I hear some version of this question a lot these days. Recession or not, I will leave deciding that to the economists, the feeling of most business people is that we are well in the midst of some tough economic times. With the fear of the unknown comes the need to settle in, cut back on investments and wait for better times. Most times the cutting back includes scaling back marketing spending.
Despite the answer being the most expected one from a marketing services provider, cutting back on marketing during an economic slowdown is a risky proposition.
Research shows that when others are worried about the economy it creates an opportunity for those who are able to step up their marketing. Investing in marketing during slow times can allow smart companies to gain market share at the expense of vulnerable rivals.
B2Bs shouldn’t cut back on marketing but instead shift their activities to focus on driving inquires, leads and sales.
Traditionally B2B marketing has focused on activities like trade shows, direct mail and advertising. It is very easy to reduce spending on these things but hard to tell whether it makes a direct impact to the bottom line. Rather than simply stopping spending, B2B’s need to re-direct their resources at the most optimal combination of activities for generating leads.
Shifting from a traditional marketing department to a lead generating marketing department won't happen overnight. It will require a committment to understanding your customers and to tying marketing to revenue.
Watch for our next post which will provide some strategies for marketing in slow times.