In the first half of 2022, technology company stocks are plummeting and the Nasdaq is on pace for its second-worst quarter since the 2008 financial crisis. Financial Times has called it a ‘technical recession’ and meanwhile, start-up investors are telling their portfolio companies they won’t be spared in the fallout, and that conditions could be worsening. All the news makes most businesses reassess their growth projections for the second half of the year, and looking for ways to cut expenses across the board.
However, based on our combined decades of experience leading marketing and sales within B2B companies large and small, and professionally advising hundreds of additional companies, we’d suggest rethinking the conventional wisdom to pull back on marketing and sales during a recession.
When a large VC firm issued a warning to their portfolio companies in May, they cautioned that over investing in marketing and sales for the next two quarters would be less beneficial than focusing on bottom line profits. Founders and owners were encouraged to find places to cut, specifically in areas of Marketing and Human Resources. After all, if people are less inclined to purchase due to economic factors, why spend the money to reach them — aren’t you just wasting your money?
While we’d certainly agree that using the same strategy during a recession as during boom times is short sighted, there are ways to shift your marketing and sales spend to take advantage of a recession and come out stronger on the other side.
Here are four tactics we’d suggest:
During economic uncertainty, shifting your strategies and tactics for marketing and sales could mean measuring different things. For instance, if you’re shifting your strategy to focus on building awareness in a new vertical you might want to start measuring your overall cost per impressions, or the pace of acquiring new contacts within your target accounts, rather than focusing on measuring your cost per customer acquisition.
If you’re planning to implement a FANS strategy, you might measure how many of your contacts from former accounts you can identify and put into an email communication sequence, and then measure engagement, response rates, and booked meetings related to those campaigns.
Although a recession isn’t certain, we find that companies who take it as an opportunity to re-focus their marketing and sales teams come out of the recession leaps and bounds ahead of their competition.
If you need some help to refocus your campaigns in the second half, the teams at MarketLauncher and Beacon Digital are well positioned to help. Don’t give in to that conventional thinking that you can’t be successful — we can help you develop new markets, build thought leadership campaigns, and convert those leads into meetings, even within the challenging economic environment that lies ahead.