As companies face the possibility of budget cuts going into 2023, it can be challenging to think about the impacts this can have on profitability, staffing, tooling and more. However, some companies have managed to successfully navigate budget cuts while still meeting their revenue goals.
So what’s their secret sauce? These companies understand the importance of focusing on their customers and planning for the year ahead with them in mind.
In this article from the roundtable we did with Baton, we will hear from a panel of RevOps pros who share their insights on how to plan for 2023, including how to prepare for potential setbacks and continue driving success.
To stay competitive in the face of market uncertainty, it's important for businesses to be adaptable and flexible in their approach to planning. This may mean changing up strategies or finding new ways to reach customers, but it's important to stay focused on the long-term goals and mission of the company.
Jeff Ignacio, Head of Sales Operations at Forethought, takes a bottom-up approach to planning, looking at the product roadmap and analyzing personas, industry trends, and segmentation data to plan major releases.
"There's a lot of things you want to tackle in phases," says Jeff. "But I'm particularly feeling a little bit of the squishiness by the deadlines."
Peter McCoy, Co-Founder of Baton, has a top-down approach to planning but is "cautiously optimistic" about the year ahead. They are still pushing for growth with their feet firmly on the gas pedal.
He advises companies to consider trimming unnecessary expenses, but to also think about investing in areas that can differentiate their product or service from the competition. "To re-spin up a sales machine after you've cut a lot of it takes a lot of the wind out of your organization," says McCoy.
"I'm not saying everyone shouldn't trim, or whatever they need to do, but if you feel strongly about your product, fit your product in the market and the demand for what you're doing."
Camela Thompson, VP of Marketing at CaliberMind, agrees that it's important to stay invested in digital advertising and platforms where customers go to research and make purchasing decisions. She also emphasizes the importance of investing in community relationships and partnerships.
"We're not taking off the gas on digital advertising," says Thompson. "I think one of the ways people can differentiate is look at those (SEO) terms that used to be super expensive and start investing a little bit more."
Thompson notes that millennials are gaining a larger share of the buyer pool and tend to make purchasing decisions differently than previous generations.
"[Millenials] buy differently than what was traditionally done. Much more groupthink. Much more digitally focused," she says.
With potentially smaller sets of resources due to layoffs and impact on marketing spend, it's important to be strategic about how resources are used.
"Paid social media gets saturated," says Jeff. "And you'll see it in your click-through rates."
To differentiate in a crowded market, he advises taking a different approach with creative messages. "It might be refreshing to change it up and be different," he says.
Jeff suggests alternative methods for driving organic and direct traffic, such as podcasts, blogs, and communities.
Effective digital marketing requires careful planning and the use of various tools, but it is important to avoid relying too heavily on any one particular channel.
According to Jeff, "there are some telltale signs for whether you have diminishing marginal returns... One thing I'll look at is when was the last time we refreshed our creative and our messaging to how we are building target audiences."
If he starts to see fatigue in a channel, he may rotate the creative, rotate the audiences or lower the bids, "depending on the mechanism and the platform you're using," which allows for budget to go elsewhere.
Camela advises not waiting for all data to be available before making decisions, and instead "use what you have and there are going to be some things that you can't measure.”
“Don't wait for perfection and start using things consistently and looking for trends and then making decisions based on those trends."
She also emphasizes the importance of a compelling call to action on a website, saying "if your site is utter junk" it will be hard to get visitors to engage.
Peter's approach to experimentation and learning from mistakes is to "throw sh*! at the wall and see what sticks." He explains, "we're trying to look at program level exposure as it relates to those metrics we're trying to generate. So for us, it's really like, can you create an environment in a culture where it's okay to screw up?"
His company invests in tests with a resource limit, and then uses the results to scale and establish a baseline.
In addition to providing reports, Camela's team also delivers insights and observations to add value. She advises, "when people ask for numbers, come to them with observations... Make sure that you're adding value and not just checking a box and doing the report."
They also examine funnel conversion rates to identify any issues or bottlenecks between teams.
Overall, the key is to constantly strive for improvement and not be afraid to try new things.
Looking for a few more tips? Check out the full video of this roundtable above!
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