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Marketing in the new normal: What’s changed?

We are starting to emerge from the Coronavirus crisis, but it is into a different world. How can we still generate leads and build our brands in this new environment? Let’s find out more.

As we begin the slow journey to normality after the COVID-19 crisis, B2B marketers must assess the new world and work out how they will adapt. Ourselves, our colleagues and most of our target audience will be working from home. If it is possible to meet, it will be in small groups, a safe distance apart. Some businesses that we target may not be around anymore, or have pivoted to survive.

To try and make sense of this new normal, marketers must ask themselves some questions. In this article, we’re going to talk about them and try to find some answers.

How will you generate your leads?

Marketers need to look at the way they previously generated leads and evaluate whether they will work in the post-COVID landscape.

For example, many B2B companies have business events as a significant component of their marketing strategy. They will take a big presence at an event attended by their ideal customers. They may even stage their own branded events. Of course, this plan is a non-starter, for at least the rest of 2020, perhaps beyond. What will you do instead?

During the lockdown, there has been a rise in the number of webinars and online events for the B2B marketing sector. There are opportunities for marketers to leverage these kinds of conferences to plug the lead gen gaps left by the absence of physical events.

For example, because the event is recorded digitally, it’s simple to chop up and repackage video content for broadcast on social media, which can generate new leads. It is also easy to keep track of everyone at the event, because attendees give their name and email address when they sign up.

How do you reach your customers?

Email has become the dominant way to reach people during the Coronavirus crisis. Currently, marketing and sales professionals are sending 44% more emails than they were before the lockdown. As it’s likely that we’ll all still be working from home for many months to come, this trend looks set to continue.

This poses a challenge for marketers. If you were not using email as a marketing channel before, you need to work on making it part of your mix of channels. If you were using email previously, you have the knowledge and the infrastructure, but do you know how to cut through the noise? If your ideal customer has 44% more emails in their inbox than before, yours is going to need to be good.

The good thing about email marketing is that it is cost-effective and straightforward to automate. Look at how you put together your email sequences to make the most of this opportunity. Think of how you use tone of voice in your emails. ‘At this uncertain time…’ may be a popular opening line at the moment, but it won’t last forever.

Are you still targeting the right audience?

Your ideal customer profile may have changed due to the lockdown and its economic effects.  If you haven’t pivoted already, you may need to. Could there be a different type of company in a different sector that may have a greater business need for your product?

For example, many e-commerce businesses have experienced massive customer growth during the lockdown. SaaS sales companies, especially ones that make life easier for people working from home, are also thriving. They may be looking to make purchases to sustain their growth. Could your product be the solution they need?

Look at who has purchased and used your product during the lockdown period. Are there companies from unusual sectors joining your customer base? This will point you in the right direction.

Do you have the right tech?

Marketing in the new normal will require a digital-first strategy. Do you have the right technology solutions to succeed? To win with digital marketing, you need to able to reach your ideal customer profile (ICP) with powerful messages at scale. Whether it’s lead generation software, email automation, digital branding or anything else; tech will give you the competitive edge.

Aside from tech, you also need to think about the skills in your marketing team. Do your people have the knowledge to leverage the opportunities of the new normal? You need digital marketing ninjas, email experts and social media specialists. If your team’s current skills lie in business events or publicity stunts, you may need to retrain them or hire in new bodies.

Start using your new tech and new skills on the leads you already have from before the lockdown. Implement email nurture sequences to show them how you are ready to delight them in the post-COVID world.

Find out more

The new normal represents a challenge for all of us marketers, but with some thought and planning, we can put ourselves in the best position to succeed.

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