In the ever-evolving world of B2B marketing, professionals often find themselves at a crossroads: choosing between immediate, visible campaign results and long-term strategic planning for company longevity.
That dilemma becomes even more pronounced during economic downturns.
However, challenging times can also present unique opportunities for marketers to refocus on long-term goals.
Marketing Smarts Live Show guest Lindsay Boyajian Hagan, VP of marketing at Conductor, and host George B. Thomas discuss that very issue, along with others, in this episode.
- Balancing short-term wins with long-term strategy. The show delved into the common predicament of aligning immediate marketing campaign successes with the overarching long-term objectives of the company. In times of economic uncertainty, balance becomes crucial.
- Recession-proof marketing tactics. The discussion highlighted various approaches that B2B marketers can employ to not merely survive but thrive during economic downturns. Those tactics are designed to ensure both immediate impact and sustained growth.
- Resourceful budget management. A significant focus was on how to maximize marketing budgets during a recession. The show provided insights into efficient budget allocation, ensuring that every dollar spent contributes to both short-term results and long-term business health.
In short, economic downturns, though challenging, can be a catalyst for strategic marketing innovation. Moreover, by balancing short-term objectives with long-term goals and being resourceful with budgets, B2B marketers can navigate through tough times and emerge stronger.
Watch the video for more insights:
Episode Details, Guest Information, and Referenced Links
Episode No. 34
- Live date: April 24, 2023
- Episode link: youtube.com/watch?v=kfimTi1aSf8
- Original podcast episode: Maximizing Your B2B Marketing Budget—Recession Strategies and Tips: Lindsay Boyajian Hagan on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
Guest's social media profiles:
MarketingProfs resources referenced in the show:
- Organic SEO—What Does It Really Mean?
- Three Modern SEO Best-Practices Every CEO, CMO, and CIO Should Know
"In B2B News" article referenced in the show:
"From the #mpb2b Community" links referenced in the show:
- Tweet by @cgritmon
Transcript: Maximizing Your B2B Marketing Budget—Recession Strategies and Tips, With Lindsay Boyajian Hagan
Welcome to the "Marketing Smarts Live" show by MarketingProfs and the Marketing Smarts Podcast. Where we dive into B2B news, resources, valuable guest content, and much more each week.
If you're a B2B marketer looking for a place to learn, keep up to date, and have some fun along the way, grab a beverage, a notepad, or at least some style of writing utensil, and welcome to the show!
Marketers are often torn between campaigns that get immediate results—which are also immediately visible to executives—and tactics that enable them to plan ahead for company longevity.
And though an economic downturn is never welcome, it can give marketers the excuse they need to focus on those long-term goals.
Lindsay Boyajian Hagan stated: "I think the biggest shortcoming that folks run into is that they oftentimes lose that long-term vision, or they invest in something for the long term, don't see immediate results, and then pivot away from it and just go back to what they know."
She emphasizes using this time we are in right now to revisit organic content, in particular, and optimize it:
She said: "A great way that you can maximize your budget is, you probably already have a lot of great content out there that you've created...sitting right at the top of page two.
"We know no one goes to the second page of Google. You have an opportunity to look at all the content you have on your site and find where the low hanging fruit is. What content can I go back and optimize that might be right there, right in the top 10?"
That's just a small glimpse into today's show.
We're going to talk about this and much more!
Hello to all my Marketing Smarts Live viewers today. I'm super excited to bring you EPISODE 34 of the Marketing Smarts Live show.
This week's topic is all about Maximizing Your B2B Marketing Budget—Recession Strategies and Tips.
So, if you're ready to get your learn on, buckle up and let's get ready to rock and roll.
Hey, I'm your boy George B. Thomas speaker, trainer, catalyst, and host of this hear show, the Marketing Smarts Live show as well as the Marketing Smarts podcast found on your favorite podcast app.
Our guest clips today are brought to you by none other than Lindsay Boyajian Hagan.
