Dear marketer, what do you expect from this year?
Written By Brandon Faber
What do you expect?
After a few months of work - no doubt - some discussions (labelled in your meeting requests as ‘planning’ or ‘strategy’) have been had . . . some ideas have been thrown around, some types of targets set.
When those conversations were unfolding, did you hear anything new, interesting, game-changing or even achievable?
Or did you roll your eyes (figuratively, maybe even literally), a resigned affirmation that, this year, you expect
**more of the same: **
Survivalist type marketing and sales tactics, ongoing budget pressures and cookie-cutter-campaigns that have long overstayed their welcome.
Marketing being referred to as a cost-centre
Sales and Marketing on opposite sides of the ring, gloves off
Lastminute.com digital marketing services requested from C-Suite – that are later questioned about their lack of ROI
Working with digital marketing Agency partners who:
Do not take a strong strategic lead
Are not transparent about performance
Are not readily available – when and where you need them most
Do not understand your brand or your customers
Do not provide real insights and recommendations that support your tasks and goals as marketing professional
Is this the 2023 you’re staring down?
Another reactive year, lacking cohesion and focus. At best, another year of looking around at what the competition is doing, instead of doing what’s right for your brand and clients. At worst, a year devoid of any real drive to elevate your company / brand / product offering to where it should be.
Recession, Recession, Recession?!
Wherever you read, listen or watch there’s some or other expert telling us we’re in for a_ super-kak _year.
That may or may not be the case but sitting around debating over weak coffee isn’t going to do anything for your growth ambitions . . . and businesses do grow – even and, maybe especially, during recessions when others are running around with their hair on fire.
"Of course you would say that, you’re the digital marketing agency guy."
Well, yes, but I’ve also spent enough time client-side, your side, to have a very firm grasp of your challenges and how companies screw the pooch when it comes to appreciating and empowering their marketing function to fulfil its intended purpose – contributing to company growth.
Alas, most of the time, digital marketing specialists are asked to get into the ring with a Mike Tyson-esque economy and temperamental business landscape that swings in mood faster than a Real Housewife van Pretori-ja.
All this, with both arms and one leg tied to a street pole named disaster.
Will there be a recession? Maybe but what else is new?
This is South Africa. If we’re not in a recession, we’re in ‘challenging market conditions’ – and if we’re not in either, we’ve probably moved-on from this mortal coil, relaxing to Mozart’s latest hits on cloud nine.
However, just for the record, there are some people who heavily disagree with the 2023 sold-state of doom and gloom. Says US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Good Morning America: “You don’t have a recession when you have added 500,000 jobs and the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years.”
Sure, that’s America, but reality is that the economy can be a dog-show and will be a dog-show if we all go sit in the corner and cry about it.
What’s needed is clarity, a commitment to make better products, to deliver better services, to raise standards to a level where our peers just don’t have the cattle or gumption to compete.
What do the smart folk say?
In this article, the ‘Value of Marketing in a Recession’ is unpacked by experts from McCann Central, Wunderman Thompson Consulting, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, Ogilvy UK and Siegel+Gale.
No matter where you are in the world, it doesn’t really matter what the official state of the economy is. In fact, we should be trading on a recession-type footing if it drives innovation and sparks creative solutions – regardless of sunshine or thunderstorms.
Now – as we always should – it’s time to take marketing seriously.
Make sure your internal systems, processes, service and culture supports your marketing message. If you promise to 'offer the best after-sales-experience’ then make sure you take real steps to making that happen.
Focus on your product - offer qua-li-ty.
Use the right software to track marketing activity in order to manage and nurture leads in a transparent fashion from capture to close.
Bring sales and marketing together to drive growth.
Don’t be afraid to use new technologies but, also, make sure you use what’s useful for your business – and do avoid blindly ‘chasing trends’ in the hope of quick-fix-marketing-nirvana . . . it really doesn’t exist.
Invest in strategy and partner with an agency that will be honest and, if need be, disagree with you if a better way can be found to support of your overall growth targets.
Know what your goals are . . . and have a realistic plan (plus the tools and support) to get there.
That’s what every marketer really wants – and every company deserves.
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