Bill Gates once said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on PR.” This always made sense–but in the complex business world of 2023 it’s one tip that all scale-up tech business leaders should be following.
Why? In recessions, businesses are tempted to shift their marketing spend to bottom-of-the-funnel activities, as these may drive more immediate results. But while that’s clearly important, savvy marketing leaders, and CEOs, like Mr Gates, also never lose sight of the long-term benefits of maintaining investment in communications.
Here are just four reasons why maintaining a balanced marketing approach is key:
- Maintaining Brand Visibility: In a downturn, you may be tempted to prioritise short-term conversion. The problem: this could diminish your overall brand visibility. Even at the bottom of the cycle you need to keep ensuring you remain visible to your target audience, especially those that are not ready to buy right now but may do so in 6-12 months’ time. Consistent brand presence builds recognition, recall and trust, which are vital for sustained success beyond immediate sales.
- Gaining a Competitive Edge: While bottom-of-the-funnel activities may yield quick wins, maintaining PR during tougher times will allow you to sustain your competitive differentiation. Authentic thought leadership, ‘earned’ media coverage, solid analyst relations, and peer recognition via success in industry awards, for example, all build your share of voice, help you stand out in a crowded market and ensure long-term growth and market share.
- Follow the Money: While bottom-of-the-funnel activities demonstrate immediate revenue, smart investors look longer term too. Therefore, maintaining a sensible comms investment enables tech firms to communicate their value proposition more effectively, build reputation, and keep their potential to funders visible.
- Attracting Talent & Partners: In challenging times, the job market becomes ultra-competitive, with talented workers seeking financial and non-financial rewards. They won’t come to you if you’re invisible—and neither will partners (e.g., distributors, SIs or VARs) who are also on the lookout for new potential revenue streams from exciting vendors. PR plays a twin role here in showcasing your culture, values and your technology USPs, and is a core element in helping you attract (and retain) top talent and partners.
Summing up: while bottom-of-the-funnel marketing activities must continue, scale-up technology firms should consider the long-term benefits of investing in comms.
Maintaining brand visibility, gaining a competitive advantage, attracting investors and attracting/retaining top talent/partners are four reasons why–but a balanced marketing approach that encompasses both short-term gains and long-term sustainability is always the basis for success when the economic headwinds are uncertain.
Connect with us today to see how we can help restore your marketing balance.