Lindsay Boyajian Hagan is the VP of marketing at Conductor, where she manages all demand generation and go-to-market activities.
After 10+ years of experience in the B2B SaaS space, Lindsay's strengths lie in scaling marketing teams and building cross-channel campaign strategies. A determined entrepreneur, Lindsay began her career by launching her own company, WeareverYouGo.
She then joined Augment, a Salesforce-backed augmented reality SaaS platform, where she built the marketing team from the ground up and executed all online lead generation.
Lindsay was a Discovery Awards Finalist for Emerging Women Marketers in Tech in 2017; she has presented at notable conferences, such as Digital Summit DC Inside Intercom, the NYC Product Marketing Conference, and Conductor's C3 Marketing Conference.
Now, remember, the clips of Lindsay Boyajian Hagan today are pulled from the full marketing smarts podcast episode and, if you want to listen to the full interview with Lindsay and myself, make sure to tune into the Marketing Smarts podcast, link to the full show will be in the description below after the live show ends.
Now, in this episode, again, I'm talking with Lindsay Boyajian Hagan about Maximizing Your B2B Marketing Budget—Recession Strategies and Tips.
I wanted to dive into how we as marketers can maximize our marketing budgets. So, I asked Lindsay how can marketers get started pertaining to recession strategies?
Lindsay wanted to dive into SEO as a starting point and shared a few things to think about as well as look at. Here's what she had to share!
Lindsay: First, I would just say SEO is a huge opportunity area. If you are a listener and you're feeling a little intimidated by it, or you're just sort of dipping your toe in, and you might feel behind like your competitors have been doing this for a while, there's no bad time to get started. The sooner you get started, the higher impact you can have on the business. SEO is by far one of the most impactful channels in terms of generating traffic and then, ultimately, it's one of the highest converting channels as well.
If you're thinking about where to start, I would remind folks about the PIE framework we talked about earlier; protect, improve, and expand. You want to make sure that you are protecting your site, creating that technical foundation, improving the content that you already have, and then expanding. If you don't even know and you're like, "I still have 50,000 pages. Where do I start?" That's where a technology like Content King or others out there that are site auditors can help you identify what's most broken on the site and what's having the biggest negative impact on traffic, and then where are those big opportunity areas that with a little bit of effort I can make a big impact.
I think the thing is don't worry, there's a lot of technology out there that can help you with this. You're not going to have to do it on your own. I'm definitely a resource for folks: If you do have any questions about this, feel free to reach out. I know there's a lot. When it comes to SEO, it can feel like a black box. But we've worked with thousands of customers, so I'm always happy to help if you're feeling like you don't even know where to start.
Did you hear that?
SEO is a huge opportunity area and there is no bad time to get started!
Make sure you pay attention to that PIE strategy. Also, you can dig in deeper to that framework by heading over to the original podcast episode.
I love that Linsay pointed out find those areas where little effort can make a big impact!
Are you an SEO NINJA or an SEO NOVICE?
Put the answer to that in the chat pane or, let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #mpb2b and of course, tag me using @georgebthomas.
We'll get back to Lindsay and her thoughts on Maximizing Your B2B Marketing Budget—Recession Strategies and Tips But first, I have to ask...
Are you part of the MarketingProfs community? If not, become part of the MarketingProfs community by heading over to mprofs.com/mptoday - That's mprofs.com/mptoday.
Now, it's time for one of my favorite sections...
In The B2B News - Where we talk about breaking B2B news or really important tips we find on the google news tab related to you and your B2B business. This week, the title is...
4 Strategies for B2B Marketers to Increase ROI During the Economic Downturn by Tal Shlosberg.
As the economy slows, B2B marketers are being challenged with longer sales cycles, lower deal amounts and churning customers. If that isn't enough, many companies are slashing marketing spend.
With that being said, CMOs can see significant short-term improvements that will help them power through the forecasted downturn by focusing on these areas of their business:
- Optimizing campaigns for offline conversion events
- Marketing channels with short-term CAC payback periods
- Your best customer cohorts
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
To dig in deeper and read this article, check out the link below when the live show is over.
