Three ways to navigate an economic downturn

In this wide-ranging panel discussion, EY's Sarah Alspach and Fujitsu's Joachim Box share how they’re responding to a more challenging economic climate during our recent members-event.

Robert Hollier

by Robert Hollier

November 28, 2022


How do brands add value during volatility?

That’s exactly what we asked Sarah Alspach, Director of EMEIA Brand, Marketing and Communications for EY, and Joachim Box, Vice Head of Global Corporate Marketing Global Head of Cocreation, at Fujitsu during our recent exclusive members-event.

In the wide-ranging panel discussion, Sarah and Joachim shared how they’re responding to a more challenging economic climate.

Here are three key takeaways:

1. Sharpen your focus

“The pandemic prompted a process of decluttering,” explains Joachim. “We honed down our offer to focus on what matters most to our customers and the stories we tell about how we can help.”

There is even more demand for forward-looking thought leadership [and] we’re prioritizing quality over quantity and better activation—making the most of the content we're putting out and working with country teams to leverage it globally.

Sarah added

2. Double down on brand

“Brand does a huge amount of heavy lifting,” says Sarah. “And brand goes hand in hand with reputation. The reason a customer decides not to go with someone is because they don’t know who they are. Every dollar you invest in brand drives down the cost of sales.”

“The other thing we’ve seen through research is the degree to which values play a role,” adds Sarah. “More and more customers want to work with organizations that reflect similar values. Brand has a huge role in helping communicate what you stand for; if you can’t demonstrate your credentials, it can be incredibly damaging.”

3. Sustainability is the cure for volatility

“Humans are terrible at forecasting things; there’s always a huge amount of unpredictability,” says Joachim. “Resilience is a way of addressing all of that—and we capture it with our commitment to sustainability. That’s our major drive; if we can address personal well-being, good societal outcomes, and helping businesses, we can deal with volatility in whatever shape or form.”

Sarah agrees: “We’re talking to clients about value-led sustainability; helping clients see the path to value, whether that’s through savings or growth […] People want to do the right thing—but it helps when it’s financially viable.”

This is just a snapshot of an entertaining and in-depth conversation, which explored everything from changing customer priorities to buyer journey optimization—and some revealing research on what drives enterprise purchasing decisions.

The full event roundup is available to Growth Hub members. B2B marketing’s premier community of practitioners enjoy exclusive access to research, insights, networking, and events just like the one above.

Don’t want to miss out? Contact Luisa Jones to learn more about Growth Hub.

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