Ignore the Slowdown and Grow Your Business

Market cycles are a persistent feature of any economy, and smart investors/business owners look for particular points in the cycle to progress and improve.

The mood in business now is definitely negative yet the stats don’t really back up the belief the economy is dying. It’s pointing to years of low growth. Those companies who cut back on marketing for an extended period may suffer the worst outcomes.

The best time to market is when you’re ready to offer an improved value proposition that is clearly best. If you create that UVP, your course is the opposite direction of your hapless competitors. They’re waiting for blue sky, while you realize those smalls clouds are just part of the environment now. Their negativity is your advantage.

What’s Going on with the Job Market?

The recent job numbers show big business is laying off workers, but many are then rehiring new staff (or freelance consultants) for the creation of a new team, ready to tackle the new projects in 2023. Job numbers jumped 517,000 for the month indicating the economy is not dead even after being beaten with the FED rate stick.

Some smart companies may be assembling virtual teams. Outsourcing and hiring specialists across the country and globe gives you flexibility and tremendous talent, that you can’t hire full time in your city. These workers bring in diverse knowledge and perspectives on other markets you need to master.

This slight downturn still presents you with an opportunity to lead your market. Big market leaders are complacent. They also rely on old business models, old technology, unsavvy unmotivated, centralized workers, big overhead costs, and a fickle customer base.

Today’s consumers aren’t impressed with old brands, but they’re still intrigued with new fresh brands who present a wholey new unique value proposition, personalized for them. Consumers are tired of the solutions the market leaders delivered and inflation is making them hunt for cheaper providers.

They’re ready for a new, exciting, and powerful solution. They believe technology will deliver.

And new AI technology opportunities such as ChatGPT show AI may be ready to provide value we can’t even imagine. In the case of ChatGPT, users can get answers along with actual content generated to help them plan, build, execute, and serve clients fast. It’s work and structure that is time consuming, and can obviously help key marketing talent perform even better.

As Elon Musk says “ChatGPT is scary good.


What are Clients Looking for in Marketing Service Providers?

Some companies still want to bring marketing talent and activity in-house even though they may not have the talent or resources to do things optimally. With so much exceptional talent available online, they can get whatever they want and see it done better. The big ask from these old school business people is acquiring rare industry expertise plus marketing and sales skills.

If you can find superstars, you’re laughing. In house can work well, but superstars don’t stick around without big pay. And many don’t possess the full service package you’ll find at agencies. Of course, agencies are reconfiguring their value offer and service mix. Too often though, agencies learn too late what’s useless, and then come out looking scammy.

Some agencies are powerful and can provide key services that can only be gained at a BIG level. Of course, that comes with a big price tag. Some specific digital marketing services are extremely valuable and costly. But there’s no guarantee an agency can deliver on those specialties. Everyone is back hunting for exceptional talent and to save some money.

Doing everything small scale is a crippling thing with most small businesses. You must go big just to get in the game now. Once in and established, you can begin with sophisticated marketing techniques.

What Clients Need:

  1. cost-effective marketing packages (Content, SEO, engagement and conversion, promotion)
  2. optichannel marketing (where those channels with highest engagement are focused upon)
  3. integration of marketing mixes, services and channels (capturing better results from focus)
  4. creative ideas for branding and promo campaigns (creative ideation is valuable)
  5. good planning and execution of campaigns (campaign management to ensure all efforts are productive and timely)
  6. provide better ROI analyses and systems (for tracking performance on spend)
  7. bold new AI-based marketing solutions (to scale up, automate, improve and streamline work)

The latest marketing surveys show digital marketing agencies are dropping full service, social media, and branding development while picking up on website design and development.

That strategy seems odd given websites have been losing out to Tiktok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. Do they expect websites may regain favor as a landing page for increased digital advertising (Facebook Ads/Google Ads)?

There’s no doubt about the Google, Facebook and Linkedin assault on free organic exposure. Increasingly, algorithms limit organic free reach for anything. The big monopolies have the market by the throat and politicians are unwilling to do anything about this awful situation.

Yet digital marketing must continue and businesses need to build traffic and keep visitors returning. This is where many companies are failing. They took visibility and loyalty for granted and they’re losing that to a rising number of progressive and ambitious competitors.

Inflation is affecting attitudes and choices. The 2022 CMO survey  asked marketers what’s happening:

Website Optimization Grows in Emphasis. Screenshot courtesy of CMO Survey.
Spending on Marketing Analytics Increases. Screenshot courtesy of CMO Survey.
Marketing Budgets are Rising. Screenshot courtesy of CMO Survey.
Inflation Making companies improve. Screenshot courtesy of CMO Survey.

Where to Put Your Budget in 2023

With the consumer and B2B markets slowing down, operations and staffing costs staying high, managers are sure to look for creative staffing arrangements and finding the best workers/experts in their field.

Putting money into talent makes the best sense. Secondly, that talent will need software tools and promotional budget.

Outsourcing to freelance specialists is very wise, particularly advanced SEO and combined expert content generation. The cost is significantly lower and these workers may be fiercely loyal because they want stability and to build expertise. As long as they persistently build their knowledge and competence, they are increasingly productive. Without commute costs, workers are free to keep their own salary demands down.

Entrepreneurs and managers also hoping technology can turn mediocre talent into high performance superstars. Savvy managers know that’s not going to happen since tech can’t do it all. Technology tools can only assist high performer’s path to high productivity.

In some cases, tech tools are a red herring, hiding what’s obviously needed to excel. Sometimes, it comes down to hard work, and there aren’t enough staff willing to do that hard work.

What to Invest In This Year

  • the finding of high performance, high energy, specialist talent (capable of maximizing a marketing channel)
  • adopting new software technology to inform and assist high performers (AI marketing software, ChatGPT, competitive intelligence software)
  • recommitting to using tools for market research (to rediscover the very best value proposition possible)
  • working diligently to improve your personalized, significant, unique value proposition (the only way to make competition disappear)
  • designing engaging new content ideas and strong promotion of industry leading content (innovation and reach)
  • combined free and paid social media performance (help maintain loyalty and key promotional campaigns)
  • conversion funnel expertise (paving the path to purchase)
  • creative SEO/content expertise and technical SEO expertise (to compete and be the leader in search in a winner take all search environment)

Companies should invest in new technology-assisted marketing solutions for full content funnel campaigns using free and paid channels simultaneously, to support remote talent with exceptional specialist skills.

When a marketing service provider’s advanced specialist skills, service packages, versatility, and cost-effectiveness (more for the money) are elevated, and they’re loyal, they deliver value to the entire client’s company.  Powering up other areas of the business, including areas that are chronically weak and ineffective, can make an especially nice value proposition.

Instead of cutting back on marketing service investment, each successive dollar you invest this year creates increasing value in visibility, leads, engagement, brand building, loyalty and revenue.

It’s the perfect time to modernize.

Contact me regarding your plans to outsource content and SEO in 2023.


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