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What is the new norm for B2B marketing?

What is the new norm for B2B marketing?

I don’t know about you, but 2020 was going to be the best year ever! The stars were all aligned, and things were going well. It felt right, a good feeling in the gut and we were set for a really great year. And then, ‘IT’ happened and turned the world upside down.

Need to reflect on what’s changed and be more opportunistic

It’s easy to get morose. The pessimist sees the glass half empty, the optimist sees it half full, but I want to talk about the opportunist. You see, they see the glass, but then they pick it up and drink it.

Now I know most of us are getting fed up of talking about the pandemic, but we can’t escape the fact that it has triggered the most significant and rapid change in the way that we live and do business. And, so it continues to change. We talk about the new norm, but what does that mean for B2B marketing?

How can we operate successfully in a new norm?

During the turmoil of the last few weeks and months, companies have adapted and adopted new ways of working and creating new offerings. Some technology companies have performed amazingly well, while others have struggled. For many, regardless, it has been a time of reflection.

So, what do we need to change?

I have always said that the right content, in the right context will achieve the right B2B marketing results. Getting the right message today is even more critical. Is what you want to say still relevant in the current climate or do you need to change it? Focus more on how your services or solutions can specifically help at this time. How have you changed what you do to better serve your customers? Review your message regularly.

Shortening attention spans, require shorter messages

Attention spans have been getting shorter for a while, but everybody has so many more distractions as people work in and around the home. Our B2B messages need to be tighter and more focused than ever. Emails should be shorter, more personalised, so too should any messages that are sent through LinkedIn. Personalised but not too personal, as you can then become presumptuous.

I think we need to reflect on our services and solutions and what we were we doing previously to generate B2B sales leads but adapt them for now. And in a couple of months’ time they might need refreshing again.  I really do believe that there are opportunities out there for all businesses, but we just need to look harder, focus more, see differently!

Finally, follow up is really important. With so many things on our plate it’s easy to get distracted. So, we may be interested, but not get time to respond. An email or message not followed up gets forgotten and lost in a host of other noise. Picking up the phone and chatting directly to people today is really important otherwise you could be missing opportunities.

We launched a campaign, but it was not without apprehension!

I personally have been involved in the generation of new B2B sales leads for well over two decades and even before the pandemic it was hard. Then it got even tougher! Yet with the right focus, right message and adapting the approach to suit the situation there have been plenty of opportunities.

We launched a campaign for one client right at the start of the pandemic. It wasn’t without apprehension, but their solution – a conversational AI Bot – could help insurance companies to stop their call centres from being overwhelmed.

The messaging for this campaign was short, with a personable tone, and most importantly, very relevant. Our campaign was well supported with emails, as well as online collateral, which included videos, and some great downloadable content. 

Generated well over 20 qualified sales leads, with some close to closing

The first month was incredibly tough as people transitioned to working remotely. Calls were unanswered, messages unread, and there was no response. But then we started to get traction. We used our new business development approach to identify senior decision makers and engage them directly through email, LinkedIn and calls. We’ve since generated well over 20 qualified sales leads, with some close to closing.

There is no silver bullet, but focused energy, combined with fresh and relevant messaging that is delivered at the right time and in the right way will always achieve results.

Don’t wait for the dust to settle

Needless to say, our 2020 hasn’t been quite what I first thought back in late December 19 or even early in January this year. Some of our clients have mothballed their marketing and are waiting for the dust to settle, but it could take a while. Meanwhile, we are working with the ‘opportunists’ that are changing their offers, operating differently, and generating more B2B sales leads while there is less noise from the competition.

If you would like to discover how we can help you get in touch!

By John Bancroft, Founder and Managing Director of Incognate