Do I still need marketing in a recession?

In a recessionary environment like this one CEOs at early stage companies are asking themselves whether Marketing is still essential to their acquisition goals. Here are a few pitfalls of that thought process;

Sales Activities

Generating lead lists and engaging in mass outbound acquisition activities

The Risks

Yes they can sell, but can they segment, write great copy, code a personalized HTML email and adhere to CAN-SPAM laws?  What percentage of their time will be used to do this work versus qualifying prospects and moving them through the sales funnel? If 50% of your Sales team’s time is spent on these activities, they are 50% less productive in selling

Sales Activities

Attending industry conferences and trade-shows

The Risks

Conference investments are often made without a rigorous plan and true ROI calculation.

Are you doing social-media promotion, do you have a  well-designed presentation, giveaways (yes, plushies always do well-see above), networking meetings set in advance, an invite only event, rapid lead followup, and an ROI calculation to decide on investment for future events.

Sales Activities

Creating collateral; e.g. pitch decks, conference presentations, one sheets, even whitepapers

The Risks

Does the one sheet overcome your target audience’s objections, or answer FAQs? Is it by chance a PPT with clip art? You get one chance to make a first impression and everything you give to a potential client is part of the sales process/how they evaluate your company. If you don’t look professional they won’t trust their business with you.

Sales Activities

Sending an update to the entire company on anything and everything your competitors are doing 

The Risks

Constantly checking on your competitors in the rearview mirror is a distraction and creates spin. 

You need clear market positioning , value-added differentiators and a defined target audience. 

Don’t play your competitors strategy, create your own path to growth.

Sales Activities

Buying up digital media

The Risks

Adequate research on the publication’s audience, reach, agreement on KPIs and a compelling asset are essential. Buys run tens of thousands of dollars and are always a calculated risk. They must be approached carefully. Even when digital media publications *guarantee* leads, they may be unqualified and irritated (ever gotten 2 calls and an email after downloading a harmless whitepaper?)

Sales operators are motivated to hit numbers. When they aren’t fed leads, they take the initiative to seek their own. 

A CEO who lets their Sales team step out into the cold prospecting world without a marketing partner could see their efforts relegated to the spam folder, dollars disappear into the void, and the company’s reputation compromised. 

Sales people spike on building 1:1 relationships, identifying pain, and matching that pain with your companys’ solution. They are less attuned to the holistic customer experience; the messaging, social media, website, communications or advertising activities that will ultimately allow their company to achieve scaled growth. 

If Sales is your ground game, marketing is your air cover.

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If you’re the leader at a Fintech company, and you’re ready to take
your marketing to the next level, let’s connect.