March 15, 2023

3 Keys to Winning Big as a Marketing Leader in Today’s Economy

Practical tips for recession-proofing your marketing organization

Late last year, Gartner highlighted key trends that will impact CMOs in 2023—from shifting customer behaviors and the erosion of traditional sources of brand value, to the need to re-imagine cross-functional collaboration. When you couple those trends with the current economic climate, 2023 is shaping up to be a year-long headache for marketing leaders across the globe.

While we can’t dish out pain relievers to all those that will be impacted, we can offer a few bits of practical advice (based on our experience supporting hundreds of Fortune 500 brands).

Tip #1: Cut the Clutter

Do you have an app for that? The average organization uses more than 130 different SaaS applications. That number jumps to upwards of 400 for companies with more than 10,000 employees. Talk about technical debt.

When you have individual teams (or even users) signing up for the next new tool that promises to deliver higher campaign ROI or better personalization, your MarTech stack can quickly become unwieldy. Tip number one for recession-proofing your marketing organization is taking stock of what you already have. What is each tool being used for (and is it being utilized)? How is it serving your employees as they bring campaigns and content to market? What is the total cost? Is there an opportunity for the tool to be used more broadly across marketing functions?

From there you can identify redundancies, uncover capability gaps, and outline key integrations that can ultimately lead to greater visibility and reduced costs.

Not sure where to get started? We help clients with MarTech Rationalization Assessments. During these short-term engagements, our consultants will evaluate what you have, explore how your MarTech stack can be optimized, and offer recommendations for new tools and integrations that will get you where you need to be tomorrow.

Tip #2: Improve Collaboration and the Way Work Gets Done

Functional teams used to execute mostly in silos—Creative teams did design work, Event teams focused on logistics, etc. But a greater emphasis on customer experience (CX) and hyper personalization transcend the enterprise and require cross-functional execution. Without a strong foundation in work management, that collaboration often falls flat. Teams lack visibility into what work is being done, and more importantly, how to effectively prioritize it.

Cross-functional execution also requires a lot of coordination. Let’s go through a quick example: One of our clients averages 800 projects per month or 10,000 projects per year. They used to spend an estimated 4 hours per job on email updates, status meetings, and other manual tasks (like reviews and approvals). After implementing Adobe Workfront, they saw a 50% increase in productivity. Assuming an average rate of $60 per hour, that’s an annual cost savings of $1.2 million.

So, tip number two for recession-proofing your marketing organization is to establish a foundation in work management. If you don’t have a solution like Adobe Workfront, now’s the time to investigate it. If your organization already has Adobe Workfront, now’s the time to optimize. Can you roll it out to more functional teams? Can you implement new automated workflows to save time and improve the employee experience? Can it be integrated with other tools in your MarTech stack inside and outside of the Adobe ecosystem (see step one above)? While implementing a work management solution or building new integrations may require an upfront investment, it is proven to pay immediate dividends.

Tip #3: Drive Continuous Alignment

If you asked every member of the marketing organization what success looks like, would you get the same answer? It’s easy for employees to slip into the day-to-day routine. But during uncertain times when every marketing dollar counts, you need to be able to tie tactics back to strategy and corporate objectives.

Tip number three for recession-proofing your marketing organization is to get aligned—and maintain that alignment. That means bringing together your people, processes, and tools to operate most effectively. At LeapPoint, we call this Connected Work®. We recommend starting with a series of “success” workshops where you can outline things like:

What does success look like at all levels?
What are our biggest blockers and pain points?
What tools do our teams need to do their jobs most effectively?
Where do we need greater visibility?

  • What does success look like at all levels?
  • What are our biggest blockers and pain points?
  • What tools do our teams need to do their jobs most effectively?
  • Where do we need greater visibility?

Establishing this strong foundation now will go a long way to ensuring top notch performance all year long.


Today’s marketing leaders are facing a unique breed of chaos, and as marketing budgets continue to shrink or get re-allocated, teams will continue to be asked to do more with less. While these three steps won’t fix every challenge you’re bound to face this year, they can help you build a solid foundation and chart a clear path to winning big.

Ready to see what Connected Work can do for your marketing organization? Let’s chat.

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