Change Creates B2B Tech Marketing Opportunities

| May 7, 2024 |

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In times of economic uncertainty, connections with B2B tech customers increase in value and companies that pull their agency and budgets back from marketing and PR worsen their own outcomes. “Companies tend to cut marketing in a recession. But firms that maintain their marketing spend while reallocating it to suit the context—be it in product developing, advertising and communication, or pricing—typically fare better than firms that cut their marketing investment,” according to Harvard Business Review.

Why do businesses that invest in marketing through tough times perform better than those that pull back to save capital? Because B2B market share and brand perception are impossible to establish and cultivate on demand.

Continue B2B tech marketing during a business slowdown and you remain visible to buyers and connected to industry influencers. Stay attuned to buyers and observe their shifting needs. Communicate consistently with them to increase mind share. Keep your marketing machine running, through an agency or in-house, because short-term decisions to pull back produce a negative ripple effect in the long term.

When the economy falters, look to these four opportunities to claim market share.

Opportunity #1—Engage B2B tech buyers through digital marketing

Mailchimp and Zendesk proved a sluggish economy can be a boon for B2B tech companies, including digital communication and customer service software platforms. During the bust, Mailchimp spotted an opportunity to promote its automated communication platform to companies that wanted to stay close to their customers. Today, Mailchimp boasts the biggest slice of the email marketing services pie.

Years later, Zendesk, a plucky new software company, bet their success on exceptional customer service during the Great Recession. With an innovative idea to outsource helpdesk services, Zendesk initially ballooned to 10,000 customers through word of mouth and Google Ads and then quickly expanded to 30,000 customers worldwide. Today, Zendesk’s market cap soars around $9.6B dollars.

Instant, mass digital communication wasn’t possible two decades ago. Since then, digital marketing—website SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, and digital advertising—forever changed the trajectory of how brands market and communicate with customers. Staring over the cliff of a sales slump should not faze shrewd marketers of B2B tech companies. Let the opportunity invigorate you!

Opportunity #2—Market strategically to get ahead

Marketing mavericks get creative when the pressure rises. Brands that invest in paid advertising during a recession witness a 17% boost in sales, while those that slash ad budget experience a 15% drop in revenue, according to a report from Analytic Partners, which uses data from hundreds of billions of dollars in marketing spend to demonstrate how to recession-proof a brand. The best path is clear: make marketing moves during an economic downturn.

Downturns serve as real-world marketing tests for your team to experiment, track results, and gain cumulative insights to leverage. Industry-wide budget pull backs can result in less competition for the best Google Ads keywords and make expensive keywords more affordable for a while. Launching a strategic Google Ads campaign could lead you into new markets and expose your products to new audiences—just as Mailchimp did.

Opportunity #3—Forge connections that fuel innovation

A change in the competitive landscape pushes marketers out of their comfort zones and presents new opportunities to grasp. B2B tech businesses with connections to their buyers are positioned to outmaneuver and out market competitors.

When the world shuttered due to COVID-19, automaker Nissan pivoted to launch an at-home service for consumers to assess trade-in value, receive a contactless test drive, and even collect their new car via home delivery. In the years before the pandemic, only exotic and luxury car dealers offered home services. Now this strategy delivers a competitive edge in the mid-market.

Opportunity #4—Work with a collaborative B2B tech marketing agency

As a B2B tech marketing agency with deep expertise, HCI teams come alongside our clients and work collaboratively to take advantage of the opportunities presented by a changing marketplace.

B2B tech marketing requires a delicate and respectful balance to increase brand awareness, engage buyers, and reach influencers. We understand how to navigate marketing technology as well as strategic planning and messaging in an environment where the internet and social media intersect to obliterate outbound-only marketing programs. Our B2B communication experts understand how to read the room, nurture brands, market effectively, and remain competitive during economic upheaval while getting the most out of your marketing budget.

Do you want expert guidance to seize market opportunities? Contact us.

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