If you’re like the marketing leaders we work with every day, you most likely have a question or two on how to navigate the current COVID-19, rocky market environment. We want to share our 10 tips to help you prioritize the tasks that will have the biggest impact — on you, your teams, your business, and your buyers.
1. Look after your employees.
Ensure all your employees are set up for success, feel valued, and have time to look after themselves. Not only is it the right thing to do, but you will need your team feeling energized in order to help your company get back on track.
Times like this call for situational leadership, not everyone’s situation is the same, so don’t treat them that way. Check-in regularly with team members and spend time understanding the individual’s circumstances and make adjustments to meet their needs (i.e shift resources, remove non-essential projects, introduce flex time, help teammates feel comfortable on video).
2. Adjust your messaging.
In the short term, concentrate marketing efforts on value. Don’t be focused on sales, and please don’t send a COVID-19 email just because everyone else is doing it.
Check your automated programs (i.e. welcome emails and nurture programs) and social media presence to ensure they are relevant and have the right tone.
Triple check all marketing communication. We have seen too many emails sent with mistakes. Start to turn on promotional emails when the time feels right, pulse them in, don’t make a hard switch.
3. Realign revenue goals for digital activities.
Not only do digital activities need to shift to support late-stage buying behavior to offset the impact of canceled events, but they also need to be tied to your organization’s changing financial goals. For example, you shouldn’t keep your new logo acquisition activities at full tilt if the companies near term goals are to accelerate deals in pipe.
This doesn’t just mean tossing virtual events on the calendar. Think about content and messaging that supports late-stage buying activities, and potential investment in technology that allows for virtual engagement with prospects (i.e. Drift).
4. Marketers need to lead.
With the new normal of much of the world working virtually, traditional face-to-face selling tactics are not available. With people working different hours and juggling work and home priorities, they will be harder to reach. Marketers need to come up with new ways of engaging with prospects through digital channels and get closer to SDRs to get live connections (i.e. add live chat to your website and build a coordinated SDR ABM play to focus on previously engaged MQLs).
5. Leave your rainy day list for a rainy day.
Many Marketing Leaders have mentioned they plan to check off their rainy day to-dos. Please don’t do this. Instead, reinvest this time in leadership, in developing your new (digital) strategy, in helping your team, and ultimately your business, move forward.
6. Realign your marketing goals with the business.
Regardless of your organization or industry, your business leaders will be re-forecasting and revisiting business strategy. Make sure you have a voice in these meetings and are realigning your marketing strategy to support them. Now is the time to be flexible and open to change.
7. Stick to your core offerings.
When times change, it’s tempting to create all sorts of new ideas that you think may fit the market needs. The reality is that this adds unnecessary risk and distraction to your business. If you sell into a deeply impacted market (travel and leisure, for example), you may need to change. Otherwise, stick to what you know, reduce the number of projects, and stay focused.
8. Embrace virtual happy hours.
People are isolated — unable to connect with friends and colleagues in their usual capacity. Hold virtual social activities like happy hours or team yoga. Encourage your team to use their business video conferencing accounts to host multi-person video conferences with their friends and family.
9. Think about how you lead.
People-centered leadership is more critical now than ever. Look for areas where leadership is needed and step up. This may mean you tread into new areas, actively seek out what the company needs and step up to the plate, even if they don’t necessarily fall under your job role.
10. Prepare for harder times (quietly).
It’s no secret that the markets are struggling, and harder economic times are ahead. Start to look at non-revenue driving activities and reinvest. Insulate yourself by investing in inbound and content marketing so that when outbound media spends are reduced, you can offset with your inbound activities.
Not sure where to focus your marketing efforts given the current social and economic landscape? Schedule your complimentary Strategic Advisory Call here. We’ll do our best to help you out.