The COVID pandemic may not be over yet, but planning for economic recovery is something that should be at the forefront of every marketer’s mind. Those that have been able to survive the crisis know that while reducing marketing budgets may be tempting, it’s the worst thing you can do if you want to sustain your sales pipeline over time. When preparing for recovery, it’s important to have immediate, short term (sales) goals in mind while keeping your long-term vision in sight. Remembering that pivoting to remain relevant may be necessary if the economic context requires you to do so.
Here are some other tips to ensure your marketing strategy is on point in the months to come.
The companies that did well during the pandemic were the ones that didn’t put all their eggs in one basket. Not only does your marketing strategy need to be holistic and omnichannel, but it is also critical that your offer targets different market segments. Preparing for economic recovery means seeing the bigger picture when it comes to your offer and using this as an opportunity to create momentum for a new product or service.
Be Patient, not Pushy
Depending on the verticals your solution focuses on, economic recovery for your target audience may be slower than you would like. It’s important to listen to your audience and give your prospects the time they need to move down the sales funnel; you cannot force someone to buy your product, but you certainly can earn their trust while you wait. Using social selling to nurture prospects is a great way to educate them on your value proposition without being too salesy.
Focus on both Short and Longer Term Opportunities
While establishing thought leadership doesn’t happen overnight, it certainly pays overtime, so it is important that content marketing and SEO be an integral part of your long-term marketing strategy. However, no-one ever said you shouldn’t go after the low-hanging fruit to convert opportunities in the short run. By conducting market intelligence research you can create an ABM list of accounts that have high value for your business, whether that be due to the potential deal size, or because of the prestige that particular account holds (should they become a client). Determining the verticals that have the most short-term value will help you focus your priorities so that your efforts turn into deals faster.
Create New Content
You can never have too much content, and it’s important to have content that speaks to your audience. Case studies and success stories by vertical are a great way to tell your story directly to your prospects with messaging that resonates with their pain points or challenges. Creating new content that takes into consideration the trials of the times is a good way to capture their attention. Developing a content calendar and posting your content on social media outlets using relevant hashtags will help increase your following.
Keep your Sales Reps Motivated
Having sales targets is a normal part of any business, but setting unrealistic goals will only serve to demotivate your team. Revising sales forecasts to take into account the economic reality (and the inevitable slow down), you can make sure that your sales reps are able to keep their heads out of the water.
Design “Always On” Marketing Outreach
Running micro-campaigns in a silo will have a limited impact on your target audience. Taking a holistic approach to marketing and running “always-on” campaigns (that have no end-date) across channels will reach prospects where they are with the content they want to consume. It’s important to keep in mind that it takes multiple touchpoints for a prospect to commit to a certain action; if you are looking to increase sales, you need to double-down on your marketing efforts in order to make that happen, especially now.
While B2B marketers are optimistic about the future, economic recovery will be a slow process. It’s critical that you take the necessary actions to ensure business continuity, especially since uncertainty still looms on the horizon.