How Marketing Can Weather an Economic Downturn


Sequoia Money presented a 52-page memo, “Adapting to Endure”, to its portfolio businesses at May’s Founders All Palms assembly. In this presentation, Sequoia predicted the opportunity economic downturn and encouraged portfolio company CEOs to put together themselves to “avoid the demise spiral.”

To control a business enterprise, you should really always have plans to get ready yourself for uncertainties. As B2B marketers, we should do the exact.

I took parts of their information and offer you my ideas on how advertising ought to proactively put together for the uncertainties and economic hardship to occur.

The most agonizing decisions that founders and senior managers have to have to make are exactly where to make investments and wherever to reduce. And where by to invest or reduce has consequences.

For instance, if you make a decision to let some of your promoting staff users go, you need to have to choose at a foundation amount what competencies are demanded to “keep the lights on,” these kinds of as web-site routine maintenance, goal outreach, and reduced gross sales aid. Then, modify your B2B advertising and marketing tactic and goals accordingly to match your diminished finances and means.

If you decide to eradicate particular functions of your goods, will that selection make your existing accounts angry? How will that effect the projected revenue or upcoming product or service roadmap?

Finally, “to slash or not to cut” is guided by your business enterprise approach, strategic emphasis, and profits small business design.

Then, your organization strategy and revenue product will guide profits aims, marketing and advertising setting up, material marketing and advertising endeavours, and profits enablement.

The strategic directions will need to occur from the top rated for advertising and marketing to execute well.

In this article are 5 proactive actions that advertising selection-makers of B2B providers can just take to get groups completely ready for what is forward.

1. Incorporate promoting into your merchandise and products and services

Marketing and advertising can do what they can to market new goods. However, the moment they travel the site visitors to the websites for indication-up, the total electronic indicator-on and self-onboarding need to be seamless and clear-cut to inspire getting selections.

I use Lucidchart to help my clients create workflows. Lucidchart has a new product or service, Lucidspark, to aid teams brainstorm and attain 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 attempt.

Marketing can do everything to advertise your goods, but in the long run, the indicator-on and self onboarding measures will need to are living up to marketing’s promotions for all that work to mean one thing.

One more illustration of incorporating digital marketing communications into goods is to utilize related material to your applications or computer software platforms.

For occasion, within the SEMRush system, you can accessibility all the sources you see on a standard web page.

When you strategy your content material marketing tactics, you require to believe through the kinds of content material that utilize to your website and inside the platform.

Dependent on how you start your products, you can also embed self-instruction and self-onboarding as aspect of the platform.

In this instance, you can see’s new Get the job done Management Product or service.

To self-serve and self-understand, the page helps buyers in “getting commenced,” “steps 1-3” to complete the setup, and “learn far more.”

In a way, your merchandise turns into a channel of your advertising communications and income enablement resources.

2. Crisp, clear messaging, and no fluff

I normally say that Amazon spoils us (people in the B2C marketplace) with characteristics like a person-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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