Companies are beginning to plan and budget with the end of the year fast approaching, and economic uncertainty is a significant consideration for most business leaders. There isn't enough information to plan for any single scenario. You must prepare for whatever comes and track the right metrics to know when to adjust course.
Now is not the time to cut back and wait out a potential downturn; relying on austerity will squander opportunities and drain your sales pipelines. Identify ways to increase efficiency to keep your marketing engine going and make bold moves to capture market share while others are planning-as-usual. Companies that invest while others slow down grow faster at a lower cost.
Knowing the Warning Signs
A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic decline. As such, you won't know you are in one until the second quarter has passed. To get ahead of the curve, you need a warning system to alert you that things may be slowing down.
Identify which marketing activities KPIs correlate with revenue and review them regularly. This will alert you of any slowdowns and allow you to adjust your marketing spend accordingly. Some segments will likely experience demand declines before others, so you'll want to break your KPIs down by audience.
Efficiency is critical in times of uncertainty; use a data-driven approach to shift your marketing budget to the most cost-effective revenue generators.
Preparing for Every Possibility
For your strategy to be efficient, it must closely align with the current environment. How would a mild, moderate, or severe downturn affect your business, and what would you need to do differently? Where are your revenues most vulnerable, and which segments are likely to be affected in each scenario?
Plan for each of the three scenarios. Use your data and KPIs to drive this planning. With a mild economic slowdown, you may only need to shift dollars away from high-cost activities to those with a better ROI. For example, you could likely pause travel and live events with minimal effects on the bottom line.
In a more moderate downturn, you'll want to shift more heavily to digital marketing efforts and focus on the messaging driving the best results. If you are tracking leads through the customer journey, you can use intent and external event data to identify what motivates your buyers.
In crisis mode, you'll need to be bold and proactive. Use your audience data to identify the targets that will return the best ROI. You'll also want to focus on retaining your existing customer base.
Once you have these scenarios mapped out, decide in advance what KPI benchmarks will trigger these plans. Also, review these plans during monthly and quarterly meetings to keep them up to date.
LTMG can help you plan for 2023. Schedule a call on my calendar here.