What is the Recession Playbook for Marketing Leaders?

The recession hits everyone, hard. So, marketers have to not only be prepared but play offensive. Luckily, Gartner has discovered nine action marketing leaders can take to go beyond keeping their head above the water in trying times, and turn a difficult situation into a winning one.  


This report identifies the actions marketers can take to accelerate their competitive position during an unprecedented triple squeeze. 

As we know, marketing leaders are already trying to take steps to optimise costs, but in the current environment, this is no easy feat. From persistent high inflation, talent scarcity, and global supply issues, we've seen plenty of challenges further complicating a tricky operating environment. 

So, what does Gartner recommend? 

Number One: Manage Spend

This is a big one. Managing spending involves creating a prioritised list of the trade-offs you'll have to make in your budget. But, and this is important, you've got to have a story as to why. 

Gartner also recommends accelerating movement to the cloud, while paying attention to shifting pricing strategies from software providers. This is because prices are bound to rise, and you need to stay ahead of this. 

Be sure to challenge current workflows and processes, and don't be afraid to do so. That'll make them faster, and simpler. and more agile over the long term. 

Number Two: Secure Talent

This is all about shifting your view of talent, both gaining and securing it. Fundamentally rethink the way your company leverages its employees, from locations to hours, to outsourcing. Then, you need to clarify your employee value proposition, so you're positioned to attract the right digital talent, and more importantly, retain it. Then, you need to aggressively source key digital talent. 

Number Three: Accelerate Digital

Ah-ha, this one makes perfect sense in our digital-first world. It means developing a future vision of the customer and the employee, so you can make the right decisions on digital investments going forward. This may mean investing in predictive and autonomous digital projects, automating and simplifying tasks and allowing the company to become leaner. 

Acquia CMO Lynne Capozzi shared her own views on surviving an economic downturn on the LXA blog:

It’s a confusing economic picture, but what’s coming into sharper focus is a decided market downturn. Marketers would be well-advised to prepare in advance — ideally, six months out. That’s especially true in the B2B sector, where buying cycles are typically longer, and incorporating new tools and processes can take time. 

I should know — I’ve been through a few economic upheavals. They can be rough and, without a plan, even rougher. But I’ve survived them and want to pass on what I’ve learned to my fellow marketers. Together, we can meet the moment and help our customers do the same. Here are the top lessons I learned.