The world is not the same place it was a year ago. The global pandemic, strides for necessary social justice, along with accompanying economic uncertainty have shifted priorities in meaningful ways, and our marketing strategies must shift too.
Some industries have seen an influx of new demand creating urgency to fulfill growing demand, while others saw a drastic decline. No matter which end of the spectrum your business falls, a general feeling of uncertainty has arisen throughout all of the communities that we serve. These combinations of uncertainty have changed how companies are making purchases and prioritizing their investments. More companies are being forced to accept solutions that don’t fully fit their functional needs but are deemed just “good enough” and organizations are hesitant to unsettle things more.
As leaders, it is our job to conduct the necessary research in order to adapt to the constant changes all around us. In order to best serve our communities, we must build empathy for those we hope to serve.
- Conduct a research study, including thoughtful conversations with people that represent your audience, in order to improve your understanding of what has changed, and what changes will endure.
Consider asking questions like:
How can your suppliers support you better right now?
In the past six months, how has your purchasing process changed?
What does your budgeting process for 2021 look like and how is it different from previous years?
When do you anticipate attending in-person industry events?
What type of virtual experiences are you craving?
How have Covid restrictions changed your day to day work?
What changes do you expect to endure after pandemic restrictions are lifted?
What are your priorities for the next 90 days? (Long term plans are important, but they may be in flux so don’t forget to understand immediate needs)
- Research your competitors’ actions and analyze how you and your competitors are both different today than a year ago.
- Switch your mindset from how do we win, to why do we deserve to win.
- Adapt marketing channels to meet the needs of your buyers exploring the full power of virtual experiences to build relationships. This includes teaching sales how to host virtual meetings, going deep on personalized communications and leveraging direct marketing to create tactile experiences that can’t be done in-person.
- Recognize that your marketing strategy will likely need to be more agile in 2021 than it has in the past. Focus details on Q1, and build adaptability into your planning processes and operational routines.
Throughout all of this remember, no one falls in love with OK. Your buyers want to know what you stand for, not just what you offer.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you are not alone. We’re here to help. At the Marketing Advisory Network, we can help your company better understand this turbulent environment.