It’s been a long, hot summer—and an uncertain one for marketers who are grappling with the impact of an inflationary economy and fears of a possible recession.
Companies are scrutinizing marketing budgets more closely, and CMOs are increasingly being asked to justify their spend. Faced with conflicting data, disappointing earnings report and negative economic news, marketers may have tough decisions figuring out how to allocate their budgets.
That’s when PR becomes even more important than usual, because it’s one of the most cost-effective, credible ways to reach your audience and support your marketing funnel. As one PR agency owner wrote in Forbes:
“Through any time of crisis, there is one critical part of any business strategy that should never be forgotten: public relations.
“Why public relations? Because when so many others aren’t surviving the storm, it lets the public know that you are still standing, communicating and being active, and that you will still be there when things get better. PR is one of the most budget-conscious, effective and resourceful ways to keep your name out there during a recession. The third-party endorsement that PR creates is a voice that carries through and resonates with audiences long after the depression has passed.”
Keep in mind that this was written during the height of COVID-19. Anything we face in the coming months—and economists are deeply divided about the prospects and severity of a recession—will pale in comparison to what we all survived in 2020.
PR helps fill your sale funnel, regardless of the economy
Companies will soon begin their 2023 marketing planning, and PR should continue to be top of mind for a full-funnel sales and marketing program.
“PR has always been thought of as a ‘top of funnel’ contributor,” according to Cision, “but this association does not fully encapsulate the impact PR has throughout the buyer’s journey in today’s digitally-driven landscape.”
That’s because earned media can be used in so many ways in the sales funnel. Content from earned media can be amplified through social media, shared in nurturing campaigns, and used throughout the sales cycle. PR can also help gain the attention of retail industry analysts and other important influencers in the retail ecosystem.
Ketner Group’s focus on retail technology has helped our clients realize the potential of each of these elements of a well-rounded PR program. Time and again, we’ve seen the power of PR to help our clients gain recognition as thought leaders, increase engagement with prospects and help drive leads.
That became critically important during COVID, when much of retail was particularly hard hit. Our team moved quickly and worked closely with our clients to devise new strategies to reach retailers. We saw an increased emphasis on content and a renewed appreciation for earned media and the credibility it carries.
Our best advice for retail technology marketers: Always give PR a seat at the table
Our retail technology clients realize that PR should always be considered a key part of the marketing mix, no matter the situation. New technology solutions have fueled much of the retail resurgence since 2020, and our clients reaped big rewards by continuing to invest in PR and marketing.
What should be your strategy for PR and marketing in the coming months? Simply this: Continue to give PR a seat at the executive table. PR is at its best when used as part of an overall company strategy, not just an afterthought.
Despite concerns about a potential recession, the outlook for retail remains healthy. After all, consumer spending is steady, inflation is trending down and consumer sentiment is rising.
This is all good news for technology companies. Retailers will continue to seek new solutions to improve profitability, increase consumer engagement, implement new fulfillment models and better manage their supply chains; and that’s just the beginning. A retail analyst friend of mine expects retail technology spending overall to increase next year.
If you’re a retail technology company, you can’t afford to miss out. Ketner Group has specialized in retail technology PR for more than 20 years, and we know retail like no other PR agency.
Looking for a PR partner that knows your business? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you reach retailers and support your marketing goals.