Market Outlook: How to Maximize Results this Year and Prepare for 2022

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What’s next for the markets your technologies serve? It’s hard to get a clear read. There’s a dichotomy right now that is challenging for C-level leadership to interpret and declare a clear direction. With a broad perspective on markets like biotech, biopharma, diagnostics, instrumentation, medical device, aerospace, manufacturing, and industrial, we notice:

  • U.S. job openings surged in October while hiring decreased, suggesting a worsening worker shortage, which could hamper employment growth and the overall economy.
  • ‘The Great Resignation’ continues - in October 4.2 million Americans quit their jobs.
  • Inflation is persisting: the Labor Department reported that the consumer price index rose 6.8% from a year ago in November. This is putting pressure on wages and on margins for our clients. 
  • Demand remains strong, but risk aversion is high, and sales cycles are longer than pre-pandemic.
  • VC and PE funding and deal flow never slowed in industries like biotech, and optics, and photonics, but sales in biotech and medical device were delayed due to a healthcare system focused on COVID-19. A bounce-back of pent-up demand in non-emergency surgeries, aesthetics, and veterinary are straining staff and supply chains.
  • Market consolidation continues as a sellers’ market—with growing multipliers and stimulus cash burning a hole in buyers’ pockets. Sustainability, transparency, and inclusivity create both a need for real change and an opportunity to define culture as part of your brand.
  • The manufacturing market size in the U.S. is increasing, reversing a negative trend since 2016. 43% of manufacturing companies are considering an M&A transition in the next 6-18 months.
  • Customers’ expectations are changing in B2B. Companies can differentiate through a friction-less buyer experience and post-sale experience—all done digitally, of course—and careful attention to mitigating buyer-side risk. Now more than ever, your real competitor is status quo.
  • Lead generation is down, as traditional means of approaching the market are off the table, especially for those companies who had not yet made a successful transition to digital.

The Challenge of Converting Prospects

Consolidated industry data suggests a steady growth in web traffic since a pre-pandemic baseline of January 2020, but sales conversations have been more volatile. We’d argue that the demand is there, but engaging and converting prospects presents a challenge with companies’ current processes and digital marketing and sales tech stack.

Website Traffic by Industry

Sales Calls by Industry

Leaders of companies wanting to seize upon opportunities opening in their market are looking for fresh perspectives that will help guide long-term change with near-term milestones and ROI. Change has always been hard—but the current state of our workforce makes this harder than ever. 76% of US employees are experiencing burnout. Between the pandemic stressors, the pressures of caring for children and elderly family members while performing on the job, in addition to staffing shortages that increase the responsibilities of remaining employees, employees have change fatigue. CEOs we talk with are concerned about a wave of turnover when the employment market presents new opportunities. They’re also noticing the day-to-day impact on morale and productivity.

Many of the CEOs we work with are using this time to step back and re-think their brand, vision, and go-to-market strategy. They’re committed to coming out of this better than they entered it and are beginning initiatives like:

  • Branding
  • Digital transformation
  • Product rationalization
  • Change management - after an M&A transaction or to drive operational efficiencies

How can you seize the opportunity while providing the support your team needs?

6 Tips to Accomplish Big Things with Existing Resources

  1. Ask. Customer discovery and an employee survey can help you identify common pain points and address them.
  2. Stop/start. Conduct a marketing assessment and identify the activities and tactics you can retire. Simplify product lines and increase margin through 80/20 analysis.
  3. Outsourcing. Identify a trusted partner to support your key people and increase both capability and capacity for growth. Our retained marketing support helps develop and supplement your in-house team. IT, strategic HR, virtual assistants: companies that specialize can help you scale while supporting your people.
  4. Company positioning. Stop being everything to everyone. Identify your unique value proposition and streamline your message and activities to deliver it.
  5. Automate. Meet your customers’ changing expectations and cut your low-value workload by identifying opportunities for marketing automation, sales automation, and self-service.
  6. Improve communications. You may be creating work and rework if employees do not hear a clear, concise vision and understand their impact on them. Download the guide to internal communications