What’s Trending: Prepare for What’s Next
May 11, 2020
What will B2B marketing look like after the height of the current crisis has passed? It won’t be as simple as returning to our pre-pandemic regularly scheduled program. Marketing leaders should be preparing their teams for new changes. We should be strategically planning our next steps, even though it may be a while yet until we make them.
Many of the new best practices we’re cultivating right now will translate handily to a post-pandemic environment. The emphasis on empathetic, useful content is something to hold onto, as is meticulous measurement and careful analysis of what our audience wants and needs. But we also need to prepare for changes in everything from the work environment to buyer behavior.
This roundup can help your B2B marketing team plan for what comes next.
“At some point, you will reassemble your team in person at your headquarters,” says Mark Whitlock. “What will that look like? How will that feel? What will be different? What will be the same?”
These questions serve as a jumping-off point to consider the role of leadership post-pandemic. As Mark observes, the big questions won’t have one-size-fits-all answers. But just identifying what the questions are and beginning to consider them is a necessary exercise.
Mark discusses how leaders might ease the transition back from remote work to office work, how marketing tactics might need to evolve, and how your marketing can maintain a sense of empathy and social responsibility.
Most importantly, Mark suggests that leaders start having these conversations now, and that the conversation should include input from the entire team.
When we think about how marketing should change in the wake of the pandemic, we’re really thinking about how buyers will change. Our task is to observe buyer behavior and base our predictions and strategies on that data.
“Part of our job as marketers will be to figure out what the path to growth looks like in the post-pandemic era,” says David van Schaick. Based on his own observations, David identifies a few trends that can help guide marketers in the coming months.
First, David predicts a need for targeting that’s both tighter and more flexible. He envisions “rolling micro-segmentation,” in which customers are targeted according to their needs, rather than other demographic features. For B2B, David predicts that “it might become more productive to segment on a business’ personality: the demographic makeup of its customers, for example, or its digital maturity.”
David also envisions a more practical approach to B2B, with more plain talk than corporate-speak, and making sure our content is thoroughly informed by customers’ context. Reading through his suggestions, it’s striking how much sense they make not just for post-pandemic marketing, but as everyday best practices.
Marketing leaders have two different challenges in the weeks and months to come: The first is leading and managing change within their team. The second is making sure the rest of the organization values and supports marketing’s efforts, even as budgets tighten in every department.
This infographic from Hero’s Journey Content offers practical tips on how to talk to other executives about the value of investment in content marketing. From engaging people across the buyer’s journey to pointing out examples of brands that found success with content during a crisis, it’s a valuable asset to have for your next video call.
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