There is lots of speculation about an imminent economic downturn. Whether it’s happening now or will happen later (or much, much later), as marketers, we must ask ourselves how is this going to impact my job, my budget — and my career? How can I prepare for it?
For the last few years, we in the online marketing space have been enjoying pretty strong tailwinds. For the first time in a long time (I have been around the block for a while), Marketing has been able to leverage revenue growth into larger budgets with relative ease.
Scrooge-like CEOs and tight-fisted CFOs have been allowing growth in marketing and advertising budgets less grudgingly than usual. They still consider it ‘a mystery wrapped in an enigma’ – but have been arguing less with Marketing about the need to spend.
So I wonder how seriously most marketers are taking concerns about a slowdown in the economy when developing and executing their demand-generation and marketing plans.
Whether or not a downturn is imminent, or already here, this is probably a good time for Marketers to take a breath and do some contingency planning.
The current model Marketing has been using to budget goes something like this: “I need a bigger budget because our revenues are growing, and media costs and the cost of pay-per-click keywords are escalating. So if we want growth to continue, we need to spend more”
But what happens when revenue growth slows down?
If you have been working in the field of Marketing longer than the current business cycle, you know what happens: Scrooge-like CEOs and tight-fisted CFOs jump at the opportunity to cut what’s most often the largest unallocated line item in the corporate budget: marketing and advertising.
Now Marketing has to do *more* with *less*.
If your business model depends on driving traffic to your website (as I am sure it does, if you are reading this blog post), with a smaller budget you are now able to drive fewer web visitors. You now have to get more actions from the web traffic that is coming to your website.
(What’s an *action*? A web action is the one thing you want your web visitors to do while on your page: buy; register; download; etc. Your website was built to get *actions* in the first place)
The only way to get more actions without guesswork and wishful thinking, is through Landing Page Optimization.
This means running experiments on your web pages to determine, with statistical significance, which layout, offer, creative and copy combination delivers the most actions for your business. Focus groups won’t do it, nor will traditional usability testing, wishful thinking or creative speculation.
Yes, Landing Page Optimization is here to stay and thrive – especially with a slowdown in the economy.
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