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Building a Recession-Proof Marketing Operation for your B2B SaaS

B2B SaaS companies, along with almost all tech companies, have been prepping for the inevitable – a recession in 2023. We’ve seen the effects of the predicted slow down with mass layoffs and companies tightening their proverbial belts to make sure they can weather the storm, however long it lasts. While cutbacks help, companies need to continue to generate leads, sales and revenue to stay afloat and remain relevant in their respective markets. So B2B SaaS companies are asking themselves the question – how do we do both?

In a strong economy, it’s no surprise that B2B SaaS companies have bigger budgets to spend on marketing headcount, campaigns, advertising, and events. In an economic slowdown we see almost every line item on a budget get cut leaving marketing teams scrambling to figure out the activities that make the biggest impact on their company’s bottom line.


B2B SaaS Companies Shift their Focus

In an economic downturn, many B2B SaaS management teams begin to question where they can strategically “trim the fat” in their marketing activities while still bringing in the revenue they need to grow. Companies are often forced to cut budget in the following areas first:

  • Paid advertising: Unless a B2B SaaS company is seeing significant growth margins on their advertising efforts, this is often a place where cuts really start. Over the years search engine and social media paid advertising has become pricier, because of its reach, sophistication, and ROI. While it may be a revenue generating channel, management teams may see the big spend area as a place to start cuts.
  • Events: While events, trade shows and conferences can be an effective way to build rapport with your target audience and generate brand loyalty, they are pricey. After the elimination of events in 2020, companies have been leaning more into this marketing channel in the past year or so. But because we now know that expensive in-person can be replaced with virtual ones, companies are quicker to cut this big line item when needed.
  • Headcount: Every employee is a significant expense so when B2B SaaS companies need to free up cash, and fast, they often look to teams that may appear inflated. Because marketing channels and budgets are often reduced during these cutbacks, headcount usually accompanies those decisions. After all, if an area like events is eliminated, then an events-focused team member may not be needed.

Other areas that B2B SaaS companies might cut include public relations activities or team members, research and development, social media, and digital media. 

You might be asking yourself the question – “if these areas are cut, how do we adjust without significantly impacting revenue?” The answer is a better, stronger, more efficient strategy.


Accelerating B2B SaaS Company Growth in an Economic Downturn

Management teams across the world may feel defeated at the prospect of marketing budget and headcount cuts, especially as they try to maintain their growth momentum. The good news is that there are ways to still grow, even with lean teams and shrinking budgets.

  • Organic Marketing: While paid advertising strategies may bring quick leads and wins, a robust organic marketing strategy can sustain growth without the spend of expensive bids. Organic efforts that include targeted content like blogs and whitepapers, and search engine optimization (SEO) can drive qualified leads to your B2B SaaS without the spend of traditional or digital advertising.
  • Digital Strategy: One thing many B2B SaaS companies learned during the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn was that so many traditional marketing methods can be successfully transferred to the digital space. Your target audience lives online and with a smart digital strategy, you can capture their attention.
  • Outsourcing: One of the more difficult areas of impact in a recession is to company headcount. As we watch company after company reduce the size of their workforce, it’s important to have a plan for how that work will be redistributed without impacting the company’s bottom line. One of the more effective ways to solve this problem is by engaging a marketing agency. This allows you to benefit from the expertise of an entire team with different skill sets often for the cost of only one or two full-time employees.


Get Ahead of the Recession with Leadit Marketing

The Leadit Marketing team of digital marketing experts can help your B2B SaaS to break into new revenue streams without the hassle of hiring new headcount. Benefit from an entire team of marketing experts who eat, sleep and breathe B2B SaaS digital strategy so you can stay ahead of the competition, even during an anxiety-inducing recession. This is what we were born to do!

Book a free consultation today.

Shannon Prager

Shannon Prager

Shannon Prager is a recognized B2B marketing strategist and the President of Leadit Marketing. At Leadit, she is responsible for partnerships, business development and the strategic direction of the company. A marketing leader with 25 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed integrated marketing strategy from marketing automation to end-to-end marketing operations. Follow her on LinkedIn (@ShannonPrager) for her take on the latest and greatest in B2B SaaS marketing.