Strategies to Manage Your Marketing Team in the New Normal
Change isn't coming; it's here!
The impact of Covid-19 is forcing every marketing team to change strategies and navigate through the new normal. Its sweeping impact on business is already being felt across the globe and indicates that more business disruption will follow. While brands currently seek to strike the right tone during a global health emergency, the future heralds market alteration, increased competition, and a demand for creative and aggressive marketing practices.
All this disruption means that you need to rethink how you manage your marketing team, and marketers will need to be fast and practical to manage their strategies during this downturn.
The Impact Of Covid-19 on Marketing Teams
Here are some effects that marketing teams are facing during this time of the crisis:
- Due to the economic downturn, the majority of marketing teams are facing budget cuts, and long term projects are being put on hold.
- Event marketing which consumed approx 20% of marketing budgets and a top priority for a number of companies (specially B2B) ceased to exist.
- Almost half (47%) of the agencies experienced a fall in marketing leads. However, 27% saw an increase. For a majority of the agencies, it was a challenge to make up for the downturn by winning new business.
- Some teams are unable to create new content quickly as the result of shifting priorities while others face difficulties in managing realignment of resources and budget.
- Marketing planning being a highly collaborative process. Working from home has made it difficult to plan, collaborate, and execute marketing campaigns.
- Customers' decision making process has become slower and leads are taking much longer to move within the funnel. Making it frustrating for the marketing teams that are tied to revenue KPIs.
Steps to Boost Your Marketing Team's Resilience
Marketers will have to converge on growth and take a lead ahead of their competitors and understand how to build customer-centric performance strategies. Members of the team can use this time to strengthen up their subject matter expertise, and abilities as the economy recovers.
Here are a few tips to make the most of your marketing teams during this time of uncertainty:
- Practice Agility and Engage in Scenario Planning
Marketers will have to do what great marketers have always done best – adapt. Some marketers may find themselves face to face with uncertainty, they must drill down to possible scenarios and identify the specific challenges that the marketing organization could experience in these scenarios. Identify actions to take to emerge successfully out of these scenarios These marketers are likely to develop new business strategies. As scenarios change, this approach will provide fast and pragmatic adjustments to results.
- Assess Changes in Customer Behavior and Sentiments
The current crisis seems poised to augment the distrust customers may have of brands. Marketing teams must stay honest with their customers about the goods and services they can and cannot provide and support their customers. The shopping patterns and the services customers want have changed drastically during the pandemic. To engage in this new market solve your customers' problems and communicate with them directly. Stay updated on the latest trends, and understand new consumer behaviors. This may include exploring new channels of engagement customers are more likely to adapt.
A perfect example is the exponential growth in the Direct to Consumer eCommerce as a response to customers wanting to buy direct from brands they trust.
Example of impact of Covid-19 on consumer buying behavior:
- Choose the Best Tools and Processes to Support Your Marketing People
Value three things above all- speed, transparency, and expertise. Marketing teams should realign their tools, processes, and systems to equip their marketing force. Marketing teams must adopt virtual meetings to support more people and stay in touch. Marketing teams should also use various tools to help connect with their internal customers and stakeholders on a one-to-one basis and maximize engagement. Provide seamless answers to all the questions and needs of your customer.
- Provide Leadership with Vision and Boost Morale
Do not fall short of leadership. Focus not only on communication but also demonstrate a commitment to your people. It is important to keep the marketing organization focused and motivated to perform new strategies and recover from this crisis.
- Maximize Your ROI and Think Smart
The ultimate goal is to maximize your ROI and connect to the right audience. Performance strategies should be focused mainly on three things—brand, consumer experience, and business. Make sure you are measuring your overall marketing costs so that you know your cost per lead and customer acquisition. Measure it against the past to see how far you have to stretch to gain new customers during the crisis. Be prepared to real it back and slow down in case it is not justifiable. Adjust your goals for customer acquisition but do not let the brand experience suffer.
It's time you re-evaluate your strategies and create a powerful survival plan that will ensure that your team advances and is stronger than ever before. Marketing leaders should have a clear understanding of the impacts of this crisis and actively manage their performance strategies so that they are ready for recovery.