I want to start this ENTIRE post with two caveats. First my motivation is to share ideas not to sell anyone anything. In this upside down time, I want to share for two reasons; first to see if I can help folks with ideas and thoughts and second because writing is how I need to think things out. Second, while I am far from an expert in epidemiology, medicine, social psychology or other relevant fields that are needed to understand what is really going on, I do have an area of knowledge and I feel it is relevant to share ideas with others who practice B2B marketing. With that said…
Thought #1 – Take Care! – of yourself, your loved ones, your team and your community. Maybe this goes without saying, but this is all of our job #1 right now.
Thought #2 – It’s not the time to be overtly promotional, but it’s also not the time to stop marketing. I believe we will get past this. We are a resilient species and society. Our customers still have needs and our products can still fulfill these. As budgets shrink and priorities change, it will quickly become a buyer’s market. So those who are engaged will get opportunities. Disengaging is not the right answer. Educational content, well thought out and relevant is still important but…
Thought #3 – Tone is EVERYTHING. Don’t ambulance chase. Don’t even come close. Resist with all your might from having messaging like…”10 Reasons why CRM Matters More in A Covid-19 World” or “Covid-19 Changes Everything about Cyber Risk Management”. These are BAD for you, bad for your brand, and really actually repulsive. How about something more like, “Adjusting and Managing Pipeline Metrics During a Sudden Downturn” or “Ideas on Increasing Cyber Awareness for Home Network Wifi Users”. The former are pandering and in bad taste and raise anxiety, the latter address impacts and if written well should deliver value that helps people have purpose and find meaning.
Thought #4 – It’s a great time to learn. Read that book you been meaning to. Take an online class. Find a great podcast or two that are relevant. Skilling up and bringing creativity and new ideas to your job will be more important that ever to both your and the companies results.
Thought 5 – Rethink Your Strategies, Programs and Spend – Obviously budgets are going to be under tremendous pressure and you will likely face cuts to both people and program dollars. This hurts, both personally and professionally. It’s hard to put a good face on this. But it’s not just this. How will you reach your audience? What’s going to change in how you message to them? How will buying behavior change? How will priorities shift? Where will spend go to? Should you change pricing and packaging to drive lower risk adoption? As sales works to get revenue in today, marketing needs to lead change. Think strategically and have a plan, proactively before it’s dictated to you.
Thought #6 – Stay connected and engaged – Tell you your sales team you are there for them. Reach out to your vendors and check in with them. Be HUMAN not electronic. Make it a point to connect with your colleagues. If you thought you could solve a problem by email or Slack, but you have the time for a facetime or skype, choose the latter. Sacrifice a bit of efficiency for connection. We are all in this together, whether next door, down the street or a continent away. As we distance socially, let’s get closer virtually!
I hope this post helps you even in a little way. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas and stay connected to you! I’m here in my new home office digs and ready to virtually meet anytime! Ken