So let's get back to Lindsay Boyajian Hagan and her Marketing Smarts podcast episode.
Are you using the right words for your desired customer? Are you leveraging Voice of Customer to impact your company's success? Heck, does this even have a true impact on your company's success?
Well, we found out the answer when I asked Lindsay the questions, what are some basic strategies that B2B marketers should be leaning into?
Lindsay: Number one, I would say, and this goes to what you spoke about earlier about your conversation with Nate Brown, is all about putting the customer first and listening to the customer voice. What we mean by that is it's great if you're doing all of this marketing, but if it's not what your customers want and it's not keeping up to their changing behaviors, desires, or needs in the current economy, you're going to be left by the wayside. So, first is really understanding and listening to the customer. You can kind of take that in a lot of different ways.
One good example of listening to the customer and adapting is one of our clients at Conductor. They're one of the large insurance brands. They used to use the term cyber risk to refer to a type of insurance offering. What we helped them uncover is that their target customers weren't actually using those words, so when they went to search, no one searching cyber risk insurance. What they found out was they were actually searching for cyber liability insurance.
By listening to their customer, understanding the language that the customer was using, and adapting their marketing to the voice of the customer, they saw about a 100% increase in traffic to that section of the site. For a business big or small, that has a huge impact. Especially since organic traffic is often one of the highest converting traffic-to-close-on-business channels. Listening to the customer voice, big or small, and applying that in different ways can just have a big impact.
Did you here that?
If it's not keeping up with your customers behaviors, desires, wants, needs...
Then it's going to fall from the wayside!
Make sure you are using the right words! Make sure you are having the right conversations! Make sure you are listening to your prospects, leads, and customers.
Also, make sure you check out that Nate Brown episode on leveraging a VOC! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
We will get back to Lindsay Boyajian Hagan in a few minutes but first it's time for some...
Dope B2B Learnings From The Vault of MarketingProfs Articles
That's right, it's time to dig into the treasure trove of valuable information and pull out two pieces of gold to help you be a better B2B marketer.
Article one this week is: Organic SEO—What Does It Really Mean? by Scott Buresh.
When people refer to "organic SEO" (search engine optimization), they almost always use it as a blanket term to describe the unpaid, algorithm-driven results of any particular engine.
However, a sophisticated search engine optimization company will often take the meaning of "organic" one step further. To such companies, the "organic SEO" is not limited to what shows up in the "natural" search engine results—it includes the methodologies used to achieve such rankings.
There's more than one way to skin a cat (although I must admit that I don't know the one way that everyone else presumably knows), and the same is true for achieving natural search engine results.
A search engine optimization company usually falls into one of two camps.
Want to know what the camps are and learn more? Then make sure you check out the links in the description below.
Article two this week is: Three Modern SEO Best-Practices Every CEO, CMO, and CIO Should Know by Carrie Morgan.
Although some aspects of SEO haven't changed much in the last decade—relevant content, page titles and descriptions, keyword research, the importance of page loading speed—the influence of social media and inbound marketing are causing seismic shifts in search optimization. Especially at the enterprise SEO level.
Having the right in-house team or external partner is now a fraction of the ROI equation—i.e., ranking that actually has an impact on revenue.
Want to keep learning more? If so, check the links in the description below after the live show to get access to both amazing MarketingProfs articles.
OK, back to Lindsay... Let's dive back into this conversation of Maximizing Your B2B Marketing Budget—Recession Strategies and Tips
You know me, I like to try to remove the hurdles that might get in your way. And, the only way to get them out of the way is to know what they might be.
So, I asked Lindsay the question, what are some historical hurdles you've seen get in the way of B2B marketers pertaining to today's topic?
Here's what she had to share.
Lindsay: I think one of the big things that we as marketers across channels struggle with is the balance between short term and long term. Where we need more leads, we need them quickly, we don't have enough for the Q2 pipeline, so you're always sort of in that mode, but it can also compromise our investments in the long term. You have to be able to balance both.
