B2B Marketing in a Recession

Recessions Present Opportunities as well as Challenges!

Recessions are challenging. Companies should apply their best talent to building strategies to survive and thrive when they face economic headwinds. Typically, however, short-termism rules, and arbitrary cuts are made to ensure quarterly results don’t look so bad to investors.

This is wrong. Statistics show that companies achieve 3.5 times more brand visibility when maintaining their marketing output during a recession compared to competitors.

Recessions present an opportunity for companies willing to invest strategically: a recent study by Bain and Capital, reveals recessions create 47% more rising stars than during ‘stable times’.

Planning is essential. One study shows that those that planned and maintained activities, recovered from a recession within three years, and outperformed competitors by at least 10% in sales and profit growth.

The Growing Importance of Marketing

Customers are spending less time interacting with sales and more time engaging with marketing content. Recent research by Gartner for Chief Sales Officers found that B2B buyers spend 45% of their time researching independently and only 17% interacting with suppliers.

As all members of the decision making unit (DMU, also called buying committee) spend more time researching and less time interacting with the supplier, marketing contributes even more to the sales process.

More than ever, cutting marketing means cutting sales, and is clearly a wrong-headed strategy for a recession.

Get More Out of Your Marketing Budget

If you allocate money to marketing in a recession, there is obviously more pressure to demonstrate return on investment (RoI). To maximise RoI, you need to plan to achieve measurable results.

Napier’s four-step approach is designed to ensure the best ROI for our clients. It allows us to design, build and implement cost-effective campaigns that deliver measurable results. This robust process ensures that our strategy is built around our clients’ business goals, and campaigns are continually optimised to maximise RoI.

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Outsourcing Marketing in a Recession for Greater Accountability

Outsourcing marketing in a recession presents huge benefit for companies. Not only does it avoid overhead costs and maximise revenue-per-employee, but its also flexible, and allows you to access experts who have overcome the challenges of several recessions.

An outside team will be quicker to identify shifts in the channels and tactics that are working in the changed economic environment. Outsources also helps ensure a robust process where campaign objectives are clearly defined, while the accountability of the agency to deliver results is beyond question.

ROI should be top of mind when committing your budget to specific marketing activities, and outsourcing also introduces the option of payment-by-results, a strategy where you only pay for the results generated.

Payment by Results

Napier encourages a payment-by-results (PBR) approach, as we believe that linking our payment to the results we achieve is not only fair, but also helps improve the campaigns we deliver for our clients.

A typical approach to PBR would be to allocate a proportion of our fee to be dependent upon achieving agreed objectives. Additionally, some activities are simply charged on payment for success.

Some of the reasons PBR works so well are:

  • Using PBR helps focus the mind when the brief is written, resulting in better briefs
  • Defining what the payment depends upon means that the objectives and metrics of any campaign are clearer
  • The agency remains focussed on achieving the objectives that matter most to the client throughout the campaign
  • PBR results make assessing the impact of the campaign as the metrics are very clearly defined at the start
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Who We Help

As a full-service agency, we support clients ranging from start-ups to large enterprises. With over 30 years’ experience supporting B2B technology clients from industries such as electronics, industrial automation and communications; our team has the expertise and experience to develop outstanding innovative and effective campaigns.

We like to align our KPIs with our client’s business goals, and our open approach combined with our strategic insights creates long-term client relationships.

Napier Clients