The marketing world is one of many industries that pivoted on a grand scale in 2020. Organizations cancelled annual conferences or switched to virtual formats. Companies reallocated ad spend budgets as consumers began to spend more time online. Joey and Kathleen sat down to chat virtually with four marketing experts about 2020 marketing strategies.
Transitioning from traditional to digital marketing strategies
AnnaMaria Turano, VP of Marketing at Synzi, shared how sales representatives moved from in-person meetings and conferences to solely virtual calls. She says one major thing to consider is to make sure your message resonates with your audience.
“Lean into the new norm of how you connect with someone when you don’t have that in-person engagement to start building a relationship,” AnnaMaria said.
Digital spend wasn’t a topic of discussion for Lauren Clements, Director of Marketing at Symplectic, until the pandemic. She and her team were also accustomed to in-person sales meetings, conferences, and global events.
Lauren says transitioning the company to a digital platform involved a lot of research. Moving to a digital format meant understanding the company’s digital spend ROI, communicating to management, and researching competitors.
“Thinking about how this will excite existing clients when thinking about how to spend money,“ Lauren said. “It’s had a positive result for client meetings because it’s online. Anyone can join online from anywhere, and it’s free.”
Justifying marketing costs in a now-prominently virtual sales world
Businesses that operated with traditional advertising, such as print flyers, trade show booths, and in-person presentations with pamphlets, have had to completely shift their focus to digital marketing. Marketers have to prove the value and the numbers behind digital advertising to justify the ad budget allocations.
“Marketing is an investment, not a cost,” AnnaMaria said.
Digital marketing can be a versatile tool for companies to use to their advantage. Companies can use existing marketing content, designs, stock footage, and photography to bring their brand to life and engage their audiences throughout different mediums.
Repurpose marketing content
Even after spending money on advertising, the power of repurposed content can be a great way to maximize advertising spend and time. Marketers can turn one company blog post into more than 20 pieces of content for social media, podcasts, webinars, videos, and more.
“It’s more than just this product, it’s this wonderful portfolio of content that can be shaped in a variety of manners,” AnnaMaria said. “What are the legs that I’ve got to something so that I can reuse it, repurpose it, so that it’s relevant today versus how it was used yesterday?”
TikTok and Instagram Reels have become increasingly popular for companies to share a playful side of their team. Creating original content on different platforms can open up the opportunity to find and interact with new customers. Companies and sales executives (like Joey from our team) creating content on TikTok are also cross-posting the videos on Instagram and LinkedIn, reusing that content to reach multiple audiences.
Invest in your team
73% of brands have changed or deviated their ad spend, which caused a major shift in how people communicate their marketing messages. Larry Meador, Founder and CEO at Evok Advertising, transitioned those marketing strategies from “IRL to URL” not only for his customers, but also to promote continuing education for his team.
“We spend so much money investing in our team,” Larry said. “We could invest in people and fear that they’re gonna leave, but the only thing worse is not investing in them and having them stay.”
By promoting education within the company, employees have the opportunity to grow and expand their knowledge, contributing to an overall mission within the company.
“You do these things because you have an outward facing message to a potential audience, but you have your own internal audience that you have to have that same message for as well,” Larry said.
Provide a frictionless experience for both your team and your customers
Ann Shinkle, Marketing Consultant and Advisor, recommends being prepared and knowing who your best customers are. Promote with empathy.
“We are resilient, and we will get through this.” Ann said. “If you’re moving from traditional to online, provide a frictionless experience moving from print to online. Use messaging that resonates.”
Companies consider customers to be the most important part of the puzzle in any business relationship. With customers top of mind, this can directly influence a company’s marketing strategy.
“Put customer wins at the forefront. Show how you can help and educate, not necessarily sell,” AnnaMaria said.
Customers might not be ready to make a purchase right now. However, companies should continue publishing content, including blog posts, social media posts, videos, and surveys to improve their product and meet customers where they’re at.
“Is your product relevant today?” Ann asks. “Is there an opportunity to shift your value proposition to be more effective today? What other revenue streams are there?”
Look at what competitors are doing, and offer something better
When Ann worked for TaxAct, competitor TurboTax released a free offer for customers to file their taxes. In response to this, TaxAct conducted a customer analysis. They wanted to see what worked and how the company could improve the software.
“We realized our best customers aren’t the ones using [TaxAct] for free,” Ann said. “They actually monetized in a pathway to come back year after year. So, we really focused on who are our best customers. We came up with a whole new story for our brand and theme.”
Build customer relationships
Customer happiness is at the core of modern marketing strategies. We’ve seen it in the flywheel where customer happiness is at the center of the wheel, and there’s a continuous motion of attracting, engaging with, and delighting customers. Giving customers a great experience – whether that’s face-to-face, screen-to-screen, or online – can influence positive reviews and referrals.
“A lot of the brands that we help went onto our Yelp, our Google, and to our Facebook and they gave us reviews, which helped,” Larry said.
Building and nurturing those customer relationships, especially during times when companies are pivoting, can help put customers at ease. Companies can acknowledge the change and guide customers through this journey.
“This could be an opportunity to strengthen relationships with prospects and customers that you would have never had before,” Ann said. “Thinking of the opportunity around this is a pretty exciting time.”
Need someone to help you take on new marketing strategies for 2020, 2021, and beyond?
We understand that you need experts on your team to nurture customer relationships, especially with this year’s pivot to virtual communications.
Reach out to our team to help! We’re all ears to discuss your goals and find the right person who can fill that gap.