I think the biggest shortcoming that folks run into is that they oftentimes lose that long-term vision, or they invest in something for the long term, don't see immediate results, and then pivot away from it and just go back to what they know, whether that be throwing more money at media because they know they'll get those immediate leads.
We often say at Conductor that you really want to plant a tree, plant a seed, and you have to plant the seed for the future. If you plant that seed today, it will grow. If you're not watering it and nurturing it over time, you're never going to have a tree. So, I would urge folks to make sure that you're balancing that short and long term and planting those trees for the future today.
Oh my goodness! The short term vs. the long term.
Do you fall prey to what Lindsay shared?
Have you ever headed down the road of a long-term strategy only to get a couple weeks or months down the road and found yourself jumping back into your comfort zone or what you thought might get immediate results?
Patience and belief in a long-term strategy can be hard but when you "water a tree" like Lindsay shared, the future success can be completely mind-blowing in all the right ways.
We're going to get some words of wisdom from Lindsay Boyajian Hagan here in a few minutes but right now it's time to turn the spotlight on you, the MarketingProfs community. Yep, time for...
From The #MPB2B Community
We searched far and wide in the #MPB2B universe to find amazing information and conversation to bring to the masses.
So, first, make sure you are using the hashtag, and second, make sure you have fun and add value to the community.
Then, we'll spotlight you or your crew on the show. This week, it's...
Christine Gritmon @cgritmon on Twitter
If you head on over to the @MarketingProfs
#MPB2B Forum event page, you may see a familiar face (or a few)...
Come hang with me (& @annhandley, of course) in Boston, October 4-6!!!
And she is right, if you go over to the B2B Forum page you'll see folks like Jay Schwedelson, Andy Crestodina, Mark Schaefer, Joe Pulizzi, Christine Gritmon, and heck, you might even find your boy George B. Thomas on the speaker's page as well.
But, you need to check out the description and click that link to check out the post and read or learn more and maybe even join us in-person!
Marketing Smarts viewer, I have to ask... are you going to be next to get the spotlight?
Remember community, use the hashtag #mpb2b on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and get the light shined on your awesomeness in the next episode or a future episode of the Marketing Smarts Live show!
Pro tip, it won't hurt if you tag me into your post as well I'm @georgebthomas on LinkedIn and Twitter.
OK, let's kick it back to Lindsay and some words of wisdom around this topic of Maximizing Your B2B Marketing Budget—Recession Strategies and Tips.
Here is what Lindsay Boyajian Hagan wanted to leave us with...
Lindsay: I think it goes back to our tree analogy from earlier. At Conductor, we always say the best time to plant a tree was yesterday, but the second-best time is today. A downturn can be an opportunity. Consider it the right time to start growing those roots that will help your company weather the current storm, but also future storms. By planting those roots today, you have an opportunity to come out of whatever storm we're in stronger than before.
I would urge everyone not to be scared but embrace this as an opportunity as marketers to maybe think about things differently. Double-down, like we said, focus on the things that are working and then try new things where and when it allows.
Are you using this time to plant a tree? Are you giving yourself the opportunity for the roots to grow and to come out of this storm even stronger?
I hope the answer to that question is yes.
Have you enjoyed today's journey? Let us know, use that hashtag #mpb2b on whatever platform you are joining us on.
Know someone who would enjoy it too? Share with your friends, free of charge, no sign up required! Simply share this link, and they will get instant access…
You may like these other MarketingProfs articles related to Marketing Strategy:
- Martech 2024: Three Trend Predictions
- Fundamental Change Is Coming to B2B Marketing in 2024
- Knuckle Down in 2024: Three Predictions for Tough B2B Marketers
- Do More With Less: Six Smart Ways to Balance Brand & Demand to Drive Growth in Tough Times
- What to Keep In-House and When to Use an Agency: A Four-Part Decision Framework
- B2B Marketing Budget and Spend Trends for 2024