As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, a subsequent recession seems inevitable. Even before the global health crisis became a serious concern, B2B buyers were bracing themselves for a serious economic downturn. A November 2019 survey by Avionos found that over 80% of B2B buyers in the US were concerned or strongly concerned about the prospect of a 2020 recession.
Now, in the midst of chaos, Fintech brands must pivot and readjust in an unprecedented manner, especially when it comes to marketing spend and strategy.
Although there is wisdom in containing costs during a downturn, failing to adequately support brands and examine core customers’ changing needs can have a detrimental effect on performance long-term. Companies that reexamine customer needs, make strategic marketing budget cuts, and show flexibility in adjusting strategies, tactics, and product offerings to meet shifting demand are more likely to flourish both during and after a recession.
Understanding How Buyers Think in a Recession
Decreased or stagnant income, loss of customers and clients, mass layoffs, and businesses tightening their belts can all result in dramatic shifts, not only in spending habits but also in buyer attitudes toward spending. Psychologically, downturns cause B2B buyers to:
- Buy less, research more
- Seek stability through connection and building relationships
- Adapt to a new economic reality
On the marketing and advertising front, this shift in buyer behavior means that downturns see a decline in interruption-based mass advertising. Buyers prioritize keeping things lean for their own organizations, which means they’re doing their homework. This inevitably leads to increased growth in measurable, relationship-based strategies such as search marketing, email marketing, lead nurturing, and online communities.
Lead Generation Becomes Critical in a Recession
Keeping the sales pipeline full is a 24/7/365 endeavor at any time. In an economic slump, it’s especially important. This is one of the reasons that slashing marketing budgets arbitrarily can hurt, rather than help, your business long-term. While lead generation may be more difficult during a recession, investing in the right marketing tactics can yield a higher return and help your business emerge ahead of competitors.
In 2009, TechTarget conducted a study on media consumption and mindset during the Great Recession. The study found that tech professionals relied on online content that “showcases reliability and proven product success” to advance their purchasing decisions.
Ebooks, emails, and editorial articles were more popular with those trying to solve problems in the early stages of the buying process, while online videos and virtual trade shows were deemed essential for gathering technical information. Finally, tech buyers found trial software, vendor demos, vendor product literature, and case studies most helpful near the end of their buyer journey.
Your company’s ability to position your core competencies to meet customers’ recessionary needs is now essential. By allocating marketing spend to focus on strategic lead generation, you can ensure your business’s survival and emerge a stronger brand.
For actionable insights and tactics, download our [NEW] Guide to B2B Fintech Marketing & Lead Generation During a Recession.