Why Outsource B2B Marketing During a Recession?
Avoid the Rookie Recession Mistake: Cutting Marketing First
When businesses find themselves under stress, like when worrying about a looming recession, the first place to cut is usually marketing. Since the role of marketing is to set you up for sales down the road, we would passionately argue that reducing marketing efforts doesn’t make sense. If you turn it off, what happens when the current crisis passes (or lingers) and leads slow down or stop?
Our position (and yes, we’re biased, but we stand by it nonetheless) is that investing in filling your funnel through your marketing efforts is your best bet during tough times. Don’t forsake marketing because you think it’s disposable. To survive, your business needs a steady stream of quality leads. Now is the time to buckle down on B2B marketing processes that drive your KPIs. At the same time, you must also consistently nurture your current customers to ensure customer satisfaction is at an all-time high, reducing churn and keeping your bottom line healthy.
While you may realize the importance of demand and lead generation and customer retention marketing, hiring more employees is probably not in the cards. So how can you get these critical marketing jobs done? Outsourcing is an excellent and flexible way to augment your team. A good vertical-specific marketing agency will know what you need to do and can execute faster and more efficiently (again, we’re biased, but it’s true).
Recession Marketing: Time to Get Specific
With target audiences experiencing their own recession-related problems, it’s time to get very specific with your marketing. When people are stressed, getting their attention is even harder, and your messages must have clear relevance. Especially when you’re company sells B2B, you must have a thorough understanding of who you’re marketing to and what they care about. That involves:
- Ideal customer profiles
- Buyer personas
- Content mapping
- Customer journey maps
Even a mid-sized business may need to gain experience or skills internally for these critical tasks. An agency partner can be a comprehensive solution for executing these projects in a shorter timeframe without distracting your team from their day jobs. They have proven processes and templates to rely on, and an outside perspective can often uncover information that may have otherwise been overlooked.
Strategy Execution - Speed without Sacrificing Quality
How can you stay flexible? How can you stay focused? How can you get your projects done and keep your strategy on track, even when the world is frozen by recession uncertainty?
B2B brands trust vertical-centric agency partners to fill in the gaps from a marketing standpoint. A good agency partnership takes what you want to do and spins it into strategy. They use smart tactics and are motivated to keep you as a customer, which means they’re intent on delivering value and results. They turn in a work product that hits the right notes the first time, which speaks to the importance of industry understanding in a marketing agency.
Outsourcing is an Accepted Alternative for Many B2B Services
Most businesses are familiar with outsourcing, whether leveraging a stronger tech partner to outsource IT or using professional HR services for specialized recruiting, hiring, and other human resources tasks.
Just as these outsourced business functions keep your company current with the latest security patches or the most up-to-date staffing compliance regulations, a marketing agency does the same. By bringing in an agency, your marketing team will benefit from their expertise in many different and rapidly changing disciplines – digital marketing, SEO, content marketing, demand gen, and more.
Cost Advantages of Outsourced Marketing Services
From a cost perspective, you don’t have to hire more full-time people, pay benefits, onboard them, and hope they know what they claim to when you onboard an agency.
Supply chain marketers and other B2B marketers hire a value-based agency to quickly add an extension of their team without the overhead of an equivalent crew of full-time employees. And it’s much easier to offboard an agency that’s not performing than a full-time employee (but we promise you won’t want to if you choose to work with us!).
Advantages of a Supply Chain-savvy Marketing Agency vs. a Generic Agency
One more thing to consider for a successful outsourced marketing engagement – how well does the agency understand your vertical? To get up and running quickly and efficiently, look for an industry-specific team over a generic agency. Who hasn’t seen a spectacular fail from an agency that didn’t truly understand a particular business and industry?
Sometimes these agency deliverables come from only a surface-level knowledge of supply chain customers, and at best, outcomes aren’t fresh or compelling. It wastes precious marketing budget and time and can destroy your credibility within your organization, because generic messaging won’t drive quality leads.
One of the differentiators of a vertical-centric agency over a generic one is its commitment to drawing agency talent directly from the industry.
When the marketing team you work with hails from your industry (like our supply chain focus at Virago), they can promise a short learning curve. You won’t spend much time getting them to understand your business to a point where they can contribute strategically. That agency quickly understands where you fit, who you target, and where you might get the most bang for your buck.
True Vertical-Centric Agency vs. Generic B2B Agency
Does your marketing agency understand the industry you’re in? Look for these signs:
- Staff from your industry
- Understanding of industry dynamics and peak times
- Knowledge of industry associations and events
- Relationships with industry press, influencers, analysts, and publications
Get Ahead of What's Ahead
Schedule a time to explore how outsourcing your marketing efforts can help your company succeed during an economic downturn.