Stabilising post pandemic – What to do with Marketing in a Bear market…

So the world is finally emerging from its COVID 19 coma and we are all looking forward to the world returning to a new normal…but will that normal be as normal as we think it is.  At a macro level there are many storm clouds brewing, to that point a macro economic future may not be that rosy.  Inflation is on the rise,  there is an energy shortage on the horizon for the northern winter, China’s property market has already started to decline and curtail China’s ability to be the world’s growth engine at least in the short term and there are critical supply shortages.  I’m not sure which of these is going to plunge the global economy into recession….. It’s a pretty good bet on one of them. We are sitting on a number of time bombs just waiting for one of them to go off causing sentiment to collapse.

So for us data obsessed marketers what does this mean for us?  Over the past 18 years of running Digital Alchemy, I have learned that recessions are good, in each of the 3 recessions since 2003 we have experienced strong growth.  The reason for that is that organisations retract from the less tangible marketing activities and revert to focusing on things that can be measured.  The risk appetite changes and they focus on customer retention and organic growth over customer acquisition.  So here are 5 pieces of advice.

1. If you got nothing, move fast. If you are thinking about changing your marketing automation platform, or you don’t have one, do it fast, because you don’t want to get caught short.  If you don’t have marketing automation, then sort yourself out quickly. 
It takes some time to implement, train and scale and you don’t want to be part way through when the recession hits you need to be ready.  When you are looking for a partner ask these questions;

A. Is implementing marketing tech their business or is it a sideline

B. Do they understand complex data and how to bring that together not just the platform

C. Can they help you operate and scale quickly after the implementation

D. Do they have long relationships with their clients because you should be looking for a long term partner not a ONS.

2. Have a platform that performs most of what you need?  Focus on sweating the asset and getting the most out of it. Swapping platforms could leave you short when you need it, if you are not fully implemented in time.  If you feel frustrated with your current partner, maybe now is the time to find a new one. Here are some things to think about when choosing a new partner.

A. Understands complex data, a poor data supply chain is the most common reason for marketing automation platforms not meeting expectations.

B. Supports multiple platforms, many partners are exclusive to a single platform and get commissions from the platforms, which means they are expert on the platform but also means it is difficult for them to be open about its shortcomings which can be very frustrating and unproductive. Ask if they receive commissions or payments from the platform vendors.

C. Able to scale quickly, when you need resources you will need them fast and for platforms like Salesforce and Adobe resources are hard to come by. There is no point having an F1 Ferrari in your garage if you don’t have drivers and a pit crew.

If you and your partner are well prepared for what’s likely to be coming then there will be a very good opportunity, success favours the prepared.  Final word of advice, now is not the time to be a guinea pig, now is the time to consolidate and focus on getting what you have to work.


Written by Regan Yan