September 8, 2022

How to recession-proof your marketing with Sam Mallikarjunan of


Sam Mallikarjunan, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of, believes that in 2022, it is more important than ever for startups to be prudent about their marketing spend if they want to grow over the long term. 

In this episode of Recession-Proof, Sam shares the power of out-of-home advertising, what you should do with your marketing budget as interest rates rise, and why every business should develop cross-functional alignment between finance, marketing, sales, and operations.

Sam and Ramp's VP of Finance & Capital Markets Alex Song discuss:

  • The surprising cost efficiency of OOH
  • Marketing with higher interest rates and CAC
  • How the current fundraising environment should impact your marketing budget

We’ve condensed some of the major themes from the conversation and summarized them below.

Out-of-home advertising opportunities focuses on out-of-home advertising, a type of advertising that focuses on visual advertising seen outside of the home, such as on billboards, benches, bus shelters, etc. Though it's more complex than digital marketing, Sam notes that out-of-home has enormous potential and is extremely popular among new crypto, FinTech, and direct-to-consumer companies.

“There's this assumption that anything that's not internet-based eventually is going to die or it's not worth spending time on. In reality, the real world is significantly more complicated.”

Adapting to challenges in raising capital

Market dynamics are changing, inflation has resulted in soaring costs, and many companies are struggling to acquire the kind of capital they could even 2 years ago. But Sam still sees a path forward for companies to raise.

“I think for the right companies, the money is still there. The right companies who are going to make the right decisions about how much they want to raise, what valuation they're willing to accept, what they think is reasonable, how they're going to deploy it....the best weather to fight in is terrible weather because your opponent is miserable.”

Adapting to higher interest rates

The pandemic resulted in many companies recalibrating their finances, through measures such as cost-cutting and reforecasting. But Sam believes many of these changes could have been prevented. 

“Many people used 2020 as an excuse to forget that we are professionals and have financial operational discipline, and should know what we're doing.”

Check out the full transcript here. To keep up with future episodes of Recession-Proof, check us out on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or add our RSS feed to your favorite podcast player. If you like the episode, please follow, rate, and review the podcast!

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