Maintaining Impactful SaaS Marketing on a Lower Budget
26th August 2022
2022 has already been a year of tightening belts, with energy costs skyrocketing and the cost of living rising to crisis levels. Now, as inflation continues to soar and businesses and households alike feel the knock-on effect of price hikes, the word “recession” is on everybody’s lips.
Defined as “two consecutive quarters of negative growth”, a recession is something that can be accurately anticipated. This leads to consumers spending more cautiously and businesses assessing their budgets in advance of the official figures.
As such SaaS B2B businesses need to be assessing their costs and seeing where they can adapt in preparation for further financial strain. While marketing is often the first area to feel cuts, slashing your marketing spending without a strategy in place can make it difficult for your business to outlast the recession.
Instead of cutting marketing across the board, it’s time to get smart about your budget and see how you can maintain impactful advertising and engagement on a lower budget. Consider the recession and opportunity to audit your marketing team and software, and question whether there’s a more cost-efficient way to work.
Read on for a few questions you should be asking yourself in the run-up to recession, and how strategic thinking can maintain your marketing success.
Decreased marketing or doubling down?
A big marketing budget can seem like a risk when customers are spending less. That’s why most businesses keep marketing at the top of their lists when it comes to making cuts. However, the fact that most of your competitors are making comebacks means it’s an ideal time for you to stand out from the crowds by continuing marketing investment.
A recession means fewer businesses will be spending, making competition fiercer than ever. At this time, it may be a wiser decision to increase your marketing strategy, ensuring that those hotly-contested opportunities land in your sales funnel rather than a competitor’s.
Rather than cutting your marketing budget, consider adding extra value. Can you provide a superior experience to your competitors without increasing your spending? Things like training sessions, discounted upsell packages and added features at no extra cost will be all the more valuable to customers in these difficult times, so consider spending your existing budget creatively.
Cutting campaigns or pausing hiring?
Recessions are often a complicated time for HR departments, as scaling down on existing teams and putting a pause on new candidates is an obvious choice when it comes to making big savings.
In response to 2020’s Covid-led recession, 59% of CEOs implemented hiring freezes. This allowed them to make significant cuts to their departmental budget without taking funds out of their campaign budgets.
This is a difficult decision to make, as investing in new talent could also be a way to make your money go further, allowing a new set of eyes to take a look at your marketing strategy. However, there are a number of more cost-effective ways to gain fresh input into your marketing, such as outsourcing some or all of your marketing efforts.
If you do have the resources left in your budget for new hires, think carefully about how a new team member can best add value to your strategy. Invest in roles that focus on building new relationships or entering new markets, broadening your scope as opportunities dwindle.
In-house or outsourced?
If new hires aren’t an option, you can still give your marketing a boost by outsourcing some or all of your campaigns to an expert partner.
This is a canny way to make your budget stretch further, allowing you to pay for what you want when you need it without worrying about overheads. Compared to the tax, sick pay, annual leave, overtime and equipment costs that go into an in-house team, outsourcing is an obvious way to make significant savings.
Outsourcing also gives you access to a wider range of expertise for your budget. While an in-house marketing expert may need to learn some skills on the job, a full-service marketing agency can offer advice on everything from web design and strategy to SEO and content marketing.
Your marketing agency may also be able to advise on cutting costs in other areas of your marketing budget. For example, with years of experience of different marketing software, your outsourced partners could recommend the right tools for your business and help you replace those that aren’t cost-efficient.
One agency or multiple specialists?
Perhaps you already have a number of successful relationships with outsourced agencies, allowing a range of experts to implement areas of your strategy that you don’t have expertise in.
This can feel highly efficient when business is booming, with deliverables rolling in from various partners without you needing to micro-manage. However, with recession on the horizon it might be time to audit your external relationships.
Consider which marketing partners deliver a strong ROI, and which are underperforming. Then ask how you can fill the gaps left by cutting less cost-effective partners. Consolidating your outsourced work under a single full-service partner could be the best way to cut unnecessary costs while maintaining a cohesive strategy.
Working with a single partner also has scope to scale with your future successes. Your expert agency partner will be able to look at the bigger picture of where your business is now and where it’s going, and advise on smart spending strategies.
You may find that a positive side effect of this cost-cutting measure is a greater sense of control. Rather than multiple specialists weighing in and creating a disjointed strategy, a full-service agency can offer comprehensive reporting on all aspects of your campaigns and how they interrelate. This will lead to a better return on your marketing investment.
Power through the recession with Xander Marketing
There’s no doubt about it, this is a time of global uncertainty. Businesses of all sizes are feeling the effects of this, and preparing for what is likely to be a difficult financial year.
However, with the right strategies in place, SaaS products still have room for significant growth. All businesses want to survive this recession, and if your product can help them grow and thrive, demand for it will remain.
Your marketing strategy is key to this, helping you to engage meaningfully with a smaller number of customers at a time when your competitors may be slashing their own marketing budgets. Before your cut costs, consider how you can get more ROI from your current budget.
A proven outsourced marketing partner like Xander Marketing is a smart investment, allowing you to cut down on in-house marketing costs and spend your budget on both depth and breadth of knowledge. From our inception in the middle of the credit crunch crisis to helping our partners through Covid, we have proven experience in getting through tricky times.
Trusted by over 175 global B2B SaaS businesses, our strategic, results focused marketing services can help you go the distance, regardless of the financial forecast. Get started with cost-effective full-service marketing by booking your free 30-minute consultation today.