When lockdown began, a lot of marketers hit the pause button as the scenario was completely new for most, and businesses found it tough to fathom how to operate in uncertain times. In the B2B space, lead generation through traditional channels such as meetings, events and shows, in fact, came to a total halt! However, slowly marketers are learning that marketing and branding need not stop altogether even at a time like this. There are ways that you can ensure that you stay in business and continue to engage with your customers even during this unusual time. Here are some tips for you to do so.
Reassess Your Offering
At present, the needs of the customers have changed. So, you need to assess your offering. For example, if your offering is a product, or a platform, or software as a service, you can offer a free trial or a free upgrade. If your offering is a physical product, you could alter the way that it gets delivered so that customers can consume it conveniently. For instance, Moz is giving access to their SEO training courses free of cost, and Unbounce is offering its existing customers free one-on-one strategy sessions. Even bigger names like Oracle are giving access to their learning courses free of cost. Similarly, Amazon, while offering consumer products through eCommerce, is ensuring customers can shop online easily and get products delivered to their homes safely.
Adapt the Branding Strategy
Through branding, you can portray your product or service in such a way that customers feel connected with you.
- Don’t be too sales-oriented now as that can make you come across as a business that is interested solely in profit-making even in a crisis situation like this. Rather, build on a campaign that shows your empathy towards your customers.
- The content that you create plays a critical role in promoting your brand. Now is a great time to improve brand recall and also show yourself as a brand that is concerned about customer welfare. Tell the audience about the efforts that you are putting in to support people or the government during the pandemic. For example, Crocs gave free shoes to health workers, and JBL came up with a logo that encouraged people to stay at home.
Focus on Employee Engagement
Your workforce is now working remotely and thus all information needs to be communicated to them clearly. You must remember that your salesforce, who are working from home, are facing the challenges and yet trying to close opportunities that are in the pipeline. Hence, when your employees know that they have your support and that they are valued, they will feel more motivated to perform their tasks better.
Continue with the Live Events
Shows, conferences, and events have been canceled. So, if you are in the B2B space that depends largely on live events, it is imperative to adapt your brand to this new normal. The good news is that there are still many ways that you can recreate your events – even if they are just virtually. For instance, you can use web conferencing or interactive AR and VR experiences to give a tour of your factory or real estate virtually, have a virtual speaker summit, engage with clients through webinars, and other online communication forums. As an example, when ASICS could not hold the Innovation Summit in Tokyo, it did so using live streaming and virtual reality.
Improve on SEO Performance
Small details can go a long way in improving the way a brand is perceived by the audience. With more time at hand, you can focus on improving all such neglected areas.
- Optimize your site with respect to SEO.
- Track your website to know if your tracking is aligned with your business goals.
- Find out which programs you are running need to be reviewed and updated.
- Carry out CRM integration.
- Analyze your content and improve on it.
- Find out which social media sites are giving you the best mentions and focus on it.
Focus on Revenue Marketing
After the pandemic is over, the focus will be on marketing to deliver significantly towards sales numbers and thus to revenue as well. Keeping this in mind, marketers have begun to and will continue to, focus on apps and platforms that deliver concrete value. It will also lead to the rise of innovative martech strategies.
Young Talent Needs to be Nurtured
Young talent brings with it new technical skills and the curiosity to learn. B2B marketing has benefitted from this talent pool. However, after normalcy is restored, it might take companies a while to begin hiring again. This might lead to missing out on the new talent pool. To keep driving the results, companies should open up to the idea of offering contract opportunities to fill key roles.
Micro-segmentation to Drive Growth
For years, the B2B companies have generally segmented target markets on the basis of geography and industry. However, slowly this is changing, and post the lockdown, the need for change will be even more pressing. Now segmentation and analytical models are being based on buyer behavior and their needs. The end of the lockdown will not mean that volatility in the buying behavior will end. Hence, this new form of segmentation will help companies to adapt to the new normal – creating smaller segments that can be refreshed as behavior changes will help businesses to stay afloat.
Brand promotion need not stop – it just needs to get innovative. So, brainstorm with your team and once you know what will work best for you, you can rest assured that it will get easier for you to bounce back when things are back to normal.