The 4 BIG QUESTIONS of pandemic-era marketing
PSA: We won’t mention the phrase ‘unprecedented times’, Scout’s honour.
- 16th November
So, here we are in the new normal, or the next normal, or whatever it’s called these days… Although how anyone can use the word ‘normal’ to describe these circumstances doesn’t make much sense to us. It seems that even as we edge closer to the end of the year the 2020 rollercoaster ride is still far from over.
This year, businesses across the IT channel have had to work their socks off to do their bit in enabling organisations to work from wherever they deemed safest. The industry’s collective efforts have helped keep organisations up and running in whatever capacity they were able to.
Adapting has been the name of the game. Some have had to adapt the services they provide; others have had to adapt the products they sell. One thing every business in the channel needs to have adapted? Their marketing strategy.
It’s simply not practical or productive for businesses to continue marketing in the same way they did pre-pandemic. There are new sensitivities to consider, practical challenges to overcome, and even new opportunities to be taken advantage of.
Here’s a few observations from us about how organisations in the IT and technology sector need to be rethinking their marketing so they’re equipped for now and whatever lies ahead.
What are you marketing?
Are you trying to market your brand, a service or product, or maybe your relationship with a partner? At any given moment you may be attempting to achieve one or all of these things at once. Therefore, think carefully about the nitty gritty of what you’re putting out there. Make sure the messaging you’re broadcasting to the world is still true and relevant. If times have changed for you, then don’t keep sending out the same old, same old.
Value proposition workshopping is a process that can reveal some cracking insight into your business’ current USPs and any new ideas. Whether this is a process that you do internally, or if you need a little (virtual) help, this insight is an invaluable source for strengthening your go-to-market story, building campaigns that are totally on the money and developing a strong foundation for your marketing.
How are you marketing?
We’ve mentioned sensitivities; with many businesses facing uncertain futures, your marketing cadence and output should be tailored to let people know you’re there when they need you, but should carefully avoid coming across as spammy. Note how we said tailor, not stop! The worst thing you can do is press pause on your marketing. Edit your strategy to acknowledge that every business’ experience of the pandemic is unique at a company level, at a local level, and at a human level.
It’s a great time to try something new! The current B2B marketing landscape isn’t quite ‘all bets are off’ but there is definitely more scope than ever for trying something a bit more off the wall. Campaigns with a sense of humour are doing really well right now, be it as they provide a little bit of lightness at a complex time.
Where are you marketing?
Whilst marketing virtually is the obvious answer to this question, it’s definitely not the only one. As we’ve settled into the routine of remote working, the return of physical mailers has been much welcomed. Sending your customers and employees a little something is always a great way to check in.
One place that business decision makers have flooded to is YouTube. Video content is proving indispensable, with 8 out of 10 people acknowledging the role that video content has played when making purchasing decisions. So, if there’s one safe bet for your marketing spend right now, it’s on video. Advertise alongside YouTube content with similar messaging to you, or produce your own budget-friendly content and get it out there for people to find.
Alongside video content, there’s all the usual suspects – email, social media, SEO and your very own website. Some platforms have a little more room for getting creative, so key to your success will be matching innovative, appropriate content to the platform you’re sharing it on.
Why are you marketing?
Now more than ever, your marketing should go beyond just generating business opportunities. With screens fabricating human interactions, it’s challenging to feel connected to your customers, prospects and colleagues. We’ve definitely felt it amongst the Asgardians. We miss being in the same room as one another, and the tea round in particular.
Right now, while we’re all separated, we think your marketing function should strive to strengthen and maintain human connections. Be emotive, be inventive and be consistent.
So, where’s all this going?
Think carefully about these questions and how your business would answer them. If you’re not sure of the answers, or if you think your current marketing strategy isn’t answering them as effectively as it could, then it’s time for a rethink.
Regardless of recent events, your marketing strategy will never be something that’s developed once and then strictly followed until the end of time. As time moves on, it can easily go stale.
Got some questions of your own? Let’s chat over a cuppa, virtually of course.
Elly Lee is a Junior Marketing Executive at Asgard and has helped to deliver a number of successful campaigns for our customers.