In 2019, the B2B sector worldwide was preparing for an impending economic decline, due to trade between China and the US, Brexits issues, a lack of political efficiency in a few countries and COVID19 in 2020. For the past 8 months we have all realized that the 2020 recession is not comparable to that of 2008.
Executives around the world have realized that the current situation needs to be seen in a different light and are experimenting with different strategies to understand the paradigm shift and find newer ways to deal with Covid. This also applies to B2B marketers who are constantly looking for different ways to support their company in the current pandemic situation.
Some B2B marketers say it will take 3-4 months while others believe it will take at least a year to recover from Covid. The effects of COVID depend to a large extent on local scenarios. There may be an uneven gap between global companies due to the government’s response to the desire and facilitation of doing business in the affected areas.
It’s hard to believe that the sales funnel and marketing processes have changed for an incredibly long time. However, there are some well-designed methods for staying connected with audiences and expecting growth. Let’s go over some of these.
1. Shift the ideology, the time is right.
It’s time to be empathetic with your audience and customers. According to Hubspot, Empathy will decide whether or not a company will keep its customer. Customers, prospects, or clients will appreciate the business’s “giving” ability more than ever because they need it most urgently. A simple example of B2B e-commerce today would be free delivery. One of the Forbes experts – Qamar Zamaan – made his paid press release free for a few days and sales grew 400% faster. People will value this empathy far more than just money, and businesses can earn rewards in the longer term.
2. Listen, understand your customers and their stories.
As we discussed earlier, it is very difficult for any marketer to see the effects of this global pandemic. The best way to find marketing strategies is to listen to your customers. Know how Covid has changed their lifestyle and needs. It is very important for B2B marketers to find out how their customers have changed their business, decision-making processes, and financial plans. Try to turn your storytelling strategy into a two-way process where you hear your customers and share your story as well. Regular implementation will play an important role in bridging the gap between you and your client.
3. The power of digital has increased, use it now!
Digital interactions and transactions have increased significantly. 70 percent of B2B buyers are now ready to double their digital spend. According to Mckinsey, 27% of B2B buyers make major transactions online. Postponing the buying process has increased his spending to more than $ 50,000 at a time. Marketers need to deliver more valuable digital experiences to their prospects. After all, every digital interaction now has more of an impact on the buyer’s journey. Smart tools will be most efficient now. Intent-based marketing and account-based lead nurturing are tactics that drive companies to grow big.
4. Don’t plan without dates!
Assumptions cost B2B companies enormous losses. This is not the time to start making plans based on what is currently perceived as the marketplace. 95% of the offline events became online events, increasing the data and its amount by almost 150%. That means there is more data on your customers’ behavior.
In these times, data will reveal more secrets to you, understand them and prepare your marketing strategy for them. Create meaningful content after social listening and inspire your customers with your unique storytelling that comes from data.
5. B2B e-commerce is very chargeable
Every B2B ecommerce gives buyers the best experience ever. The forecasts for 2025 seem to have come true in 2020. Companies that have digital sales embedded in their go-to-market strategy saw revenue grow five times faster than others. Businesses are aggressively turning to audiences to make this digital landscape a more competitive market.
By targeting a specific group of people and narrowing down the audience, marketers can offer potential customers a personalized experience.
6. Simplicity and ease of processing transactions are vital.
Soloman Thimothy from OneIMS says: “People are already facing a challenge, they don’t need another challenge, be their solution.” The statement clearly focuses on simplifying the buying process. Offer easier navigation, detailed and accurate information with attractive yet simple graphics. Another aspect of simplicity is being able to focus directly on your customers’ needs. Creating a story that speaks more about your solution than your product will create an essential connection during such times.
7. Promote values through technology-based experiences.
It is very important for companies to show how seriously they take the Corona Virus and what methods they have developed to deal with it. Ads promoting values amidst Covid have done better. People engage with brands that deliver empathetic messages through ads. This requires the use of technology in collecting enriched data that provides detailed information about user behavior.
As a B2B marketer, the way a message is delivered to the audience has changed radically. The global pandemic has affected almost every company, but the recovery rate will vary depending on the regions where the companies are located. Connecting with people with values at the forefront can lead to lengthy conversations and ultimately bring those into your sales funnel. Dealing with an unprecedented crisis takes a lot of patience on the part of marketers as some experiments would get big and some would not. It’s a learning time for the entire industry, and a long-term vision can ensure the company’s growth.
Disclaimer of liability
The views expressed above are the author’s own.