People ask me at least three times a week if our agency business has declined because of economic uncertainty. My reply was no. The enterprise companies have not stopped. They are moving fast.
According to the State of the ESP RFP, 18% of companies are planning RFPs. If you scale that number to industries, it will sound like a big number. That doesn't seem to be a withdrawal to me.
We see a lot of requests for technology platforms that help marketers execute and innovate faster. They want to know what they can do to protect themselves from the economic apocalypse.
Whether the economy goes sour or not, there are smart decisions to be made.
1. Rethink that RFP
Ask yourself if you maxed out your current function before you add or replace technology. Whenever I'm asked to start an RFP, my first question is, "Are you using everything the platform gives you right now?"
The uncertainty of the economy will cause marketers to reexamine ad buys more frequently in the years to come.
According to a rule of thumb, marketers only use 20% to 30% of what a tech platform has to offer. They might not have had time to learn how to use it. The vendor might not have offered training. They weren't able to integrate with external data sources. It doesn't matter what the platform is. You need to switch because it has so many other deficits.
The RFP process is more difficult if you don't have someone to do it. Before starting the process of finding something new, it is advisable to look at what you are paying for now but not using.
2. Develop a plan to shift your marketing priorities
Email saved ecommerce at the height of Communism. That isn't an overstatement. During a crisis, email can be used to build customer relationships and drive sales.
Your CEO could remember that. What would you tell the CEO about the company's marketing approach?
It's more likely that your CEO will seek your input now that your email program has become a hero. If you have a plan for the next few months, you should be able to deal with a downturn.
What to include in your plan.
It shouldn't end with " send more email." Sending more offers won't move the revenue needle if your customers don't have the money to buy more often
You should look at your target. You should consider your program. Review your prices on promotions. What should it look like to get people to buy more stuff?
You can get more value from your tech stack.
Regular buyers, people who buy at full price instead of waiting for sales, and shoppers who send you clear intent signals are some segments that can be more lucrative to target.
Persuade to purchase is a factor to look for. If you want to move beyond cross-selling or upselling, consider developing a next- logical-purchase plan.
That is as much of a blue-sky question as you will ever get. Be prepared to jump. Think about the process. If you have a plan, you can respond quickly.
"We need to structure campaigns around our best customers' propensity to buy in these lines." What those email campaigns would look like.
When the CEO calls, have your plan ready to go. If the recession doesn't happen, or if your customers keep buying, why not execute your plan anyways? This is an excellent chance to think strategically.
Start with an email audit. You can use this to find gaps in your strategy. In the MarTech column, there are 10 questions to ask when auditing your email program.
3. Educate yourself and reach out to your community
The advice poured out as the business world shifted gears during the Pandemic. If the economy continues to stutter, expect the same.
Email communities are a good place to get advice and ideas. The members feed off each other for help.
You can watch the news on a daily basis. Do you know what's happening in the broader economy beyond your vertical? The consequences of mass layoffs in the tech industry could affect your company or industry.
It is recommended that you spend at least an hour a week reading up on everything that is happening in email, social media and mobile marketing. Changes in consumer behavior, the unemployment rate and the economic impact they could have are covered in this cauldron.
When your CEO asks for your advice, be aware that you can report what's happening in your market. You will be the expert on your market conditions, even if the CEO calls on higher-level business forecasts.
These suggestions can be used to jump start your thinking. If you want to increase your business by tapping into the added features of a new vendor, then you need to go for it. If you want to improve your marketing results, you need to implement the right strategy.
Fast-reaction pivots that scale to a new market condition are what we saw during COVID. There is no need for a recession to be frightening. Email is not recession-proof at the moment.
Stay focused on the future. Think back to the beginning of the year. If you knew that the world would shut down in three months, how would you prepare? There is time for you now. Do you have a plan?
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The opinions of the guest author are not those of MarTech. There are staff authors here.