Information and data are constantly changing; with that said, companies need to devise two strategy tracks. One strategy should be evolving and reacting to the current environment as it happens (think webinar on remote working) while another way should be in the longer term. How will the world look in 6 months? How do you want to position yourself in this new world?
Management potentially could move budget (request refund where applicable) from future marketing that may no longer be possible (e.g., a trade show in the fall) and invest in marketing channels expected to be effective, like online events. Furthermore, it might be best to divest in initiatives that will not drive revenue in the next 6-12 months.
ACDI and many others had no choice when it came to losing the opportunity for physical events when they chose to allocate that money. Like ACDI, the majority decided to re-invest the money, mainly moving the budget to digital innovation. The future will likely see a more excellent mix of online webinars and virtual events. In 2017, online marketing and direct mail to promote events combined was 9% of event marketers’ budget allocation. In 2021, digital and direct mail budget to promote events will likely increase substantially.
Based on Obility’s preliminary analysis of 70 B2B service companies’ Facebook and LinkedIn ads, most B2B service companies have yet to update their messaging to reflect the Covid19 crisis. Many new ads launched in late March continue to push standard positioning. Slack and Zoom are tailor-made for remote work and have recently launched ads showing their relevance in the current business environment. One area where B2B service companies are shifting their messaging is to help the modern workforce adapt to working at home. SaaS solutions relevant to remote work have capitalized on the increase in remote workers.
Businesses have also shifted their messaging to address how Marketing & Sales roles have joined in a more collaborative manner of promoting the services but also helping their clients navigate through it. Companies are exploring how their solution can help with virtual events, video pitches, and marketing to folks who are at home. Not to mention helping their prospects and customers shift overall strategies in uncertain times. ACDI is using new and current internal resources to guide their customers and prospects through these challenging times.
All companies have done an excellent job of establishing themselves as a resource during these times – from discussing how to survive a recession and talking about working from home to discussing communication/messaging. Planning for the next 4-6 months should have already begun. While planning, adjusting your current efforts are essential. Invest in marketing channels that are going to be effective now and divest in ones that are not currently viable. Online events are here to stay.
Leaders will learn to successfully promote online events through digital marketing, outbound outreach, and direct mail. Now is a time to prepare for future increases in demand. Put revenue systems in place and create the content and messaging for Q4 2020 and Q1 2021 demand. Changing messaging means deciding to act as a resource for your clients and address a specific crisis and the related pain points in an empathic, positive tone.
The world is going even more digital because of this crisis, and old industrial-era thinking needs to be abandoned once and for all. ~Forrester