Seven months later and the COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately, shows no signs of slowing down. With the third wave of COVID-19 cases blanketing the country, businesses across all industries have to be savvy if they want to survive, especially B2B companies.
In an industry where in-person sales meetings garnered product awareness and handshakes sealed the deal, B2B companies have had to take great measures to adjust to this “new normal.”
In this blog, we’ll look at how the B2B landscape is shifting during this time and uncover best practices for B2B marketers during the pandemic.
Replacing cold calls with video conferences for a more personable approach
It’s hard to believe that just seven months ago, most B2B salespeople were pursuing prospects through cold calling, alone. There’s no doubt that both COVID-19 and Zoom have completely changed B2B sales and marketing.
Rather than impersonal cold calls, salespeople are now able to chat face-to-face, making true personable connections to understand prospective client’s needs. For most, this is a big change. These virtual face-to-face interactions are building meaningful and personal relationships between businesses and their clients as well as their prospects, leading to an increase in client retention rates.
Connecting with digital audiences like never before
During this time of crisis, innovative B2B marketers not only have been agile, but they’ve also been pretty darn crafty, too.
In a quarantined world where everyone seems disconnected, successful marketers have seen a new opportunity to revamp the meaning of digital engagement. From webinars, training sessions, and conferences like Facebook’s F8 or IMB Think, innovative B2B marketers have built a virtual sense of community to connect with audiences. These marketers know their businesses must have a human-to-human connection now, more than ever.
And, as a bonus, the cost of attending virtual events is significantly lower than in-person, making it more affordable and accessible for others to expand their knowledge. It is safe to say that digital conferences and webinars are here to stay for the next few years.
Shifting budgets from traditional marketing efforts to digital marketing channels
With the majority of the county’s workforce still working remotely, traditional advertising and marketing methods for B2B businesses just aren’t working. Promotional material from direct mail campaigns are piling up in office lobbies, trade show floors are barren, and in-person deal-closing is but a distant memory for sales reps.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic took the world by storm, research showed B2B companies with a digital-first approach experienced 8% more shareholder returns. They also showed a rapid increase in revenue, once again proving the value of digital marketing in the B2B world.
Making the switch from analog to digital marketing during times of such uncertainty is easier said than done. However, it’s not completely impossible. There are a few things your business can do to catch up on the digital front. Consider:
- Optimizing your website content for mobile devices as well as desktop.
- Developing a long-term search engine optimization strategy
- Creating new content for your website’s blog (and if you don’t have a blog, there’s your starting point).
- Checking out what your competitors are doing on their digital marketing channels and perform a competitive analysis.
- Hiring a B2B digital marketing agency to help make the switch to digital
Using empathic ad messaging about COVID-19
Stories and testimonials that worked before the crisis will fall flat with prospects that are consumed with issues far greater than the business goals they decided in January 2020. Drop the tried-and-true marketing efforts. Now is the time to really appeal to the ethos of your prospects by using empathetic messaging. When working on your new messaging, speak to your audience with compassion and understand:
- How their client base has changed
- Their new financial demands and budget restrictions
- How their business strategy has evolved
There’s no need to act as if business is operating as usual. Respond quickly and transparently to issues as they arise.
No one can be certain of what future challenges we may face as a result of the pandemic. However, your business cannot afford to cease marketing efforts during this time.
Has your business been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? Whether you’re a B2B company looking to make the switch to digital marketing or you’re looking to make the most of your marketing dollars, Statwax can be a valuable resource for your business. Reach out to our customer acquisition experts to get started.