Knowing Your Roles in a Revenue-Driven Strategy

April 28, 2021

Woman with a paper sitting at desk smiling

According to our research, 63% of today’s marketers don’t feel confident in their ROI measurements. That would be a troubling statistic under normal circumstances, but even more so at a time when we’re being challenged more than ever to justify investments and demonstrably drive revenue. So how can marketers define their role in the transformation to a sophisticated measurement operation where results are accurately evaluated and actionably leveraged?

The Modern Marketer Covers 5 Roles for Measurement

These five focal points can come together and drive your organization’s journey to being more data-driven.

Brand Building

While cautious optimism is warranted about the economy and its short-term outlook, many brands are still taking a reserved approach amidst lingering uncertainty. 

We need only reflect on the 2008 recession to see the urgency in continuing our marketing activities in order to keep the brand healthy. 

According to the B2B Institute, research consistently points to the value of investing in a brand and, in particular, highlighting your focus on humanity and warmth. As data shared by Peter Field indicates, investing in maintaining and growing your organization’s Share of Voice (SOV) during a recession can pay long-term dividends.

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Strategic Planning

As the old saying goes: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  

It’s still as true now as the day it was coined. Without putting a marketing game plan in place, you’re not setting yourself up to succeed. In their recent research, Bain & Company determined that well-prepared companies emerged successfully both during and after past recessions. The lesson here is that managing a strong defense and offense simultaneously created growth. In other words, minimize costs while continuing to invest in marketing growth tactics.

To further put this into perspective, Bain & Company’s analysis of 3,900 companies found that, “For two U.S. companies with a similar enterprise value in 2007, the winners’ average enterprise value grew three times that of the losers by 2017. That difference is worth $6 billion in additional enterprise value.”

According to Tom Holland, co-author of the research and a partner with Bain & Company’s Accelerated Transformation business, businesses should “think of a recession as a sharp curve on [a] race track – it’s the best place to pass competitors, but requiring more skill than on straightaway.” Indeed, the gap between only widened in 2020. 

So how can companies plan for the unexpected? By building a smart and flexible strategy, of course. “Winning companies take out excess costs, identify the short list of projects that will form their next business model, and spend and hire before markets rebound,” advised Holland. A few other pro tips to employ to make your company resilient:

  • Rein in and restructure costs before the downturn hits, without cutting muscle at the core
  • Get the financial house in order
  • Play offense by reinvesting selectively for commercial growth
  • Pursue a proactive M&A pipeline

Change Management

Change can be hard, but sometimes a shakeup can recharge your business model in beneficial ways and inspire you to push new boundaries.

McKinsey partner Michael Betz shared vital insights with us on the best proactive steps to lead your company through a crisis, including:

  • What role can I play as a senior marketer as a crisis unfolds?
  • What immediate actions should I take to protect my business?
  • How can I be a trusted advisor to my CFO/CEO?
  • What strategic considerations should I apply to my marketing strategy and advertising spend?
  • Once the recovery starts, how do I justify my advertising to the CFO?

Media Planning

These are strange times — but strange times don’t mean we need to reach for the “Panic!” button. Businesses need to avoid the tempting pratfall of making rash decisions — including turning off ads during a downturn. This reactive move tends to backfire.  

“While sales may be down, it’s important to maintain — or increase — your share of the market. Continuing to invest in advertising will help set your company up for success when life eventually settles into a new normal,” shares Lana Busignani, Nielsen’s EVP of Global Analytics, in providing guidance on how to increase share of market in uncertain times.

The key takeaway where media planning is concerned: A rise in overall media consumption means an increase in opportunity to create meaningful, loyal and long-lasting relationships with a brand’s consumers. And with CPMs down in many segments, there could be real value at play.

Message Planning

To help you avoid exacerbating the effects of economic downturn brought about by the pandemic, we partnered with Analytic Partners, a leading Media-Mix-Modeling provider with more than 20 years of historical data on marketing spend and sales/brand performance — including during recessions. 

It turns out that recessions don’t necessarily mean diminishing returns or lower ROI. In fact, media can drive growth and brand-building. By striking the right resonant tone with their message, brands can actually increase ROI during uncertain times. 

Adjust your messaging as needed with these helpful tips:

  • Emotional ads work better than rational ones
  • Focus on humanity (both customers & employees) and be helpful (i.e., payment terms, availability)
  • Avoid “proximity” images and copy
  • Shift from promotional to brand messaging
  • Shift focus to more relevant products, business segments or purchase channels

Looking to Learn More?

At LinkedIn, we’re here to help you meet your goals and stay prepared for what’s next, through smart measurement strategy. Download our guide, Planning for a Strong Recovery: Here’s Your Six-Step Roadmap, to chart your course. 

For more B2B marketing measurement insight, subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog.

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