B2B Marketing in 2021 – Reimagining Marketing in The Next Normal
No business was prepared for the unexpected turn of events that 2020 brought with it. Key leaders have faced difficult times dealing with the insecurities of their employees and retaining consumers at the same time. Marketing was the only aspect that kept the small number of transactions afloat.
Now that things are heading into the post-covid zone, it is most likely that the routines followed during this time will define the ‘new normal’. Irrespective of what your goal is, you have to be prepared for a different approach to marketing.
The Way Ahead for The Marketers Post Covid-19
2021 is the recovery year to make up for all the losses that 2020 had inflicted. This means businesses have to rebuild their day-to-day operations for the post-covid world and also develop a new strategy to operate. They have to rise to the occasion, going beyond the roles of a typical marketer and getting on-ground with valuable insights on real consumer problems and behavior.
Content marketing is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy; it plays a crucial role in connecting your brand to your audience. Nearly 40% of marketers say content marketing is a very important part of their overall marketing strategy. Quality over quantity is still prevalent, so it is better to create lesser posts with more meaningful content. Start with using a variety of sources to gather data, that will help you curate content and drive sales.
After the financial hit, no one is ready to take chances with their money. They only want trustworthy products and reliable brands for their products. Make sure you are communicating the USP of your product and how it aims to make a difference for their clients. Remember that you have to be empathetic towards your clients.
How to Level Up Your Digital Marketing Game in 2021?
1. Leverage Technology for Customer Engagement
Technology is the future, and 2020 has been proof enough of the potential it holds. Companies that take the time to properly engage and nurture leads improve their sales outreach at a rate of 50% while spending 33% less; it is something you cannot ignore. During the lockdown, businesses were working with virtual visits and tours, pitches on video-conferencing platforms, and working from home. They were not new concepts, but now that people have embraced them, it will become a part of normalcy.
In this new normal, you have to rethink the way of approaching your consumers with the new technological advancements. With the increase in e-commerce, there will be a massive increase in data, and with it arises the need to manage it effectively. Explore the internet and update your database with new tools and technologies that reduce labor, increases accuracy, and help bring greater RoI.
If people stick to buying online (which they will), it will be your responsibility to ensure that they have a seamless experience digitally as well. Remember, updated tools do not always mean increased costs – if you do your research well, you might be able to do both – cut costs and also leverage recent technology.
2. Learn to Empathize with Customers Challenges
The pandemic has left almost everyone shaken. Companies are juggling budget cuts, laying off employees, and struggling to get their sales going. This is because the global economy has taken a severe financial hit and no one wants to spend any more than they actually need to.
So now is the time to shift from ‘How will I reach my quota’ to ‘How can I help’. Your consumers have also gone through a lot and the challenges they are now facing are also different. Empathize with them. Show them that you genuinely care and are committed to solving their problems.
The pandemic was a disaster where every individual gave a test of humanity. If you are stereotypically associated with being a hard-hearted salesperson who knows nothing but selling his product, this is a good chance to change that. Not only will it improve your consumer service, but also help you connect with them on a human level and understand their problems better.
Stats reveal that 17% of salespeople describe themselves as “pushy,” although 50% of prospects describe those same salespeople as “pushy”.
Build alliances with others who are in the same boat. Working together will expose you to a wider audience, who will appreciate your ethics and concern.
3. Localize your customer’s Experience
If there is anything that has emerged positive from the pandemic is the vocal support for local businesses. Over a two-year period, there was a 200%+ growth in mobile searches for “open” + “now” + “near me.” With strict lockdown measures, travel was very restricted and people had to resort to their local stores to fulfill their needs. The previously non-existent ventures are now on the map and are benefitting well from the situation.
With the local neighborhood shooting up in importance, you might want to consider localizing your marketing for a better approach towards connecting with your audience. You could customize your content for your viewers in more micro-segments, extend support to local causes and make yourselves available at all the ‘local’ channels.
Imagine a situation where you see a brand funding your neighborhood school or hospital, wouldn’t it further reinforce your trust in the brand? If the answer is yes, you must start working on your efforts immediately, because if it deepens your trust, it is most likely that it will do for others too.
You neither want to look similar to others nor compromise on the relationship it will build with your clients. Hence, micro-personalization of your efforts will be crucial in 2021.
4. Communicate the cause for which your brand stands up
Successful business ventures have become much more than mere brands with a good market share. Corporate social responsibility has become a necessity to create a humane and meaningful impression on consumers. The new wave of activism that the coronavirus had brought in, has just set higher bars for businesses to meet, in order to become a loved and respected label.
When you are planning your social engagement strategy, be sure to have a clear stance on the cause you are supporting. The voice of the brand should reflect in the projects you undertake, the content you create, and the messages or emails you send to your recipients.
Encourage your employees to also contribute to the cause that you are supporting, because the rate at which you fulfill your social responsibilities in the post-pandemic world will also determine your position in the industry.
It is easy to make big statements but it takes real effort to fulfill them. If you are putting it out there, you MUST stand up to it. Besides creating an impact on your new and existing consumers, you will also make a positive difference in society.
What’s your New Year ‘Marketing’ Resolution?
Marketing keeps evolving to fit the needs and interests of your target audience. Sometimes, you can predict the changes, and sometimes it is so unexpected that it leaves you astonished.
With insights from the year, we left behind, it is needless to say that digital innovation and engagement will dominate the marketing sphere. Brands that can catch up the pace with their creativity will survive and others will chase them.
The year ahead is also filled with uncertainty, so be on the lookout for new trends and discussions that might arise. Constantly monitor the indicators and see what our competitors are doing. Encourage research methods to back your decisions with data.
It’s a new year with new possibilities and new aspirations. So, gear up, get creative, think out of the box, establish accountability and soar high. But if all of this seems too much, don’t be shy to seek expert help from popular B2B sales and marketing consulting firms – even if there’s some investment involved, the results will be worth it!
Do you also want a fool-proof Marketing Plan for 2021? Contact us today and we will customize it for you!