How to Maintain Growth During A Recession: A 3-Step Playbook
Navigate changing tides with demand performance strategies

Summary

What's happening
in 2023?

Events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and the War in Ukraine have contributed to this economic slowdown. Another clear indicator of this trend is the historical news of the Euro and Dollar parity for the first time in 20 years that occurred at the tail end of 2022.

Analysts, C-suites, and investors are uncertain about the economy this year and beyond. The tech, financial, and retail sectors seem to be a particular area of concern with layoffs being reported for Philips (8%), IBM (1.5%), Spotify (6%), and Google’s parent company Alphabet (6%), respectively. This is in addition to the 6% increase in job cuts in the U.S. reported in November 2022.

Despite these relatively bleak reports, multinational investment management and financial services company Morgan Stanley has stated that 'the recession today is likely to be shallower and less damaging to corporate earnings than recent downturns'.

In addition, analysts have stated that businesses will continue to increase spending on digital initiatives. For example, IT infrastructure and other software are likely to see a healthy growth of 5-6%. This was also reflected in results from our Voice of The Marketer and Voice of the Buyer Surveys that indicated that 53% of marketers will increase their budgets for tech spending with current tech priorities for 2023 being cloud (44%), security (40%), and data and analytics (28%).

3-step playbook to tackle an economic recession

1. Four aspects of your business to refocus on during a recession

1. Align with your sales team

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    On the front line, getting feedback from leads on the value of your offerings. The most common objections by clients should inform how you market your brand moving forward and how you develop new products to meet emerging challenges.

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    Interacting with marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and seeing success (or not) based on your criteria. Their feedback collected from interacting with leads will help you either refine your MQL qualification process or even revisit your Ideal Client Profile (ICP).

2. Maintain business health: 5 marketing
tactics to keep the organisation running
smoothly

1. Leverage Human-to-Human marketing (H2H)

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    Leverage performance marketing with your channel partners: Since performance marketing is measured by actual engagement (metrics such as CPM, CPC, or CPA), it is one of the most-effective ways of distributing content. You pay per result, meaning your budget remains intact if the campaign does not deliver on its promise.

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    Measure engagement per channel and adjust your priorities: Omnichannel marketing is a priority, but in a time of constrained budgets, you should measure efficiency and prioritise performance. This does not mean abandoning channels, but simply focusing your attention on outcomes. Some performance metrics to consider include:

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    Engaged users: The number of people who have engaged with your channel whether through follows, clicks, shares, likes, or comments

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    Interactions per visit: The number of actions performed on your channel

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    Generated revenue: The total amount of revenue generated from this channel

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    Cost per lead: The total cost per channel to procure a single lead

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    ROI: A client’s value versus their cost per channel

3. Futureproof your brand: 7 strategies for fostering business growth even during economy recession

1. Create Client Councils

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    Your current clients are acting differently, in the sense they no longer qualify as an ICP, or;

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    Your clients are your ICP, but you are failing to meet their current demands.

guide

Empower your brand repositioning strategy with 7 key strategies from this article on Recession Marketing by Victoria Albert, VP of Marketing at INFUSE

guide

Learn how to utilise partnerships for growth during the recession

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    A day off for voluntary work: Your team can take a day off to help the community. This is a great moment for team building and allowing team members to help causes they care about, as well as to provide 'hands-on' support beyond financial aid.

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    Free consultancy services: Put your company know-how to good use and allow your experts to take time off to help a non-profit, whether it be with sales, IT, or even financial advice.

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    Mental wellness support: With access to therapists

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    Workshops: To provide the tools and expertise needed for the new challenges of the business

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    Vouchers: Gift cards, bonuses, and financial aid to soften the economic impact of the rise in cost of amenities

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Final Takeaways

Based on all the recommendations in this playbook, here are the four essential takeaways to remember as you prepare your business for an economic recession:

THE ECONOMY CHANGES, BUT YOUR KPIs DON’T

he INFUSE team is experienced in helping businesses grow in times of economic recession. Since 2012, our demand experts have delivered thousands of campaigns, personalised for each client’s revenue generation goals.

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