How To Solve Problems In Difficult Times | B2Breakout 🚀
Let’s Find Out What Really Works…
You’ve probably noticed since August that I’ve been on an efficiency drive with my work.
But now we are well into September, I’m kicking it up a notch and asking a new and upgraded question:
What are the efficient actions small B2B marketers should be considering in the current climate?
The Last Six Months: A Tale Of Two Halves
Let me start by telling you the story of someone we’ll call Client A.
We worked with Client A fairly recently. They were doing well.
And when they joined us, they started doing even better.
There was confidence on both sides that we had this nailed.
We became really confident, Client A became really confident - and we both made decisions based on that confidence.
We stepped on the gas and ramped up the campaign, and initially, it went swimmingly.
Then interest rates here in the UK started to creep up.
Client A started selling less.
But both sides had already committed to this, and so we rallied even harder to make it work with the ground still shifting beneath us.
Interest rates kept increasing, and so did the pressure.
Six months later, Client A voiced what we all knew deep down - we were flogging a dead horse. They were burnt out - and if I’m completely honest, so were we.
The reason I wanted to share this story with you is that things are still changing very quickly.
Sometimes the things that have always worked suddenly don’t.
And that’s the key difference between good times and bad times - uncertainty.
You can’t control or predict these events, and no-one expects you to.
But you are responsible for how you react.
And that means adapting how you approach decisions for these times.
Good Times vs Bad Times: Decision-Making
The key difference is that in the good times, you can put your foot on the pedal and head full speed towards growth.
In bad times, decisions have to be far more cautious and measured - times like these are when slow and steady really does win the race.
So, seeing as things are so up in the air at the moment, what are the least risky things companies could consider to meet their sales and marketing goals?
The problem with a lot of marketing advice is that it is designed for:
With large supporting activity going on
Yet, most businesses:
Don’t have a large team
Don’t have large budgets
Most of them aren’t able to take massive risks either.
How Did We Get Here?
Most people are knuckling down and carrying on regardless of the economy.
But after we parted ways with Client A, it became clear that we couldn’t stick our heads in the sand any longer, and we spent quite a lot of time as a team thinking about how to approach this problem.
And ultimately we landed on the point that maybe there isn’t one golden panacea. Maybe there are multiple approaches for multiple contexts.
And maybe our job should be exploring those approaches to help small businesses solve this issue.
How do we design small business marketing for now?
What are the key tasks small businesses should be focusing on?
Who are the people who are solving this problem, and how do we help them bring those solutions to the businesses who need it most?
We realised that this is the most useful and valuable thing we could do for small businesses at this moment in time.
So that’s how we ended up here: moving forward with a key goal of providing small businesses with proven marketing strategies and step by step explanations of how to do it themselves.
(And, of course, highlighting the great work marketers do, but never get recognised for.)
Going forward, we are shifting to include a new aspect: finding those experts and collaborating with them to explore the things that actually work for small businesses in the current climate.
We’ll be including them in our newsletter, giving them the spotlight they deserve so that they can share their wisdom with the world.
We’ll also have regular features to help you with your own decisions, like this challenge I’ve come up with for all of our interviewees:
The 10K Challenge
The 10K Challenge is a thought experiment designed to help solve the problems facing small business marketers like us.
The concept is simple:
Imagine that you only have £10K of your own money to spend on one B2B marketing action right now. How would you spend it and why?
My reasoning is:
We know that there are multiple things you could do, but we want to pin people to the mast and really focus on the most important actions they could take right now.
And they’re much more likely to stick to what works and mitigate risk, if it’s their own personal investment.
Decisions are also more likely to be more specific and carefully planned, as opposed to generalisations or a “spray and pray” approach.
We found this perspective gets to the core of what we wanted to solve for our audience, as well as providing so much more of the depth we find is lacking in most of the content we read.
Best of all, you can do this at home with your own marketing to help focus your mind!
Want To Be Part Of What Comes Next?
There’s exciting stuff ahead, but it does mean that we’ll be making a slight change to how this newsletter works to achieve this.
Here are three things you can do if you’re interested in being part of it…
Ask us about an area or situation you’d really like to hear about
Suggest someone who’s achieving great things and deserves a highlight - even if it’s yourself!
Share our newsletter with anyone who you think would benefit from this series
As always, all good newsletters are a journey.
We can’t wait to see where the next leg takes us, and we hope you’re excited to come along for the ride!
Until next time,
It can be a long process to get this all in place, but I’d love to hear if these insights work for you. Reply to this email with your thoughts or any questions you might have. Always happy to chat.