplace) with functions like 1-simply 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



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