A Little Radical Marketing Optimism At An Unexpected Time
I was raised a contrarian—maybe to the surprise of no one.
So when I hear there’s a recession probably heading right for us, that 30% of multinational advertisers intend to cut their media budgets, that panicked CFOs and CMOs are hunkering down waiting for the sky to fall—I can’t help but think there’s a way through all the doom and gloom.
And a way to come out the other side smarter and stronger than ever.
It’s a fight-or-flight thing—and there’s always a choice.
When the going gets tough, do you cut your marketing budget? Or do you funnel marketing dollars to where they’ll make a bigger impact?
Do you ignore the potential of marketing to drive revenue—even in a recession? Or do you use it to align teams and drive efficiency?
Do you tuck tail and run? Or adapt and thrive?
Contrarian or not, I am a problem-solver. As marketers, that's our job. Which makes it our job to help our clients successfully—and efficiently—navigate this kind of economic stress.
And just as we would with any other challenge, we find the solution by seeing things from a different angle and trying things a different way.
ABM. It’s good for what ails you.
At BOL, we’ve been steering clients toward the ABM light for years.
Because targeting the accounts most likely to convert is smart.
Because hyper-personalizing content to create better one-to-one customer experiences is smart.
Because aligning metrics with business goals, content with customer needs and internal teams with each other—is smart.
And it’s not just smart sometimes. It’s smart, period. Especially in times of economic hardship, when no one can afford to be inefficient or unfocused.
Adopting an ABM mindset allows us to stretch every marketing dollar farther—and to be smarter about how and where we spend.
It’s not something we abandon when we need it most.
Three C’s. One Optimist.
Just as ABM is itself more a holistic approach than a singular tool or tactic—we have to think about how we use ABM in the context of a larger marketing philosophy.
And not just any larger marketing philosophy.
I believe the right approach is one framed by the Three C’s: Clarity, Consistency and Confidence.
Not all marketing challenges are created equal. Some problems are brand problems, some are demand problems. Clearly identifying which one you’re trying to solve for is critical to solving it efficiently.
Are KPIs aligned with business objectives? Are target accounts aligned with your ICP? Are teams using the same data to drive decision-making?
Asking the right questions, focusing on the right challenges and using the right tools to tackle them—that’s clarity.
We’re living in an era of one-to-one marketing and hyper-personalized content. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be smart and efficient about how we create and produce that content.
Is it scalable? Repeatable? Repurposable? What parts can be re-used and what parts can be personalized?
Cleverly constructed marketing that can flex easily to different audiences while making the most of our budgets and resources is key to weathering an economic storm.
Doing more with less has always been the name of the marketing game, now more than ever. But even as our abilities—and our belief in those abilities—are pushed to their absolute limits, there are choices to make.
Do we believe in our skills as problem-solvers? Can we approach challenges as opportunities? Can we find the silver lining, grab it and hold on for dear life?
Better utilizing the tools and resources at our disposal and confidently equipping our clients to work smarter is our greatest weapon in the fight for their success.
It’s not (exactly) science. But the Three C’s provide a trusty beacon in the dark—and give us a strategic framework to operate with.
Personally speaking, they’ve helped me maintain a level of optimism that can withstand the constant, inevitable ebb and flow of the marketing industry—and give BOL’s clients a rudder they can trust to steer them through all the uncertainty.
We can do this. Seriously.
When everything seems most dire, that’s when optimism is your greatest asset.
And when that optimism is powered by the right ideas, tools and resources—and part of a holistic approach to applying ABM principles across your enterprise—there’s no end to what your marketing can accomplish.
Don’t let the doomsayers tell you otherwise.