5 Startup Tips to Recession-Proof your marketing in 2023

It’s interesting times in the tech Startup world at the moment. And as an entrepreneur or startup marketer, you’re probably wondering “what am I meant to be doing right now?”.

    Well, let’s start with your marketing and work from there, shall we?

    1. Slimming down your marketing tech stack
    2. Every advertising dollar counts
    3. Uniting your Recruitment and Marketing team
    4. Wake the dead! And by that I mean campaigns
    5. Hold your head high. These are evolving times

    1. Slimming down your marketing tech stack

    We love technology, but we don’t always use everything every minute of every day. 

    Start by collating your MarTech tool list and the contracts/month-to-month plans they’re currently on. If your contracts are coming up for renewal, look at how often these are used and what you’re paying for. Look out for:

    • Customer Relationship Manager (CRM): Check if you’re paying for additional records/data storage. This can be optimised by archiving contact/company records that are not being used. Work with your teams to identify what tools are actually being used. Ideally, your team are using all of them, but perhaps you’re leveraging other tools that rule out certain features. If this is the case, look to scale back on the plan level you’re on

    • Technology diversification: Gone are the days of MarTech stacks living in one ‘suite’. If you’re an avid fan of Scott Brinkers ChiefMartec reports (like I am), you’ll see his latest one mentions that over 9,900 MarTech tools are out there! Give them some love and look to diversify your technology. They’re usually more affordable and adopt new tech to slim down the price tag.

    • Quarterly/Annual auditing/analysis tools: Look at those particular tools that you use when you need to conjure up a report or analysis once every 3 months. Switch these to monthly and activate your plans once per quarter when needed. Yes, I know you save 10-20% when you are on annual plans, but let’s do the math: Annual Plan = $99 per month – Total: $1188. Once per quarter at $118.80 per month = $475.20

    Of course, you can’t do this for every MarTech tool you use, but every.single.dollar.counts

    Yes, it takes just a little bit more time to switch these tools on and off, but it’s merely a simple calendar invite to yourself to ‘Switch ON’ and ‘Switch OFF’ technology before the auto-renewal dates.

    3. Uniting your recruitment and marketing team

    Before you read this, I’m not suggesting you axe Google, Meta, LinkedIn, and then decide you’re going Organic, but treat this as a ‘Spring clean’ of your Ads Managers.

    Optimise your ad budgets to reflect what your sales team is targeting and reduce spend for those they’re not.

    For example, next quarter you may be prioritising a target industry where your sales team is commission hungry and ready to pounce. Reallocate your budget to these campaigns and focus on retargeting and account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns.

    Another thing to note is your Paid Search only works as well as your Organic search. Regardless of the algorithm, you pay less on cost-per-click than you do if you have no organic search.

    2. Every advertising dollar counts

    Whether your recruitment team is internal or an agency, these two departments don’t spend enough time together. LinkedIn Jobs is an absolute FIRE tool when used correctly.

    For example, I was recently hiring a Full Stack Developer role, and here are the results:

    276 job applications

    10% made it to the first interviews (super picky)

    The role was hired within a week

    Total spent: $17.76

    Job post live: 3 days


    So why was it important for recruitment and marketing to join forces?

    • The job ad was reviewed and edited by marketing, so it had a creative edge rather than the usual churned-out template model
    • Marketing was able to post job ads on social to drum up attention
    • The budget spent was…well, 3 coffees worth
    • Recruitment was able to add specific qualifying questions to reduce time spent reviewing every single applicant (I added 4)


    The job was posted on a weekend (as that’s usually when people are tidying up their resumes to go on the hunt for their next adventure). We also created a Calendly meeting link shared with successful applicants, so they could book a meeting time that was convenient for them and within the required processing timeframes.


    4. Wake the Dead… dead leads that is

    Instead of throwing money at the same conference year after year expecting fresh sales, take a look at your past event leads instead. Depending on the industry, it’s very likely these are still viable. Create a ‘wake the dead’ email campaign and see where they’re at and whether your products/services may be useful for them. 

    After all, ‘Not the right time’ is a reoccurring outcome in your ‘Deals Lost’ notes.

    Hold your head high and adapt to change

    From me to you, you’ve overcome challenges like these before and this is just another hurdle. It may be a little overwhelming at first, but you’re smart and you’ll figure it out. And if you need someone to bounce ideas off, I’m just a Calendly link away.

    Goodluck out there!