One of the biggest mistakes companies can make when the economy is in a downturn is to cut their marketing and advertising budget. Though this strategy may save you dollars now, skimping on advertising shuts off an important lead source, resulting in a blow to your sales pipeline as well as the inability to keep your brand top of mind.
Advertisers that maintained or grew their ad spend during periods of recession saw their sales and market share increase. In fact, in 2009 during the “great recession,” Amazon grew sales by 28% by continuing to promote their latest products, most notably Kindle, and were seen as an innovative company that offered a lower-cost alternative to buying books.
Advertising is vital in helping you remain relevant and remembered. Whether in times of stability or uncertainty, you need to evaluate how to optimize your marketing budget to get the most value out of what you spend. Here are two ways marketers can effectively accomplish this.
Double Down on Audience-Based Advertising
Your ads are only as good as who you advertise to, and audience-based advertising (ABA) enables you to choose the exact contacts or accounts to target and adapt your messaging for each of those individual accounts. In doing more ABA, you will gain more control over who views and interacts with your ads, which works on both the CPM and CPC level, allowing you to be precise in your advertising and conserve budget at the same time. Your advertising campaign can be closely tied to your sales team's efforts, thereby allowing you to build your brand over time and to support sales actively.
To do this well, you will need to first assess your marketing sales cycle and your current database of contacts to figure out what to expect from these different segments of people. Once you’ve segmented your audience into groups, customized your messaging accordingly, and pushed your ads out, you can then gauge your target list’s interest to learn who exactly is clicking into your ads and subsequently converting to leads. You can then place these leads under nurture streams to share more of your products and offerings.
ABA also allows you to suppress target lists to prevent the same people from seeing the same content over and over, saving you more money than you would have if you were to cast a wider net that includes people who may not even be interested in what you’re selling.
Use Geo-Fencing for Increased Targeting Accuracy
With the right contact lists in place, you can start defining the geographical boundaries of your targeted accounts by geo-fencing. This allows you to target prospect and customer groups within a specific area with pinpoint accuracy. Creating these parameters also enables you to achieve effective mobile marketing, giving you control to hyper-localize your efforts and hyper-target consumers within your confined digital boundary through their mobile devices—which is an opportunity to improve campaign effectiveness and refine your marketing strategy to enhance sales conversions and prevent budget wastage.
Geo-fencing gives you a granular view of where you’re targeting to ensure that your ads appear at the right place and time to the right audience. And during this time when markets begin to reopen, you can customize your targeting based on states and companies that are resuming business operations.
The MaaS Approach to Advertising
The main takeaway: keep on advertising. Your brand can thrive even amidst uncertainty, and continuing to advertise means that you can continue to support a healthy sales pipeline and push past competitors who are not advertising. Implementing these initiatives correctly and in a timely manner won’t just come in handy now, but will keep serving you well into the future when markets and economies eventually stabilize.
Another option for B2B marketing leaders is to incorporate marketing as a service (MaaS) into your operating model, which allows you to gain the support of a team of advertising experts who are skilled at executing campaigns that get more engagement from the right prospects and the most value out of your ad budget.
Contact 2X today to discuss how we can help you optimize your advertising initiatives and make sure every dollar you spend counts.