The marketing world has seen some serious ups and downs in the last couple of years. After the initial wave of the pandemic lifted, ad and marketing dollars flowed, as a rush of consumer spending aligned with a surging economic recovery. But now, a perfect storm of global events—supply chain shortages, rising interest rates, the war in Ukraine, and stagnation in China, to name a few—have put a stop to the flow of funding. The result? Everyone is tightening their belts.
The global advertising budget is forecast to come in at just 9.2 percent—much lower than previous forecasts. Major players like Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble are diverting money from advertising and investing in their bottom lines, and the rest of the world is following suit. According to Pavilion’s recent Pulse Survey, 41% of marketers have decreased budgets as they brace for hard economic times in 2022.
So how do you market during an economic downturn?
Marketing leaders are under a lot of pressure to deliver boom-time results in less certain times—with far less money and far fewer resources. But with a few key skills and reframes, it’s still possible to build pipeline and revenue, even in tough economic circumstances.
In Pavilion’s new course, Marketing Through an Economic Downturn, President and Founder of Heinz Marketing, Matt Heinz, will condense his 15+ years of experience in sales and development to help B2B marketing professionals identify specific strategies, tactics, and best practices to make the market work for them—no matter the global financial situation.
Make your budget work for you
A flush marketing budget is a huge boon for marketers. But Heinz believes that there are many ways that marketing and sales teams can hone their skills to do more with less, and develop budgeting strategies that recognize financial realities while setting teams up for success. By incentivizing collaboration, making smart cuts, and reframing budgets as revenue, rather than cost-centric, Heinz believes that marketing teams can build strength even in an economic crunch.
Find common cause between marketers and managers
In tough times, the C-suite often feels pitted against employees lower on the ladder and vice versa, with management demanding cuts and teams arguing for more resources. To market successfully in a downturn, you need to start with the best budget you can get—and getting there requires buy-in at every level. So instead of making a unilateral financial decision, run the budget by the marketing team before you finalize it. Explain to them what the company needs to perform in lean times, and what you’ll need from them to do it. That way, if cuts have to be made, people will have a sense for why and motivation to work as a team to succeed despite the odds.
Project wins, not losses
Budgeting can be a scary word because people associate it with costs and cuts. Marketing is often left in the lurch in lean budget years, with more money being diverted to emergency business functions. To ensure the health of your marketing team, frame your budget in terms of project revenue rather than costs alone. Explain the cuts you must make and why they will benefit the company, then pivot to the money you expect each line item to bring in. This will help give the CFO confidence to fund your initiatives, and your team the motivation to push toward a goal.
Turn economic difficulty into opportunity
Of course, budgeting is not the only tool you’ll need to market during an economic downturn. In his new course, Matt Heinz will cover everything from negotiations to fostering client relationships.
This four-week course will cover:
How companies can manage budgets, pivot messaging, and double down on existing resources in difficult financial times
How to close deals, build revenue, and deepen client relationships in an economic downturn
Turn difficulty into opportunity
Looking for a better ROI, but working on a shoestring budget? This course will delve into the returns promised by channel optimization. Want to expedite deals and create buyer urgency in a market where many clients are hesitant to commit? This course will teach you to increase deal velocity using the power of positioning adjustments, as well as closing more deals by optimizing messaging and enablement to improve conversion.
Build relationships and hone your leadership
Or maybe you’re looking to retain clients at a time when many are closing their accounts? Learn how upselling, cross-selling, and referral strategies can help solidify client relationships in even the toughest of times.
Economic downturns are stressful. But they are also opportunities to reassess and revamp your approach to your work—and to become a new kind of leader. This course will help allay the very real fears caused by the global market by teaching you to work with what you have—and be a leader who can make the most out of a tough situation.
Marketing Through an Economic Downturn is a premium elective from Pavilion University, available at a discounted rate for individual members and included in our corporate membership, Pavilion for Teams.