We’re in an unprecedented time and everything around us is shifting. The world is moving towards an unchartered territory. Amidst the health crisis, the global economy is taking a downfall. Companies have no choice but to adapt to the new environment to sustain.
The B2B landscape has been disrupted and will take months to go back to normalcy. With the marketing and sales team trying to cope with the changing buyer journey, CMOs are in a strenuous position. They are reviewing their marketing strategies and moving their budget from events to digital channels. CMOs and CIOs are pivoting marketing strategies and cutting down on anything that adds to their existing budget.
Gartner reported 65% of 176 chief marketing officers (CMOs) and marketing leaders said they are bracing for moderate to significant budget cuts as a result of coronavirus-related disruptions. CMOs need to make a collaborative effort to reduce the future impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic by implementing a forward-looking plan. Sales and marketing teams must have customer-centric thinking to enhance customer experiences. At a time like this, it is necessary to prioritize the need of the customers.
B2B marketers are feeling out of depth, no doubt. With many B2B marketers working remotely, companies need to ensure that they are continuously serving their clients. Companies need to continue interacting with their customers. They need to be more empathetic and authentic towards their customers.
What Can B2B Marketers Do?
As the situation is getting worse with each passing day, businesses are getting affected. The need of the hour is to be more empathetic than ever. As the customer’s state of mind is changing, the marketing approach also needs to change accordingly. It has become important to put oneself in the customer’s shoes and understand what they’re looking for. Ensuring every communication that goes out aligns with the current scenario alongside addressing underlying issues the customers might be going through.
Don’t Stop Communicating
B2B marketers need to ensure that communications are genuine and not revenue-focused. Even though every company is struggling to find the correct tone for communication, there needs to be an uninterrupted relay of information. The continuous communication, however, does not mean aggressively sending out emails that add no value to the customer. Messages need to be genuine, helpful and comforting. Organizations need to get close to their customers and understand what’s driving their decision making. This will help to shape messaging and content for the next marketing campaign.
Work closely with the Sales and Marketing Teams
Making marketing an important part of the sales team is imperative. Sales reps at such an uncertain time will have to rely on marketing to reach and interact with new prospects as well as build momentum with the existing ones. It is a good time to be creative and focus on any opportunity that will generate pipeline and help the sales team. The marketing team can learn more about the emerging digital tools and leverage them to support the sales team. Use data and insights to invest in the most strategic opportunities. This is also the right time to build a strong relationship between sales and marketing to think ahead and plan.
Prepare for when the crisis is over
Sooner or later, the situation is bound to go back to normal. B2B marketers can think of alternative ways they can reach out to their prospects. Organizations in the coming months will continue to assess vendors, so B2B marketers need to prepare for a normal condition to return. So, they can pull triggers when their customers are ready to make a purchase decision. This can be a time to encourage discussions for innovation and improvement as well. Marketing leaders can start fostering a positive and innovative mindset within their team for enhanced productivity.
With things going out of proportion, it isn’t easier for marketers. Amid budget cuts and some even losing their jobs, marketers need to continue reinventing themselves. Focusing on customer empathy, internal collaboration and preparedness for the future will help them stay afloat during the turbulent time. The better guidance and assistance you provide your clients, the more propensity to thrive once the crisis ends. Hence, COVID-19 can bring unique opportunities to re-evaluate the way we do things, innovate, and change things for the better.
About the author
Praj (Prajwal) Gadtaula and his team at BusinessBrainz deliver bespoke insight about industries, companies and executives to sales and marketing teams engaged in B2B selling and marketing. Their insight reports are a key enabler for ABM (Account Based Marketing), Enterprise Sales and B2B Demand Generation.