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Why you should invest more in marketing during economic uncertainty

3 min read - by Alex Norbury - MD

B2B brands have felt the enormous pressure of the recent economic downturn. But marketers remain optimistic despite the challenges.

In good times, only 5% of B2B buyers are in-market opportunities. But when rough economic times hit, this shrinks to 1%. And an alarming 99% of the market become future buyers.  

But despite obstacles such as redundancies and shrinking budgets,  B2B marketers remain confident they can help drive revenue in the coming year. 

After all, tough times offer their own opportunities. Opportunities to delve into the realm of marketing and dramatically improve how they spend marketing budgets. To be intrepid while your competitors shy back into the shadows; not looking solely at your in-market buyers but continuing to market to those who might become your future buyers. 

Succeeding in good times is easy. But only the best can succeed in tough times. 


The power of marketing in challenging times 

In our recent event with the LinkedIn B2B Institute, we focused on providing senior marketers with the insights they need to unlock growth. Characterised by research and peer-to-peer learning, we discussed All Weather Marketing and The Financial Case for Creativity. 

We also heard from Jen Shaw-Sweet, EMEA lead of the LinkedIn B2B Institute, who shared invaluable research into the power of marketing and creativity in challenging times. 

Advertising in a recession improves top-line growth and long-term profitability. 


Here are some of the best takeaways from the session… 


Effective ways to drive success during market uncertainty 

Let's start with the obvious. During a recession, people tend to buy from brands they trust. Increasing marketing spend bolsters your chances of being top of mind when businesses are ready to buy again.

However, if budgets are tight, try and at least maintain spend levels to enable you to come out the other side even stronger, by capitalising on a quieter market and growing your share of voice. 

But how about this?

Withdrawing your budget costs you more in the long run, too. According to Therese Parkes, a guest in our ‘Masters of B2B Marketing’ series, for every $1 of budget withheld during financial stress, it costs $1.85 to claw the same marketing benefits back.

That’s almost twice the cost. A $100,000 budget becomes an eye-watering $180,500 budget.  

During one of the breakout sessions, we heard how a leading tech brand invested heavily in marketing spend with a consistent, global message. They even went as far as making cuts from sales to make the brand investment. Was it successful? Of course. They were brave enough to take the risk and reposition their investment when others would not. The power of marketing, eh? 

Tune in here to find out more about what we discussed on the day. 


Make the most out of your media and creative 

Now’s the time to upskill your marketing teams. Get started with some of our tips below: 

  • Focus attention on first-party data. Third-party data is inaccurate 84% of the time (unless you’re working with an agency that uses quality data from trusted sources and premium environments). A bit like trying to drive a car without petrol.  
  • Make the most of your media by prioritising reach, context, and attention.  
  • Be confident in your creative. And re-use it. Be bold. Trust agencies to develop strong creatives. It’s what they are about.  
  • If you’re not confident in your creative, don’t try too hard to re-use it. 60% of brand advertising is misattributed in B2B. It’s like beating your head against the wall. Great for your competitors but not so much for your brand. 
  • A powerful, reasonable, creative platform will have your brand in the shooting star firmament. It helps build affinity for your brand and you can re-use it. Think of Nike’s ‘Just do it’. Or other brands that stay in your mind, and ask yourself why?  

There’s clear-cut evidence to demonstrate the power of marketing when it comes to unlocking growth. We hope you can take some of these suggestions into consideration to make the most out of a tumulus time. Maintaining or even growing your potential opportunity.

Like what you’ve read? 

If this blog has left you chomping at the bit to revamp your marketing strategy, get in touch to see where we can help.