A Quick Review of the Last Few Years
Most of us once considered the tech sector bulletproof — impervious to layoffs and downsizing. History has proven us wrong. Infinite variables are constantly in play in business and in life, especially in modern society, and anything can happen. Looking back to recent history, some of the blame can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in Fall 2019. The pandemic led to shelter-in-place orders and rapid change in the way we work, with a heavy reliance on digital technology.
As we’ve slowly returned to something closer to a pre-pandemic normal, many workers have returned to the office. And we’re still dealing with the complicated fallout from the pandemic. Economically, successive waves of tech force reductions have occurred, attributed to a reduction in venture capital, supply chain issues, fear of recession, and business model evolution. The bottom line is that downturns are inevitable, and no sector of the economy is immune to economic ups and downs.
Though the tech sector’s sheen of invincibility may have tarnished because of recent changes in the global economy, the long-term outlook for tech growth is still incredibly positive. The sector is forecast to grow over a million more positions over the next decade (in the US alone). So, despite recent changes, tech is still a vibrant, attractive market.
You Can’t Save Your Way to Prosperity
Cutting back on advertising or marketing in the face of a downturn is not a good strategy. The best way to look at marketing and advertising in the face of a downturn is to remind yourself that marketing and advertising are the basic costs of doing business. With this thought firmly in mind, the best strategy is to prioritize your marketing and sales efforts, and if necessary, review and re-allocate resources to match your goals for leads, clicks, conversions, and sales.
Given that the tech sector behaves like every other market and goes through cycles, how should marketers respond to changing market conditions in tech? What do marketers need to know?
- It’s important to understand that even though many tech workers, including developers, have been or will be displaced, and may be forced to change positions or locations, the tech world moves on, and will continue to grow.
- To accommodate the reduction in human resources, companies will be looking for more efficiency through automation — in the form of software tools and services you may be marketing right now.
- Most displaced workers are going to remain in the tech sector, riding the downturn into the next upturn. They can, and should, be advocates of your products. They can extol the benefits of your products in their next position, depending on how well your brand awareness campaigns have been working.
- Once you have inroads into a company, many will “standardize” on a brand, which is as good as it gets when it comes to locking out the competition.
Check Your Messages
When prioritizing your marketing efforts, it’s a good idea to check the health of your marketing program. Are your campaigns getting the results you need? Are you satisfied with your performance metrics? Even if you are happy with the results, consider changing your marketing and advertising messaging to reflect the current state of your target market. Your messaging should resonate with developers and the businesses that employ them.
- Use strong, timely adjectives to describe your products or services. Words like efficiency, automation, and phrases like ease-of-use will resonate with firms trying to do more with less.
- Brand awareness will build a loyal following to help you through tough times. Use social media, earned media, and advertising in targeted publications to maximize your marketing campaigns.
The Value of Value
Value and quality are two words that are extremely subjective. In the business world, they are subject to the perceptions of the buyer. Your challenge is to position your product so it exemplifies both without explicitly using the words themselves. You want to allow the buyer to come to their own conclusions about your product’s value and quality, so do your best to promote those traits. Here are a few ideas on how you can influence buyers effectively.
- Performance equates to quality and value, and proof statements and specifications around performance will resonate with your developer audience. Use whatever medium best gets your message across.
- Context matters! You are as good as the company you keep, so place your content and your advertising in newsletters, websites, and spaces where developers go for trusted information.
When it comes to marketing and advertising in a downturn, remember the advice a financial advisor gives when the stock market tanks — don’t panic! Evaluate your options, including your resources and your expenses. Focus on getting the most bang for your marketing efforts. Strengthen your ties to the developer community, in whatever form that might take (including helping out individuals if you have employment leads). It can be tough to weather downturns, but communities can support each other and look forward to better times ahead.
To learn more about options for marketing in tough economic times and improving the efficiency of your marketing program, connect with the team at DeveloperMedia. They can provide insights into how you can elevate your presence in the developer community.
Tech Force Reductions
Marketing During a Recession