At a time when marketing budgets are being cut, it’s imperative that marketers plan accordingly and are able to demonstrate to the C-suite the value of continued investment, according to a Singapore consultant.

“Now’s the time for marketers to shine,” says Priyanka Nadkarni managing director of Singapore-based Window Seat Consulting.

“Demonstrating our ability to drive revenue has never been more important and taking a front-and-centre role in adapting to the digitally-connected consumer can get marketers a seat at the big table,” she says in an article for WARC, How can marketers defend budgets from imminent cuts dictated by the C-suite?

But she cautions against arguing against all cuts, noting that “fiercely defending spend of any kind in a downturn is unlikely to go well for any marketer.”

Instead, she advises an open dialogue with the finance team to better understand the financial health of the business and building several scenarios – mild, moderate and severe – that can be adopted depending on circumstances.

“Most marketers can dial-up or dial-down activities (and associated costs) more easily – assuming you’re not 100% locked into contracts with creative, media buying or events agencies,” Nadkarni says. “Use this to your advantage.”

Given that consumer spending and media behaviour has shifted online during lockdowns around the world there’s an urgent requirement to “re-understand” the digital consumer for today.

“Completely revaluate your customer journey mapping and look at each segment and persona’s new journey (even if for the short term),” she says. “Measure your buyer journey from awareness, to demand-gen to lead-gen and conversion.”

“There is no single right way to map the journey unique to your target audience,” she adds, “so leverage your consultants or agencies skilled in this task or look online for resources.”

She recommends focusing attention on demand-gen and lead-gen activities. “Get closer to your sales teams and support their communication needs,” she says. “This may just be the time to implement a customer service function within Messenger, WeChat or WhatsApp for example.”

And, of course, don’t abandon brand-building activities, but rather adjust them to reflect the current environment – even if that means telling people to do the opposite of what your business demands in normal times.

Sourced from WARC