How Marketers Are Handling H2

It’s still a COVID-19 world. But for Marketing professionals it’s H2—and they still need to hit their goals in a rapidly changing marketplace.

As unruly as these times may be, not all companies are affected equally. Some Marketing organizations are seeing a swell in demand while others are scrambling to build pipeline. Either way, it is vital that Marketing teams reassess their priorities, tactics and opportunities so they can aptly respond to the challenges at hand.

Read on to learn how to realign your Marketing mission, keep the team inspired, and continue to drive top-line growth – despite rocky economic conditions.

Take the Time to Realign
The past few months have required intense issue-based problem-solving. In-person events shuttered, business-as-usual messaging needed to be anything but, and budgets were slashed as organizations braced for an economic plunge.

But because this happened all at once, Marketers can relate to one another, learn together and share the best strategies for moving forward. During a CMO Roundtable Webinar, titled “Are You Ready for the New Normal?”, CMOs Rashmi Vittal (Conversica), Tessa Barron (ON24), Dan Frohnen (Sendoso) and Marc Johnson (Bombora) shared a few lessons they learned as Marketers during this time:

  • Your teams need clarity, purpose and direction. Yes, the world outside of your organization is changing rapidly. But those effects are also being felt within your team. Consider holding daily check-ins to keep everyone on the same page regarding deliverables and to eliminate blockers before they become problems.
  • Your employees need an opportunity to open up. The past few months have obliterated “normal life.” This can be a huge stressor for your team members who are juggling personal issues, diminished barriers between work and their personal lives, or taking care of children on top of their workloads. Allow your employees to open up and be vulnerable knowing that the rest of the team can support them, if necessary.
  • Review your ICPs, targets and goals. With all the market changes, it’s possible that your ideal customer profile may have shifted along with your goals and needs. Are you chasing the right companies and industries? Do certain audiences need your offerings now more than ever? What challenges are consumers facing that you have not yet addressed? By answering these questions, you’ll put yourself on the right footing for H2 and beyond.
  • Today’s brand is tomorrow’s demand. Organizations and consumers are tighter with the purse strings these days—and understandably so. But that’s not to say they aren’t spending. They just need to find a brand they trust before buying in. Do all that you can to build out branding that speaks to the issues at hand; especially if you have a long sales cycle.
  • Adopt a digital-first mindset. Traditionally, in-person events were the largest Marketing spend. Yes, those are on hiatus for the foreseeable future. But on the plus side, your team gets to invest more in digital marketing including content syndication, analyst reports and online advertising.

Marketing leaders aren’t accustomed to thinking only one month ahead – they’d rather plan a quarter, six months, or even a year out. But strategizing and planning for the long term are made difficult by the current situation. Marketing leaders need to shift to making quick decisions and guide their teams through those decisions in order to be successful. Often though, the faster you go, the more likely it is that gaps in process or strategy will rear their ugly heads.

This is why it is crucial for Marketers to take a responsible beat to quickly realign their strategies, tactics, processes and goals – and then stay flexible and open to making adjustments in real-time. This will seem overwhelming at first. But in time, it will ensure the new plan is well-managed so that when the recovery comes, it’ll be much easier to shift and move forward holistically.

Adopting an Intelligent Virtual Assistant for ROI and Operational Efficiency

Another aspect under review right now is the tech stack. Since budgets are largely restricted, organizations must invest in technologies that deliver ROI and operational efficiency. With many organizations tightening their belts, it’s imperative that Marketing employs a tech stack that has true, measurable impact on the business.

Intelligent Virtual Assistants are the next generation of Intelligent Automation helping organizations scale human interactions that attract, acquire, and grow customers. IVAs are especially useful for Marketing teams charged with building pipeline quickly for Sales.

Here’s what that could look like in practice: When a prospect downloads a piece of gated content, joins a webinar or attends a virtual event, the IVA acts as a Sales assistant to follow up promptly with the lead to see if he or she is interested in speaking with Sales.

Rather than slowly qualifying a lead over time based on their digital body language, an Intelligent Virtual Assistant directly asks the lead if they are interested in having a conversation. This is better than estimating the likelihood of sales-readiness while accomplishing personalized communication at scale, which drives more engagement anyway. If the lead isn’t ready for a Sales meeting, no harm done – the IVA can nurture that lead over time, hand it back to Marketing, or check in at a later time.

“People power” is everything right now. And by taking on redundant (albeit important) tasks, Intelligent Virtual Assistants give your people more power by letting them focus on what they do best.

Marketing departments must meet the present challenges of building pipeline, while also anticipating growth once the economy begins to recover. To best survive the short-term and thrive into the long-term, Marketing organizations must embrace digital transformation.

Every Marketing professional understands they need to expect the unexpected, especially now, and of course, would prefer to be proactive instead of reactive. Marketers will be best equipped to handle the second half of the year by not only expecting the unexpected, but also staying nimble to adjust quickly to whatever may come in the next few months.

To explore what an Intelligent Virtual Assistant can do for your teams today, tomorrow and into the future, read our eBook: An Augmented Workforce for Surviving and Thriving in the New Normal.