As companies of various sizes all around the world face economic uncertainty, B2B marketers are more than aware of the challenges that these businesses are facing. With preserving cash suddenly being a number one priority, marketers have had to change the way they’re approaching their techniques. With the pandemic now being creating a new normal, it will be a long time before old marketing techniques are able to be set back into play – if they ever are. We’re going to take a look at how COVID-19 has changed B2B marketing for the long term, and how you can adapt as a B2B business or B2B marketer.
Becoming relevant to the new environment doesn’t only mean altering your current content to make it relevant in today’s world, or producing new COVID-related content. It also means potentially changing the type of content you produce or participating in other forms of online engagement that you may not have previously considered.
Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing tells us how companies do not have a choice but to find a way to become relevant in the new environment:
“While some companies may be distracted or paused in some of their efforts to find solutions, that only means marketing needs to do a better job of providing best answer content in formats that are relevant in the new environment: virtual events, video conferencing, podcasts, webinars, interactive content, recorded video, live streaming and other forms of online engagement. Virtual reality or direct mail are considerations as well.”
Leveraging technology to connect with customers has now become more important than ever before. With potential customers now relying on technology more than ever before, companies need to be focusing on their digital transformation. It will truly come down to how they can make their customers’ lives easier by ensuring that they don’t have to leave their home, as well as how they can make their online experience more enjoyable for them.
Erin Michalak of Godfrey explains how now more than ever, it is necessary for companies to amp up their digital transformation:
“With people staying home, companies must now leverage technology to connect with customers. Even before the coronavirus, research showed that B2B companies who focused on digital transformation experienced 8% more shareholder returns and five times more revenue growth than other organizations. Now, it’s essential for B2B marketers to make a quick transition to digital tactics if they want to stay ahead of the modern consumer.”
It’s been a slow realization that the world has changed for the long haul – there is no completely going back to life as we know it, and that applies to B2B marketing as well. Companies not only have to find a way to adapt digitally for the long term, but they may need to change their entire offerings and mission statement.
Edelman.com tells us why companies are repositioning their product and services offerings for the long term, and not just during the height of COVID-19:
“The new Covid reality has already reshaped B2B marketing for the long haul, including accelerated adoption of digital technologies and e-commerce. Some of the new challenges that COVID has created for B2B buyers – such as dispersed buyer sets, the need to prove ROI faster, the challenge of evaluating solutions without the benefit of in-person engagement – are likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Some of these challenges may become cemented for the long run. Companies looking to gain advantage are already investing in understanding their customers’ customers in this enhanced digital context, going so far as to redefine their company mission, corporate purpose and offerings around helping clients emerge from the pandemic stronger.”
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