Keep Calm and Carry On – Ways to Market During Adverse Times
5 tips to help sales and marketing during periods of uncertainty
Living in the New York City metro area, one can spin a mental web quickly on how many people you cross paths with daily. Some love it, and some really hate it. Typically, I try to minimize the sheer volume of people and focus on the buzz and beauty of the city. But as our recent global health emergency started to become more real, dollars and resources across the economy are affected. Even my marketing and sales teams have been regrouping and brainstorming how we are going to tackle.
Events canceled, plans and projects jeopardized because of disruption in schedules, heck, even my dentist commented on a concern of pausing appointments if they run out of masks. So it’s no surprise that sales teams around the world are asking themselves, “What do I do if I can’t meet with my clients?” And marketing teams are challenged to not only support sales in this time of peril but to make up the money they already spent on these big events.
Well, my fellow marketing sisters and brothers, it’s time for some good ole’ fashion ABM basics. Since this no longer 1990, let’s use the tools we have to make the most of our digital and offline investments.
Here are five tips to help you and your sales team stay grounded in the eye of the tornado:
Get focused – Had big plans to meet with dozens of prospects and customers at the big industry show? Okay, time to pivot and focus on the accounts that are going to drive immediate revenue. This is not the time for boiling the ocean. Take the one-to-one or one-to-few approach. Where do you expect your revenue to come from this year? What accounts in your ICP are ripe for business and searching for your solutions? Use big data as your beacon of light. Intent signals, firmographic data, and engagement of target accounts should be your primary factor in deciding who to focus on.
Make your content work harder –Now that you know exactly what accounts you should be talking to, it’s time to make all those great brochures, one-pagers and presentations digital. Work with your sales teams to ensure that everyone is using the most strategic content, personalizing it for the audience and making sure it’s used at the right time. While sales can send messages via email, marketers can support the effort by using content syndication to reach those decision-makers at those accounts to deliver those same relevant messaging right into their inbox. Chances are you’ll get more engagement than standing at a booth for 4 hours giving away pens and stress balls.
Create aircover – Let’s face it, half the point of events and conferences is brand awareness. ABM advertising guarantees that you’re not wasting impressions on the wrong accounts. This creates awareness and greases the wheels for your next moves. Take it one step further and leverage paid social on LinkedIn. Based on my newsfeed, everyone is struggling with the same dilemma right now and LinkedIn is our safe space to share thoughts and ideas professionally. Go where the action is and raise awareness about what your company brings to the table.
Get personal without getting too close – Time to take advantage of webinars, video conferencing, podcasts and direct mail. Here is an idea – need to cancel a live event or meeting and have several attendees left in the lurch? Send a printed invite along with coffee, lunch or afternoon cocktails. Cozy up to your favorite monitor and enjoy a virtual fireside chat. Everyone loves cheeky marketing plays.
Don’t forget your star players – While you are trying to figure out how to recoup your booth costs, sales are trying to figure out how to make quota now that the gates are closed. It’s time to huddle and help them focus because they need marketing support now more than ever. Make sure they are on board with the pivots, come to the table with data and always have a plan b. Give them language, sharable assets and support with follow up. Your ABM stack should be native in their CRM to empower them to see what’s happening in real-time with engaged accounts.
Take advantage of these key tactics to use when faced with strategic adversity. Keep focused on what the goals are. Prioritize accounts, leverage digital channels for gaining engagement and sharing your message, get personal in creative ways and support your sales teams with real-time enablement. As a marketing leader, and as a mom, I have learned over the years that the challenges we face are never permanent and we all gain a bit of knowledge in the process. Oh, and for the love of all things holy – ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS!
Amy Vosko is the Vice President of Marketing & Demand Generation at Madison Logic.