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B2B marketing in a recession

The Biggest Marketing Mistake B2B Companies Make in a Recession

The Biggest Marketing Mistake B2B Companies Make in a Recession

Based on decades of research on business spend and performance before, during, and after past recessions, here’s how to avoid making the biggest marketing mistake B2B companies can make during a recession and come out on top.

Don’t make the mistake of arbitrarily slashing your marketing budget

 

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, this is not the time to slash your marketing budget. In study after study of firm performance during the past recessions, it’s been well documented that cutting marketing spending only helps profitability in the very short term, while the damage is long-lasting.

 

It’s easy to see why so many companies make this mistake: following a budget cut, a brand will continue to benefit from the marketing investment made over the previous few years. This mitigates short-term negative effects and leads to a dangerously misleading increase in short-term profitability. Eventually, of course, periods of below-average marketing spend will show up in business results, and there’s no quick fix for the damage done.

b2b marketing in a recession

Gain market share by maintaining your marketing spend


While all their competitors are making the mistake of cutting marketing budgets, firms that maintain or increase their marketing during a recession can gain market share and improve the returns at a lower cost. How? When your competitors cut spending, media companies, trade shows, and agencies feel the pinch like everyone else. It’s often possible to negotiate discounts or lock in lower rates in exchange for a longer commitment, simply because so few of your competitors are willing to do so. And because your competitors have gone quiet, you can capture additional share of voice simply by maintaining your current spend.

…but if you must cut your marketing budget, be surgical and strategic

 

If you absolutely must cut marketing spending, try to maintain the frequency of your communications to maintain awareness of your company and products.

 

Do this by adjusting your marketing mix to emphasize low-cost, direct channels like email, and social media, which have a more immediate sales impact than advertising.

 

Surgically trimming the budget is easier to do during a downturn than in prosperous times. Take advantage of this opportunity to objectively evaluate the performance of each of your marketing tactics and cut loose poor performers, even those “sacred cows”. It’s much easier to get buy-in for eliminating pet projects and vanity spend during times of economic pressure, and your program will emerge from the recession much better for it. 

Need help trimming your marketing budget without compromising your long-term goals?

how to market in a recession

When faced with an economic downturn, smart B2B firms don’t reduce their marketing presence, they use the situation to their advantage. The goal is to make data-driven, case-by-case recommendations about where to cut the budget, where to maintain, and where to increase it. By avoiding the biggest mistake, slashing your budget, you can emerge from a recession stronger and more profitable than before. 

 

For help adapting your marketing strategy to a changing economic climate, drop us a line

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How much should a business spend on marketing?

How Much Should a Business Spend on Marketing

For more help growing your business with cost-effective B2B marketing techniques, drop us a line.

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Let us know a bit about yourself, your business, and the kind of marketing support you need, and we’ll be in touch.

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The $834 marketing hack that wins you more customers

The $834 Marketing Hack That Wins You More Customers

For more help growing your business with cost-effective B2B marketing techniques, drop us a line.

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5 ways to increase B2B sales on a $652 monthly marketing budget

5 Ways to Increase B2B Sales with a $652 Monthly Marketing Budget

In a perfect world, all of our businesses would enjoy fat margins with plenty left over to spend on marketing, but the reality for most small- to mid-sized businesses is quite different. And because it’s often assumed that marketing is expensive, many companies with limited budgets simply don’t do it.

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11 of the best email marketing how-to’s from around the web​

11 of the best email marketing how-to's from around the web

Email marketing is the third most influential source of information for B2B buyers behind only colleague recommendations and industry-specific thought leaders (Wordstream). It’s no wonder, then, that 87% of B2B marketers use email marketing to generate leads. But email can do so much more than lead generation: companies in every industry use email to nurture existing leads through the sales funnel, strengthen customer loyalty, and build awareness of their brands. 

But as with anything else in business (or personal, for that matter),  great email marketing results don’t just happen by accident. B2B buyers, like the rest of us, are inundated with email: great results demand the right content, timing, and of course, a great list. The best emails in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t have anyone to send them to, or if the people you’re sending to aren’t the right people.

 

With so much to be gained from a strong email marketing program, we’ve scoured the interwebs for the best tips, tricks, and guides and listed them here for your best practice-seeking pleasure. If you’re unsure where to start, we’re happy to help

A well-crafted marketing email requires getting six things right. Each of the articles and posts below offer up-to-date techniques and tactics to allow you to separate yourself from your competitors and earn higher open rates, click-through rates, and sales conversions. 

Building and maintaining your email list is an ongoing challenge. You need to consistently entice new, qualified prospects to subscribe while eliminating old, bouncy emails that hurt your spam score, and it’s an uphill battle! In fact, it’s common to lose 20% of your subscribers each year to attrition, so set your growth targets accordingly!

Email marketing remains an important and cost-effective communication channel for lead generation, brand building, and nurturing of client relationships. Using the best practices listed here, you can build and maintain an engaged contact list and provide helpful, interesting content that drives both top line and bottom line growth. For more help growing your business with cost-effective B2B marketing techniques, drop us a line

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Let us know a bit about yourself, your business, and the kind of marketing support you need, and we’ll be in touch.

