Talk about being out of sync. Gartner reports that, because of COVID-19, B2B marketing budgets are being slashed and burned. Of those participating in the survey:
- 26 percent said media buys were being canceled
- 45 percent said media campaigns were being delayed
- 34 percent said content was impacted
Meanwhile only 4 percent of consumers say they want brands to stop marketing to them. Their only request is that they want the message to be positive and give them a sense of normality. Whether it’s because of the pandemic or the economic recession it has caused, marketers seem to be pulling back just when their prospects are looking for them.
Smart B2B marketers are stepping forward
There’s significant research showing that brands which maintain or even increase marketing efforts during downturns in the economy can actually benefit from increased market share and revenue during and afterwards. Forbesmagazine points out four reasons why this is an effective approach:
- You can punch a signal through the noise because your competitors have cut back on their marketing efforts.
- Your marketing messages demonstrate strength and stability.
- Because of reduced demand, it costs less to focus on lead generation and marketing support.
- You gain share of mind because you have less competition for those who are ready to purchase your product or service.
Stepping on the gas with your marketing requires the financial resources to do it, of course, but less noise, lower costs, and knowing that prospects actually want to hear from you makes it an effective return on the investment.
Big changes ahead?
A recent survey shows that 57 percent believe COVID-19 will have a lasting impact; however it will not be transformative. If anything, the survey suggests, the real learning opportunity was how to succeed as an organization when employees are challenged to work remotely.
Just 45 percent of those surveyed believe that COVID-19 has had a moderate impact on their brand, but as one survey participant observed, “It’s changing the dynamic of how our customers behave, which is making it important to pivot – but how much and for how long is more a guessing game than a science at the moment.”
While many guess at how long the pandemic will impact their marketing, some are moving away from outdated methods of lead generation such as organic search, social media, and cold email campaigns. They understand that just because it’s easier to push a signal through the noise right now, that signal has to be detected by the right people.
Leave me alone!
People are receptive to brands they know, and the research we shared with you earlier shows this. But people don’t want to be sold when they’re not in the buying mode – and statistics show that only 3 percent of those in any market are ready to make a purchase.
Your lead generation efforts should focus on this 3 percent. Even with less competition at the moment, it’s actually become more difficult to identify these imminent purchasers. That’s because they’ll take about 67 percent of the buyer’s journey online before they reach out to you – and they’ll do it anonymously.
How do you identify them? Not all leads are created equal. Much of the information you can access about them is fragmented. You need a way to examine anonymous profiles gathered across multiple devices and numerous sources and resolving a conclusive identity. It’s a process known as Identity Resolution, and it rewards you with a list of who wants to buy your product or service right now, and how these buyers want to be contacted.
Schedule a call to learn how we apply Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to create effective lead generation solutions.