COVID-19 forced many B2B marketers into survival mode. Giving up proven channels because prospects have been away from the office, eliminating key industries as those companies or institutions have closed, and looking for leads and revenue in an uneventful world.
But the seasons change. The long, tough marketing winter of discontent is starting to warm up. Shoots burst from frozen ground, businesses begin to reopen.
As infection rates continue to fall and vaccination rates rise, people prepare to go back to work (like physically in the office – not death from Zoom call). The schools are reopening, the restaurants are expanding their capacity and even the cinemas are welcoming guests.
The world is turning around a corner and B2B marketers need to prepare for the trends ahead.
Are you ready for spring?
The great digital acceleration of 2020 could slow down, but it will continue to increase. In other words, the behavior is not reset. The trends that drove digital acceptance have always been there, and the acceleration of digital acceptance from the year the WFH joined them only intensified them. McKinsey shows that more than three quarters of B2B buyers prefer digital channels. You are here to stay. B2B brands either need to adapt or build on their digitally focused marketing strategy.
Pre-purchase research has shifted even more to digital research, as has the marketing efforts and assets to support it. Content needs to be reviewed and revised in order to work with the new digital-centric behavior. Websites need to adequately address the quality of the products and expertise to ensure that the user has come up with the best solution, even if they are not speaking to a real person. And be ready to offer these answers in multiple digital formats to keep all users happy on their journey, from white papers to videos to infographics.
SEO is becoming more and more important for successful B2B marketing. With all of the changes brought about by COVID-19, search engine traffic remains the most effective tool for inbound marketing. In order to attract new customers, companies must be easy to find online.
Live events will return in 2021 but will not give up virtual events. Hopefully, companies have made progress with virtual events, and it’s important to maintain that focus as we return to in-person events, possibly hybrid events that add engaging content to live and virtual audiences. A recent survey by Outsell, Inc. found that there are still a high percentage of coworkers who are reluctant to attend live events.
All of this means marketing machines must emerge from hibernation and start planning for the rebound. All indicators show a strong upswing with pent-up demand and the return of live events. Are corporate content machines ready? Are Your Supply Chains Ready? Take time now to sow the seeds for a productive spring and 2021.
Would you like more tips on what to expect in 2021? Check out the upcoming MeritB2B Webinar on Wednesday March 31st – Spring Reawakening: What B2B Marketers Need To Know Now For 2021. Find out more and register here!
Name of the company: SVP, Performance Marketing MeritB2B
Interlocutor: Chris Blohm
E-mail: Send e-mail
Country: United States