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11 Mar

For B2B marketers the Coronavirus is making marketing tougher so the tough marketers have to get going!

It is still to unfold how various economies will suffer from slowdown but one thing is certain marketing for B2B companies will be tougher in the coming days. Major marketing events are getting canceled, overall business budgets will see a cut, travel will be restricted, buyers across impacted industries will be cautious to commit to purchases and the list goes on and on.

Marketers have to embrace the challenge and get creative in how they alter plans to minimize the repercussions on the performance of their marketing return on investment.

Coronavirus Impact on B2B Marketing

Here are how we think marketing will evolve and strategies that will certainly help to minimize the effect of Coronavirus on marketing for B2B companies.

1. Experiential Marketing for B2B Companies Will Need Rethinking

As human travel and contact will be avoided for most of the next 2 quarters experiential marketing through events and tradeshows will take a back seat. Events around the world are getting canceled at an unprecedented scale to the point that there are serious discussions about moving the Olympics. If your business depends on events to meet prospects or push deals forward in the sales and marketing funnel you must consider online experiences to deal with the void. 

Plan and execute unique personalized virtual events to meet prospects including on-demand live product demos. Outreach to create interest in your virtual events should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. Driving demand for it will need to happen through email marketing and aggressive online promotions. Outreach through LinkedIn and Facebook advertising can be key to drawing attention to your marketing campaigns 

2. Expect Longer Sales Cycles

Companies that are going to buy from you are trying to figure the short term and long term impact on their business from Covid-19 spread. One thing is certain they will hold on to their purses and delay making decisions on capital expenditure and operational expenditure. Longer and delayed sales cycles mean an opportunity for competitors to get int he game and even disrupt your possible sale. 

Build a strategy to keep your marketing leads engaged as they wait for the mist to clear up. Use great content as a fence to keep your leads in the funnel and moving forward. Be prepared for slower decision making and do not think leads not responding have lost interest in your product or services. They are going to procrastinate and you should allow them to do that and just don’t give up on them. Build new or tune your automated nurture programs to align with the new reality. 

3. Your Marketing Budgets Allocations Will Be Changed

With the uncertainty around the impact on business, everyone must think about how to best utilize the available resources.  While there may be discussions to reduce overall marketing budgets, but with events and travel getting canceled there is also a possibility of reallocation of budgets. 

Allocate and adjust budgets in a way that avoids larger and long term commitments like hiring resources, investing in a new system and major upgrades. Here are some tips to get the maximum return on your marketing budget:

  • Focus your energy and budget on optimizing the return on investment in the short term. 
  • Hire agencies or contractors rather than hiring full-time resources. 
  • Focus on experimentation to achieve higher ROI from your existing marketing programs and campaigns. Optimize for Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) through AB and multivariant testing.
  • Be more aggressive in advertising for lead generation and reduce spend on branding.
  • Implement improvements in your sales and marketing funnel to avoid lead leakage.
  • Build stronger sales and marketing alignment and make every lead count. 

 

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