Sequoia Capital introduced a 52-page memo, “Adapting to Endure”, to its portfolio businesses at May’s Founders All Arms conference. In this presentation, Sequoia predicted the possible recession and encouraged portfolio firm CEOs to prepare on their own to “avoid the dying spiral.”
To handle a enterprise, you ought to generally have ideas to prepare yourself for uncertainties. As B2B entrepreneurs, we must do the very same.
I took parts of their suggestions and present my views on how internet marketing ought to proactively put together for the uncertainties and economic hardship to appear.
The most agonizing choices that founders and senior managers need to make are exactly where to devote and in which to reduce. And wherever to make investments or slice has consequences.
For example, if you make your mind up to permit some of your marketing and advertising staff associates go, you want to decide at a foundation stage what techniques are expected to “keep the lights on,” this sort of as web-site maintenance, target outreach, and reduced gross sales aid. Then, modify your B2B promoting strategy and aims accordingly to match your diminished finances and assets.
If you decide to reduce certain options of your solutions, will that determination make your present accounts offended? How will that affect the projected profits or long run item roadmap?
Finally, “to lower or not to cut” is guided by your company technique, strategic target, and earnings company design.
Then, your organization technique and profits design will tutorial product sales plans, marketing and advertising preparing, content material internet marketing attempts, and gross sales enablement.
The strategic directions require to come from the major for advertising to execute effectively.
Below are 5 proactive measures that advertising conclusion-makers of B2B companies can acquire to get groups all set for what’s forward.
1. Incorporate advertising into your goods and providers
Marketing and advertising can do what they can to advertise new solutions. Having said that, after they generate the site visitors to the web sites for signal-up, the general electronic signal-on and self-onboarding require to be seamless and easy to inspire acquiring decisions.
I use Lucidchart to assist my purchasers develop workflows. Lucidchart has a new merchandise, Lucidspark, to help groups brainstorm and achieve alignment. They make it quick to indicator up with the “One-click trial” button. The duplicate “limited-time offer” indicates urgency and nudges you to give it a attempt.
Internet marketing can do all the things to endorse your items, but in the end, the indication-on and self onboarding measures want to are living up to marketing’s promotions for all that operate to necessarily mean some thing.
An additional illustration of incorporating digital advertising and marketing communications into goods is to utilize applicable articles to your applications or software platforms.
For occasion, inside of the SEMRush platform, you can obtain all the sources you see on a common site.
When you approach your information marketing strategies, you need to have to imagine by the types of written content that implement to your web-site and within the platform.
Relying on how you start your merchandise, you can also embed self-coaching and self-onboarding as portion of the platform.
In this case in point, you can see Monday.com’s new Operate Administration Merchandise.
To self-provide and self-find out, the webpage can help people in “getting started out,” “steps 1-3” to total the setup, and “learn much more.”
In a way, your products gets to be a channel of your advertising communications and revenue enablement equipment.
2. Crisp, distinct messaging, and no fluff
I always say that Amazon spoils us (individuals in the B2C market) with functions like a person-click touch and <24-hour delivery. Well, the pandemic accelerated not only digital transformation but also digital interactions.
Your potential customers no longer have the patience to wait for you to respond in 5 days. Now, they also want B2C-like services and responses.
In addition, digital touchpoints need to be easy and seamless, and your copy and product messaging both need to be crisp and direct.
There is no time to beat around the bush.
Clearly say what your product will do, and reinforce it repeatedly.
I’ve learned to cut sentences out when I write copy to keep it concise and to the point. Pare things down wherever possible.
The best way to start evaluating your copy is to build a messaging framework.
I wrote an in-depth blog post on how to construct your messaging framework, which you can check out here.
3. Understand your audience deeply through rigorous testing
The keywords here are “deeply” and “rigorous” testing. Although my target audience is B2B marketers, I still can’t say that I understand my audience completely.
I am learning about them every day based on the content I publish, comments I receive, and direct conversations with them.
If you are on the show floor, talk to them. If they send emails or comments on social media, read and respond to them. Use a variety of ways to test your messaging, copy, and creative concepts.
Find out what makes your audience tick. Then, optimize your digital communications and products constantly. Sadly, this never ends.
4. Complete sales and marketing alignment via sales enablement
The function of marketing is to build brand equity, drive demand, and enable sales. When every dollar counts, it’s even more critical to lend a hand to sales teams. Marketing needs to qualify their sales contribution.
One of the best ways to support sales is account-based marketing. Complement sales efforts when the team is working on new strategic accounts.
You can find my ultimate account-based marketing guide here.
Another option is to gauge the purchase intent of potential leads. For example: if you have a list of attendees from your regular webinars, can you run a particular email campaign for attendees who came to your webinars at least 3 times in the past 6 months?
Write your email with specific calls to action to gauge their interest in your products and services. Whatever content you add in your campaigns needs to provide clues if they are interested in buying now or learning more about your services.
Present your finding as a case study to share with your sales.
5. Continue to optimize your marketing outreach with relevant content
Educate your management and sales team about your marketing plan and the channels you are using to build awareness and drive demand. Help them visualize your strategy and plan for implementation.
Be transparent about campaign results, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you do well, let them know. If you didn’t do well, let them know why and how you will do better next time.
If LinkedIn ad is an essential part of your marketing campaigns and your management questions why spend money on LinkedIn while it’s cheaper for search per Link (paid search engine marketing).
It’s your job to help everyone understand LinkedIn may be pricier, but the platform will lead to bigger deal closures in the long run. Explain that you don’t want to be penny-wise or pound foolish.
There are pros and cons for each marketing channel. Have a deep understanding of what you’re doing and why, and then help others to see your logic.
Should you cut marketing when times are tough?
Your marketing budget and staff tend to be the first ones on the chopping block.
Cutting your budget and/or staff members is never an easy choice, so it’s crucial that you understand the consequences alongside the potential benefits.
Be very focused and intentional about your product roadmap and revenue business model. Then, use that to guide your marketing and sales efforts.
Downturns and recessions challenge everyone. The key is to have a collective plan as a team, stay close-knit, and adapt and change as a unit.
Remember, no matter how rough things get, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Stick to your values and you’ll be able to weather any storm. #cando