The B2B Marketer’s Guide to COVID-19

Lainey Mebust
March 30, 2020

It’s safe to say the coronavirus (COVID-19) is top of mind for everyone at the moment. Between mandatory social-distancing and work-from-home policies, our new way of life is changing the way we do business. Hundreds of conferences have been canceled or postponed through 2020. While employees fortunate enough to do their roles from home have taken their entire operations online. As marketers, putting our health first doesn’t mean we have to put our businesses last. As we navigate this new season of business, we’re breaking down exactly how to adapt your marketing strategy in a COVID-19 climate.

Lean Into Email

With millions of employees moving their work out of the office and into their homes, one item they’re unlikely to bring with them is their office phone. Instead of full access to their robust telecom system, people are working off of their laptops and cellphones. What does this mean for demand generation? The office phone numbers you have on hand are obsolete for the time being. On the upside, being at home and away from in-person interactions, employees are checking their email more and more. To adapt to this shift, put down the phone and lean into your email marketing efforts. Start heating up demand and warming leads with a nurture strategy, by the time your prospect is ready to hop on a call, you can set up a Zoom meeting.

Stay Relatable

Bottom line, this is not the time to sell. This is the time to provide support and build trust. During this unpredictable time, your audience is likely juggling everything from work to family to the uncertainty of their company runway. Use this time to check-in with your prospects to simply see how they’re doing. From the get-go, approach your messaging with empathy. Address the fact that we all have a common experience under our belt — navigating the coronavirus together.

At the end of the day, we’re all human, we’re home (some with four-year-olds, others in 400 sq ft apartments) making the best of the situation and taking it one meeting at a time. Don’t exploit your audience’s vulnerability, instead, capitalize on this time to showcase your value — no strings attached. Brainstorm something valuable you can provide prospects free of charge. Serving up value — without expecting anything in return — will keep your brand top of mind (and strategically position your business) when your prospect is ready to buy.

Take Conferences Online

From Dell World to Adobe Summit, companies are taking their conferences out of the expo hall and into the digital space. With live streamed keynote speakers and breakout sessions, these virtual conferences are rich with networking and growth opportunities. Carve out some time to be present and attend each event as you had originally planned. Planning on sponsoring a booth at a conference? Host a webinar after the conference caps with your newly made contacts. Highlight your key takeaways, learnings, and how your solution is relevant.

Stay Fluid

With a rapidly changing economy, your market is guaranteed to feel the effects. Now is a good time to a step back and re-evaluate your target market. Which of your clients hold the highest customer lifetime value? Reassess who your top customers are and look to the market to find prospects that mirror them. This will ensure you’re set up to target the right clientele when the time is right.

Stay Positive

There’s no doubt COVID-19 will bring changes to the B2B space. By prioritizing our health, we’re rewiring the way we operate in our daily lives. Bottom line, we’re all in this together. To come out stronger on the other side, we need to continue to support our customers, partners, and employees and take it one day at a time.

Assess the impact of the coronavirus on your business with the COVID-19 Impact Report. Identify how your customers may be impacted and pinpoint exactly where to focus your sales and marketing efforts.

 

Further Reading

Olin Hyde
June 19, 2020
Lainey Mebust
June 17, 2020
Lainey Mebust
June 15, 2020