The world economy is on shaky ground
We’ve got high inflation… soaring gas prices… rising interest rates… uncertain stock markets… supply chain issues… rising political tension…
And if the United States hasn’t officially slipped into an economic recession yet, it certainly seems to be on the horizon.
Now I’m no economist, so I could be way wrong here and everything turns out just fine.
Whether or not we actually experience a recession isn’t really the point.
Economies are cyclical, there will always be good times followed by bad.
So whether it’s now or in 1, 3, 5 or 10 years from now… you’ll have to navigate a tough economy.
But if you’re a marketer, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Unlike most professions, marketers don’t sweat when the economy takes a turn for the worse.
In fact, I’d go as far as to say skilled marketers actually welcome it.
While everyone else is running around like chicken little, screaming that the sky is falling… we’re licking our chops.
Why do marketers look forward to a recession while everyone else panics?
Hard times thin the herd
Warren Buffett has a famous quote about tough economies.
“Only when the tide goes out do you find out who’s been swimming naked.”
What he means is, when times are good, and everyone’s making money, it’s easy to look like a genius.
But when times get tough, and the tide goes out, you see who’s actually a good investor and who was swimming naked.
The same thing happens in business and marketing.
When the economy is buzzing, even poorly run businesses and terrible marketers can succeed.
But when the tide goes out, and money tightens up, the frauds who were just along for the ride get exposed.
You find out who was building a real business and who was just taking advantage of a booming economy, where anyone with even mediocre marketing chops can make money selling any old piece of junk.
So recessions are just a natural reset. A way to clear out all the garbage that accumulates in the market when times are good.
They force the poorly run businesses and lazy marketers out. And they make space for good marketers and real businesses to thrive.
Marketers have the skills to thrive in a tough economy
Smart marketers have a unique skillset.
We’re the ones who generate leads. Convert them to customers. And ascend them through various offers.
In other words, we generate revenue.
And during a recession, when money is tight and people are spending less, skills that generate revenue are even more important.
Think about it. If you’re running a gym, who do you want working for you during a recession?
The yoga instructor who teaches 3 classes a week just so she can get health insurance and a free gym membership?
Or the membership sales guy who hustles everyday, comes up with new ways to bring in clients and always tries to upsell them on personal training to make a bigger commission?
Obviously, you want the person who knows how to make money for your business.
And so it is with marketers during a recession.
If you’re a marketer who doesn’t know how to actually generate revenue… you’re like the yoga instructor above, your skillset isn’t valuable and you’re on the chopping block when times get tough.
But if you’re a skilled marketer – if you know how to find prospects, convert them into customers and generate revenue – you’ll be just fine.
It’s a chance for you to tighten up your business
Your business is probably full of bloat.
Software subscriptions you pay for every month but never use.
Ads you’ve been running but have no idea if they’re profitable or not.
Wasting time, energy and resources doing easy “marketing” stuff that doesn’t improve your business in any meaningful way, while avoiding the hard stuff that actually does.
That’s business bloat. It accumulates when times are good and you don’t even notice it because… well, times are good.
Years ago I was consulting with a company on their PPC ads.
As I started going through their ads account, I saw why they needed my help. It was ugly.
They’d been running campaigns for over a year that were losing several thousand dollars a month.
And when I told the owner about it, he didn’t care. He said the company’s revenue kept going up so he wasn’t worried about the ads.
What!?!? I wonder if he’s still okay lighting $4,000 on fire every month now that the economic outlook isn’t so sunny and revenue is down.
But that’s what happens during a booming economy. When you’re profitable, you don’t pay attention to all the little areas where you’re bleeding money.
Eventually though, all that bloat adds up and becomes a huge drain on your business.
And if you don’t get rid of it, it’ll drag your business down.
A recession is the kick in the butt you need to start cleaning it up.
It forces you to find the leaks in your business and fix them.
To get rid of all the junk that you’ve let pile up over time.
And to cut out the waste that’s been silently bogging your business down.
Then once you get rid of the bloat, you free up your time, money and resources to put into the things that actually build your business.
A recession isn’t the end of the world
If you’re a skilled marketer, it can actually be an opportunity for you.
A lot of your competition won’t make it. Make sure you’re positioned to take their market share.
Money-making skills are your most valuable asset. You need to be constantly learning and improving them.
And your business is being bogged down by bloat. Tighten it up, get rid of the waste and double down on the things that actually make you money.
When times are tough, skilled marketers don’t sit around complaining about the situation like everyone else does.
We find a way to make the most of it.