Managing Marketing Performance Amidst Economic Slowdown
Many organizations who want to build their marketing to make a more significant, more meaningful impact lack a connection between marketing tactics and sales revenue. Without creating an alignment between your target audience’s needs and challenges, solutions, and use cases of the organization, this connection won’t be made. For a variety of reasons, this might be a scenario where your organization might require the expertise of an external marketing consultant.
Let’s first start with what a marketing strategy is, why you need one, and how an external strategist can help.
What Is a Marketing Strategy?
In simple terms, a marketing strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a business objective and/or revenue goal. The strategy should be carefully thought out and executed step-by-step until the completion of the goal.
It is safe to say that there has been a general economic slowdown worldwide in the last few years. All industries have suffered some drawbacks as a result of the unstable economy. Now, more than ever, it is important for every organization to have a definite strategy.
Marketing has a responsibility to deliver performance in all seasons. Running an effective marketing scheme is substantially easier in favourable economic conditions. However, when the conditions are not so conducive, it can certainly be more difficult to pull off effective marketing.
The Role of Marketing in Supporting Business Objectives
Marketing encompasses a wide range of activities that create awareness of your products and services and persuade organizations to choose you over your competitors. It involves a lot of processes, and when effectively done, it can lead to qualified sales opportunities and won deals.
Some of the roles of marketing plays in supporting the objectives of a business are;
- Effective prospect and customer engagement
- Building and maintenance of brand awareness
- Building relationships between the customers and the business
- Boosting sales
- Staying relevant with your target audience(s)
The question of whether or not these goals are being supported in the marketing strategies of most organizations today is worth pondering. The 2020 pandemic ushered in an unprecedented wave of marketing technology investments across almost all industries. Globally, lagging industries such as healthcare, education and automotive have fully incorporated tech into their revenue operations. More forward thinking industries like FinTech and Software (SaaS) doubled down on technology spend too. While this is a great move, organizations need to watch their burn rate and be careful about how they spend money. The urge to go all in with the cash and hire all services in a bid to ramp up your marketing strategy might be high but needs to be curtailed. You need to be more accountable with your financial spending.
The big question is; Is the integration of numerous technologies distracting organizations from achieving the core goals of marketing?
The Function of External Strategists in Supporting a Marketing Strategy
It is the responsibility of a strategist to validate the marketing tactics of a brand and ensure that it aligns with the overall strategy of the organization. An external strategist is in the best position for this job because they can bring a fresh perspective to your existing strategy. Also, they are honest and will see things for what they really are from their external vantage position. At times an external strategist may also have more experience than what’s found internally.
Some functions of an external strategist include;
- Ensuring there is an actual strategy and not just some random acts of marketing that have no direction
- Ensuring that the marketing is accountable for business and revenue objectives
- Providing guidance to executives on how marketing should perform
- Bringing a bigger picture and a better perspective by helping to explain the need to have success indicators before KPIs.
The Transformation From the Promise to the Proof of Growth
With this new wave, the most effective growth is the one that is sustained and measurable. Before this time, revenue always took the leading position. Money was always coming before the proof of being able to drive growth in businesses. This was not a very tactical approach to take and caused a lot of backlashes, considering how most of these efforts and revenues put into the process did not exactly yield the expected results due to an inadequate foundation. There was growth, but certainly not enough to match the resources invested into it.
However, more organizations are starting to take the patient approach. This is the approach that says, “Let’s develop the ability to drive growth, take note of the right metrics required, and have a fundamental understanding of the market first, and then prove how we can chip into this knowledge acquired and create momentum with it”. After this, the funding can easily come in. With this strategy in place, when the investment is being sourced, marketers already have laid down proof of success. This way, even if there is a setback along the line, the marketers can easily revisit their blueprint and know where the error stems from.
Patience is a necessary tool for both marketers and the organization hiring marketers. The organization needs to understand that strategies take time to actualize, and they must be patient enough to allow the marketers to carry out the job in due time. Over the last couple of years, the slow economy has affected the availability of funds in the industry. Now marketers need to learn to do more with less available funds.
Creativity Is the Game Changer
The degree of competition in this industry is ramping up daily. Marketers must display insanely creative methods to stand out from the crowd. You need different methods and approaches. As a marketer, you need proof and results to be standing first before you go in for money and tech. Technology is just a means to improve execution and delivery, but your strategy should not be entirely dependent on it.
Creativity, and positioning, are some of the basics of marketing, and despite the wave of change that is taking place, marketers should never lose the connection to these basics. If you do not have the right strategy, audience definition, and clear understanding of your product value and differentiation, the technology will have no use
At Goose Digital, we have enough experience to take your marketing to the next level. We are passionate and dedicated, and we never forget the main focus. If you are looking to scale your marketing automation, get more effective strategies, or just need help with your general marketing, feel free to reach out to us.