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4 Keys to Generating More Leads with Webinars

4 Keys to Generating More Leads with Webinars

With average costs between $100 – $3,000 (depending on the technology involved and promotional investment), a webinar can be a great, cost-effective lead generation tool for B2B companies: recent studies suggest that 20% to 40% of webinar attendees turn into qualified leads (source), not including warm leads from the 55-65% of people who register but don’t attend (source).

 

But if you want your webinars to generate even more leads, make a recording available on your website in exchange for contact information. After all, 78% of webinars have 50 or fewer attendees, maybe because 84% of B2B customers opt to watch replays over live webinars. 

 

To generate even more leads from your webinars, here are four key rules to follow:

#1 – Pick the right topic

 

 Not every piece of content is a good fit for a webinar. When choosing your topic, ask yourself these questions:

 

   –  Which of my customers would be interested in this topic?

   –  What benefit will attendees get from the webinar?

   –  Has this topic already been covered extensively, or do we have new information to offer?

   –  Do we have enough “meat” to make it content-rich, or will we just be giving our opinions?

 

Here are a few examples of good and bad webinar topics:

  • A panel discussion on an industry trend
  • A how-to tutorial solving a common problem
  • A "report back" of learnings from an industry conference
  • An interview with an influencer in your industry
  • Company or product news
  • Your sales presentation
  • A general topic such as "ways to reduce costs"
  • A demo of an old, well-known product

It helps to focus on the specific audience you’re targeting and generate topics of specific interest to them. It may be tempting to choose a topic broad enough to appeal to a wide audience – after all, webinars take a lot of time and effort to put together, so you want the most bang for your buck. But by trying to appeal to everyone, you effectively appeal to no one.

 

If you’re unsure what kind of content would be interesting to your audience, refer back to your buyer personas!

#2 – Create 30 minutes of content, leaving 30 minutes for Q&A

 

It’s counter-intuitive perhaps, but 60-minute webinars are the most successful; two-thirds of all registrations are for 60-minute webinars, and 30-minute webinars only attract 8% of registrations (source: gotomeeting).

 

Don’t worry about coming up with a full hour of content; break up the time into Q&A, a live demonstration, video clips, or all three.

#3 – Schedule it at 10:00 am or 11:00 am on a Wednesday or Thursday

 

According to Gotomeeting’s research, 10:00 am and 11:00 am on a Wednesday or Thursday are the time slots with the highest webinar attendance rates. If your prospects are spread across different time zones, choose the time slot that hits the most prospective attendees at 10 or 11 am local time.

 

Before scheduling, be sure to check your competitors, trade media, and trade groups for competing webinars or events which could divert prospective attendees.

#4 – Start promoting a month out, and don’t stop until an hour before it starts

 

Start promoting your webinar at least four weeks in advance, with regular emails and social media posts. You can also include some trade media advertising if budget allows. Be sure to take advantage of your sales team’s email signatures and the home page of your website as well.

 

Increase promotion the week prior to your webinar, especially the day before and even the day the webinar takes place: 59% of registrations occur less than a week before the webinar, and 17% occur the day of.

Email should be at the heart of your promotion strategy, as it’s been shown to be the most effective – and it’s free. When timing your emails, aim for the time slot between 8:00 am and 10:00 am in your recipients’ local time zone: 36% of registrations occur then.

 

Webinars are an excellent, low-cost lead generation tool for B2B businesses when done correctly. For help developing a comprehensive lead generation strategy, drop us a line

Request a quote

Let us know a bit about yourself, your business, and the kind of marketing support you need, and we’ll be in touch.

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Infographic: How much should you spend on marketing

While US companies spend an average of 7-8% of annual revenue on marketing, individual company budgets range from 0.5% to more than 20%. To gauge how much your company should be allocating to marketing, use this four-factor formula.

 

For more help budgeting, read the full post explaining each factor, or download our handy Marketing Budget Calculator

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The four factors that determine your marketing budget

The Four Factors that Determine Your Marketing Budget

While US companies spend an average of 7-8% of annual revenue on marketing, individual company budgets range from 0.5% to more than 20%. To gauge how much your company should be allocating to marketing, use this four-factor formula. 

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brand strategy

Which Brand Strategy is Best for a Merger or Acquisition?

Which Brand Strategy is Best for a Merger or Acquisition?

70-90% of M&A transactions never achieve the expected results. There are many reasons M&A’s fail, but among controllable factors, executing the wrong brand strategy stands out as one of the easiest to avoid – if you give branding the priority it deserves. 

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Infographic: Which Brand Strategy is Best for Mergers and Acquisitions

70-90% of M&A transactions never achieve the expected results. There are many reasons M&A’s fail, but among controllable factors, executing the wrong brand strategy stands out as one of the easiest to avoid. Read the full blog post on M&A brand strategy here

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