Winners accelerate in the turns. We are about to live through the steepest learning curve of all our professional lives – a unique period in world history.
The G-forces in the turn will be extreme (e.g., a nontraditional competitor that doesn’t need to make a profit will go for your market shares) and, due to digital capabilities, time to impact is very short. The consequences can be enormously negative and will have a long-term negative impact in the event that one acts passively.
I have spent many hours recently studying past crises and above all how successful companies have managed to accelerate out of a crisis. What strikes me is how incredibly expensive passivity has cost companies in the past — in its essence it comes down to; accelerate or slowly decrease.
In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity
In a ”normal” recession, the smart move is to spend through it. But note we’re in a public health crisis with both supply-side and demand-side effects, so my recommendation is to hold your nerve; see if your competitors fold, and make d*mn sure your brand emerges stronger. Timing is the key to success. However, you need to be fully prepared and act proactively. Reactivity will be the downfall of many this time as many other times throughout history.
One must be humble of the fact that the landscape in B2B was savage even prior to the Pandemic, where the complexity in B2B buying continued to increase as B2B buyers were spending more time researching and buying online. The “new” normal post the Pandemic will force digitalization and changes in favor of digital communication.
As the pressure to advance upwards on the digital curve increases, we now invite our partner and clients to dramatically advance their digital competence to be able to improve the position for growth and defend against current competition and incoming disruptive threats.
WINNING ATTITUDES & CORNERSTONES IN POST PANDEMIC MARKETING:
- Simplify the buying process & communicate with the lowest hanging fruits
- Stop guessing, use data to move ahead quick
- Stop filling the bucket with water, fix the bucket
1. Simplify the buying process & communicate with the lowest hanging fruits
Instead of selling, you should help customers buy. To sell during and after a crisis, one needs to shift focus and look more at possibilities of marketing based on the existing need in the market. The sales department will demand SQLs and will not have time to manage large numbers of low-quality leads. It’s all about quality, not quantity!
Given the above, we strongly urge to digitizing parts of the sales process. The complexity of the buying process continues to increase and the change and conversion become even more important – the consumer is spending more and more time on research online. Knowing that, we must take advantage of opportunities.
Note: digitizing marketing and sales can mean preparing for big steps into the unknown, preparing the organization and your team for the transition. It is obvious that companies that will succeed in the “new” normal are the ones who simplify their buying process for their customers and function fully as a trusted advisor.
2. Stop guessing, use data to move ahead quick
Speed becomes a superpower and a hygiene factor. In periods of change, we naturally need to be faster than our direct competitors, but also the nontraditional competitor that is keen on our market hare. Make sure to become data-driven “for real” and listen to the numbers speaking their clear language. Do this through concrete and simple analyses where the data highlights the current situation and use the insights to set strategies and experiments.
“We see in a very short period what business value and what competitive advantages an aggressive data-driven and digital marketing strategy contributes to. My experience suggests that executives should act now to implement data and analytics. But rather than undertaking massive change, build tangable simple models, and transform the organizational culture.
3. Stop filling the bucket with water, fix the bucket
Many marketers spend time, metaphorically, filling a leaking bucket with water. Instead of fixing the marketing funnel (bucket), they pour more water (traffic and campaigns) into the bucket to keep it full.
Traditionally, traditional campaign-based marketing comes in the form of attention-grabbing “fireworks”. This will not work in B2B during the crisis. We see a huge gap between the ”marketing campaigns” and the company’s sales process(es). The sales divisions do not get any new concrete leads that they can easily book a meeting and do business with, something which creates dissatisfaction with and low confidence in marketing. The sellers continue with a ”business-as-usual”, when we (marketers) know that extraordinary situations like this require extraordinary measures.
“When the environment is paralyzed, opportunities are created. When it comes to marketing, which has a history of being the first punch bag at bad times, proactivity and determination are key. Let’s gain confidence and create long-term scalability. “
With the conviction of a bright future with a ”new” normal as standard.
Gabriel Ghavami, CEO
Dreaming of building the world's most successful digital B2B agency. Fifteen years of experience in sales and B2B marketing from NYC, Copenhagen and Sweden. Business degree in Marketing from Hawaii Pacific University (HPU).