Remember February 2014? Tube strikes in London caused major disruption. But the disruption led to new ways of looking at the world, as millions of commuters were forced to come up with a new way of getting to work.
As a result, 1 in 20 stuck with their new routes long after the strike ended.
Changes in the environment impact individuals, businesses and ultimately (sometimes) the economy. However, the alternative marketing strategies that businesses, governments and organisations come up with to “minimise the threat” can have longer term positive effects.
What threats does disruption cause for marketing?
Some major challenges that B2B businesses can face include:
- Changes in behaviour e.g. events being cancelled
- The need to adapt sales and marketing processes because of behavioural shifts
- The need to maintain lead/opportunity volumes despite these changes
- Having to be incredibly agile to address these challenges and reallocate marketing budget – when senior leadership wanted to know the new plan yesterday!
Now for some positives. Changes of this nature often free up budget and capacity for teams to pause, rethink, plan and adapt their marketing strategy. They can consider alternative channels for delivering leads and opps (we suggest paid digital and social activity), try new things and think again about consumer journeys and processes. All worthwhile exercises!
One note on digital… if you do adopt this approach, the cost per lead (CPL) and opportunity is likely to rise as competition increases. This means you need to make sure you give your digital teams more time to optimise and manage the spend efficiently.
Inevitably, sales strategy will be impacted by change too. But again, let’s be positive – this allows the sales team to spend more time prospecting or following up on existing leads, and to identify gaps in their armoury e.g. new digital assets, explainer videos or technology that they might need for more effective engagement. These can be retained and used in the future as well, of course.
What actions should be taken?
As alluded to above, why not focus on a form of marketing that the business had previously mothballed? A lot of businesses are still wondering how to approach and deliver ABM for example – whether it’s a 1-2-1 approach or a target account strategy – but were never able to convince senior teams to make the investment.
With sales resource and budgets available, now could be an excellent time to raise this as an option and do some research into viable target organisations.
Note: ABM usually takes time to deliver revenue, so it shouldn’t be sold to senior management as a quick fix.
Whether it’s targeting new markets through ABM, utilising intent to fuel marketing strategy or adapting your marketing automation to manage a new integrated campaign, don’t be afraid to get creative… you’d be surprised how much you’ll learn which could benefit your organisation in the future!
If you need some ideas on adapting your marketing strategy, give us a call and we’ll work with you to identify new strategies that you could implement for success.