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How to save your marketing plan when everything else is going to the dogs

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The word is we're currently in a state of 'permacrisis' ...

What are you doing right NOW to save this year?

The big "R" is looming...

how to stop the global recession dragging you down

We’re all experiencing a dizzying sense of lurching from one unprecedented event to another.

It’s not your fault that converting leads into sales is getting harder. We’re all being hammered by the cost of living crisis. It’s affecting your own employees as well as your customers. So first things first, let’s get the house in order.

If you haven’t already, make some time to talk with your team beyond the typical appraisal/meeting setting. Don’t be worried about opening up a can of worms, you can’t fix everything. People are unsure of what is going on in the world and need reassurance that what they are doing matters. If your workforce is unmotivated due to the current uncertainty, it will have an effect on your business.

report from Champion Health, which polled 2,200 UK employees, found that two-thirds (67%) were experiencing moderate to high levels of stress, while more than a quarter (28%) had seen their productivity negatively impacted within the last two years.

Here at Now|Comms, we used the Covid situation as an opportunity to galvanise what we do. We came up with some great ideas and developed new, game-changing products. How do we capture that same zeitgeist when there is a whole charcuterie of challenges ahead of us far more complicated than JUST a pandemic?

Inflation-proof SEO plan? Conflict resolution social posting? Carbon-neutral web hosting? It all seems a bit silly when many of us worry about being able to afford to heat our homes this winter.

Bain.com tells us that only 43% of sales organisations develop plans for a recession well in advance of one. Advance planning helps companies cut costs and gain market share. Some 86% of companies that create a plan well in advance focus on using the downturn to gain market share, compared with only 50% of companies that create their plan shortly after the recession hits.

So, what are you waiting for?


Things to start doing today

Automate qualifying journeys

Create conversion emails to users who meet the qualifying threshold rather than blind firing information that ends up in junk folders

Automate your sales

Review your SEO keywords

Make sure you’re using the same phrases and terms customers are using, rather than ones you’ve coined yourself about your products

Optimise your search terms

Localise your website content

Ensure you are delivering geographically relatable content to your customers

Internationalise your website

Getting the data

So, you’ve spoken to your team and reassured them you’re going to make it through this dark time. Now let’s start talking to your customers.

You can learn a lot about your customers’ behaviour using basic analytics from Google and LinkedIn etc. but these are all hindsight. You really need to know what their priority spending will be in the coming months, what their market confidence looks like and how your product will help them do better in the year ahead.

In a recession, short-term spending habits shrink. However, people tend to still spend the same and more on well-considered, prudent, longer-term investments. So let’s give them something to consider and give you a way to automatically qualify those leads so you’re not wasting your time on those not ready to buy.

 You can read more about Marketing Qualified Leads in our quick start guide


Download our guide

Ask more questions

Feedback is important

Sometimes, we may feel that testing our new ideas out with customers gives the impression we don’t know what we’re doing. Perhaps we’re afraid of seeing our own criticisms of ourselves reflected back at us.

So marketing teams dither, delay and start guessing their way towards some preconceived idea of “perfection”.  Great ideas don’t see the light of day for months, and when promotions do finally go public, the customer response rarely meets expectations.

Starting small, releasing fast and learning what works from early customer data allows great ideas to grow into great big ideas safely. Small public BETAs or minimal viable promotions (MVPs) let marketers test ideas with real customers and, when real customers feedback, marketers can build with confidence.

Thinking about your promotion as an evolving idea creates tremendous marketing potential. You’re not just slapping a For Sale sticker on a product and hoping someone purchases it. The product becomes woven into the fabric of the conversations you’re having on the internet – just like this blog.

The marketing products I have linked to in this blog achieve very little direct traffic. Instead, traffic comes via other conversations I create around them. It gives our products context. It provides them with a reason to exist.

Don't burn the furniture...


When you haven’t planned for a recession, it’s quite safe to assume your first reaction will be to cut back on those annoying things like R&D, sales, marketing… you know, those little activities that are key for growth… Or perhaps you think you’ll just brute force your way through the downturn by pumping your ad revenue into anything that might work. Chances are, neither of those approaches will work.

The problem is you don’t know, and I certainly don’t know, what the answer is without gathering the right data… by asking the right questions.

The next step is to look at your product offering:

  • Are potential customers getting the clear and simple information they need early in the buyer’s journey?
  • Are customers finding your products via enough review channels, and are there enough quality reviews?
  • Are you using the search keywords and terms your customers are using?

These are all things we should be doing anyway. As we brace ourselves for some tough times ahead, they’re the things we should be doing right now.

“These folks just always seem to communicate really complex digital ID & cyber security innovations clearly & simply.”

Andrew Leigh, Idemia