How To Adapt Your Go To Market Strategy To The Downturn

Published on August 17, 2023 by David Zhang

How To Adapt Your Go To Market Strategy To The Downturn

The economic downturn is not just a phase—it's the new reality we must adapt to for an unpredictable amount of time. Your go-to-market (GTM) strategy, which might have been conceived in a growth-focused era, needs a thorough reassessment to ensure your business can survive and even thrive in tougher conditions.

An economic downturn can lead to canceled projects, lengthened sales cycles, and buyers becoming risk-averse. In these times, efficiency becomes more critical than ever. It’s not necessarily about doing more with less, but rather, doing more of what works best and cutting out what doesn’t. Let’s explore how a robust GTM strategy can help your business navigate these choppy waters.

1. Reassess Your Value Proposition

Your existing value proposition may not resonate as strongly when budgets get tighter. Businesses and consumers alike prioritize purchases more strictly, focusing on necessities and cost savings. Therefore, it’s imperative to reassess your offerings through the lens of the downturn.

Consider how your product or service can either save costs, reduce risk, or is critical to maintaining essential functions for customers. Your messaging should pivot accordingly to clearly articulate these elements and differentiate your offerings as 'must-haves' versus 'nice-to-haves'.

2. Double Down on Insight-Driven Sales

In a contraction, sales need to be more strategic than ever. Arm your team with as much information as possible about your prospects. AI-powered tools like Aomni can provide real-time account research and actionable competitive insights which help craft personalized sales content that resonates deeply.

Furthermore, focusing on retaining existing customers through upselling or cross-selling can often be more viable than acquiring new ones. This is because your existing customers already understand the value your product or service provides.

3. Segment and Prioritize Your Markets

Market segmentation becomes even more critical during a downturn. Customer behavior changes under financial strain, so you must identify which sectors are still spending and which have tightened their belts. Tailor your GTM strategy to focus your efforts on more resilient segments while pulling back from those that are contracting.

Additionally, prioritize tactical targets - companies that are likely to be in a better position despite the downturn. These could include businesses in industries that historically do well in recessions, like discount retailers, repair services, or certain tech sectors.

4. Lean Into Flexible Pricing and Packaging

Offering more flexible pricing options and packages can be a game-changer. It makes it easier for clients to justify spending and reduces the barrier to entry. This flexibility can include subscription models with a lower upfront cost, 'freemium' models, discounts on longer-term commitments, or bundled services/products which provide more value.

This approach can help maintain sales velocity by appealing to cost-conscious buyers. However, be careful not to undervalue your offerings or create expectations for prices that won’t be sustainable in the long term.

5. Invest in Digital and Content Marketing

In challenging times, your marketing efforts should increasingly shift to digital channels. They are typically more cost-effective, measurable, and agile. Good content marketing can also build trust, educating potential customers about why your solutions are necessary even during a downturn.

With more people scrutinizing every purchase, providing detailed, informative content can help you stand out. Demonstrating thought leadership can be particularly effective, as advisors are in high demand during uncertain periods.

6. Enhance Your Customer Experience

Superior customer service and experience strengthen brand loyalty, which is essential when customers scrutinize their spending. Map out your customer journeys and find areas where you can remove friction and exceed expectations.

Look for opportunities to use data and customer feedback to improve your services. Personalization, proactive support, and a responsive feedback loop can turn existing customers into brand evangelists, driving word-of-mouth growth—even in a recession.

7. Embrace Data Analytics and Lean Operations

Rigorous data analysis can help you understand what's working and what isn't, allowing you to make empirically-informed decisions on where to invest your resources. Use these insights to streamline operations, focussing on high-impact activities and trimming those that don't contribute to your bottom line.

8. Forge Strategic Partnerships

Partnerships enable you to extend your market reach, share resources, and provide more comprehensive solutions to customers. Evaluate potential partners whose offerings complement yours; together, you may create symbiotic relationships that help weather the downturn.

9. Be Prepared to Pivot

Sometimes, a downturn may necessitate a significant pivot. This pivot could be embracing a new product, refocusing on a different market segment, or even rebranding your company for a different positioning.

While pivoting can be challenging and risky, it can also be an opportunity for innovation and growth that sets you apart from competitors.


During an economic downturn, adaptability isn't just beneficial—it's mandatory for survival. By reassessing your value propositions, doubling down on market intelligence, refining your operations, and staying flexible, you can create a GTM strategy that overcomes adversity.

Despite the challenges ahead, companies can find pockets of opportunity to emerge from the downturn better positioned for future growth. Tools like Aomni can be a part of this adaptive strategy, giving you the insights and support you need to refine your GTM approach and come out ahead in challenging times.

Take your workflow to the next level