Recession, downturn, the Great Depression Part II or whatever else you may want to call it, these are tough times. B2B marketing in the current climate is a big challenge.
The bean counters and the C-level execs are quick to cut marketing and advertising to show they are moving quickly and in the right direction. They may be justified if marketing can’t prove its worth with direct and quantifiable ROI.
Several research studies about past recessions in the U.S. have shown how smart marketers have taken advantage of opportunities in a downturn to accelerate their growth faster than their competition. In one of my earlier posts, “Continuing to Market Aggressively During an Economic Downturn Can Crush Your Competition,” I had mentioned two such studies, the McGraw-Hill Research Study and the Meldrum & Fewsmith study. Both studies concluded that companies that continued to market during a recession averaged significantly higher sales growth than those that eliminated or decreased advertising.
However, the current situation calls for much more than paying mere lip service to "It pays to increase marketing and advertising spending during down times.” B2B marketers will have to do much better than that if anyone is going to take us seriously.
Jon Miller of Marketo had posted a very interesting article earlier this year. In it, he had outlined seven strategies to make B2B marketing more effective during a recession. Now is a good time to revisit his post.
Jon’s seven tips are:
- Use lead management to maximize the value of each lead
- Focus on your house list
- Build and optimize landing pages
- Content for later in the buying cycle
- Appeal to the nervous buyer
- Align sales and marketing
- Don't be a cost center
He concludes his post by writing, “The marketers that focus on getting the most out of every dollar spent and on demonstrating marketing's impact on revenue and pipeline will be well positioned to come out of the slump looking like a star.”
Read Jon’s full post here.