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5 Ways to Pivot B2B Marketing Plans During a Pandemic (Forbes Agency Council)

The following interview was held between CEO Jaymie Scotto Cutaia and JSA’s VP of Account Strategy, Laura Noland, to develop our latest piece in the Forbes’ Agency Council. To read the full article, click here.

Jaymie: The world is continuing to be impacted by COVID-19 and businesses that braced for the impact are now trying to find their stride, including the tech and telecom industry. What role does marketing and messaging play during these challenging times to keep business operations relevant and functioning?

Laura: At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the initial knee-jerk reaction was to pull back and cut back on businesses marketing efforts. However, it wasn’t the time to take the foot off the gas. Instead of pausing, pivoting and investing more in marketing strategies makes all the difference in maintaining and gaining a competitive advantage. 

Jaymie: What are best practices you recommend to pivot marketing campaigns while being sensitive to global events?

Laura: You know, initially businesses began flooding customer inboxes with their “COVID-19 statements”, but after that, there was a big question mark of what to say or do next. I think that’s where there became a gap between businesses that powered through with marketing and those who froze. However, pivoting marketing efforts and striking a balance of having a compassionate message and not looking opportunistic became the right combination of navigating uncharted waters. 

Developing customer-focused messaging became the clear differentiator between businesses who tuned in and others who were tone deaf. Messaging should demonstrate you are listening to and helping your customers while showing respect for the serious situation we are all facing. It’s no easy feat – but it builds trust and a connection with your audience. Padding messaging with salesly language is a big turn-off to the brand and customers. Instead, steering external messaging to offer reassurance and support to customers became the gold standard during this global crisis and continues to be.

Jaymie: Which marketing strategies or channels became more prevalent that may have been overlooked before?  

Laura: Obviously, we’ve seen huge onsite events move to virtual platforms in efforts to keep industry connections moving forward. However, utilizing virtual events as a strategic vehicle for lead generation brand awareness became a new norm that the telecom industry has embraced. Regardless of when we return to some state of normalcy, this contagion of virtual events, which includes webinars, fireside chats, virtual happy hours and more will stick around post-pandemic because they are quick, low-risk, low-cost and effective to connect with customers and prospects in real time. As a result, businesses are shifting onsite event marketing budgets to targeted lead generation, SEO and advertising campaigns to be better positioned in the digital space after a crisis, compared to those who took no action at all.

To read the full article, click here.

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