Pivoting B2B Lead Generation Strategy in the Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic

27 March 2020
By The Say Team
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The Covid-19 outbreak has significantly disrupted business and marketing plans globally, requiring B2B marketers to rapidly pivot their lead generation strategy to ensure their sales pipeline remains fuelled.

Hosting, sponsoring or attending trade events has played a key role in generating leads as reported in a recent survey of B2B organisations indicating that investments into live events was set to grow by 39% in 2020. However, overnight, this global pandemic has radically changed the face of our marketing landscape as we know it. So today’s challenge is how can marketers change tactics on the fly to ensure they continue to generate qualified leads?

Seismic Shift in Approach

Right now, done correctly the power of digital marketing is the catalyst to maintaining engagement with your audiences – to generate leads in the short and medium term.

Screen time is exploding with more professionals working from home than ever. Vodafone reports 50% rise in internet use across Europe and according to Global Web Index 37% of millennials and 23% of Gen X, confirm they are using social media far more since the coronavirus outbreak.

Unsurprisingly this indicates that your target audiences are definitely more receptive to online activities now, and in the coming months. This is good news as digital marketing campaigns can be deployed quickly by adapting existing content to deliver measurable results that dramatically move the needle.

Brand-to-Sales Programmes in These Unprecedented Times

Such online programmes, in their various forms, need to be bespoke to the specific goals of each company’s proposition. As digital marketers at Say we collaborate with our clients to identify their buyer personas, mapping messages to devise targeted digital strategies.  From here we develop assets that work in concert and build on each other to create a compelling narrative and engaging campaign, taking the leads through a journey from awareness, consideration to evaluation.

Google ads and PPC campaigns are often an obvious choice to drive website visitors and generate enquiries, however we invite you to consider all platforms available to create the right mix and reach audiences at different stages of the funnel. LinkedIn, for example, is an incredibly powerful tool to disseminate thought leadership content and generate highly qualified leads thanks to its granular targeting options. Moreover, Cost per Lead on LinkedIn can be 28% lower than on Google AdWords, which makes it a very attractive channel to deploy laser-focused lead generation programmes.

Employee Advocacy 

Whilst face-2-face networking is no longer possible, employees – your advocates, can still be activated to forge new relationships online. The key for marketers is to ramp-up a robust employee advocacy programme to facilitate the dissemination of content marketing and company news from a central repository to Sales and Business Development teams and from them to their contacts via email and social media profiles.

Within Say’s brand-to-sales support proposition toolkit we have solutions that can build this infrastructure, including a daily digest of clients’ coverage, must read-industry news and social media content to name but a few, that employees can easily share with their connections to keep in touch whilst also serving as an enabler to strengthen their personal brand as SMEs.

Re-engineer Marketing Budgets

In times of economic crises it’s traditionally been the marketing budget that’s the first to be cut, whilst actually it should be the last. And those companies that do curtail their marketing during an economic downturn because they believe no one will be buying their solutions are actually jeopardizing their long-term market share.  Clearly, communications in a stale economic climate is very different to initiatives deployed during a period of economic expansion. Therefore today’s call to action for B2B tech companies is to continue to drive their business forward by increasing their measurable and relationship-based strategies such as search marketing, email marketing, lead nurturing and online communities.

Get Personal

To achieve this and cut through the noise, personalisation is the order of the day. Only those businesses that have true insight into their prospects – what makes them tick; what keeps them awake at night and why they should engage will be able to continue the conversation all with the end goal, soaring engagement.

Eventus™, Say’s lead nurturing proposition was developed with precisely with this goal in mind and to maximise the opportunities offered by CRMs such as HubSpot, Marketo and Pardot.

We will be sharing a number of posts over the coming weeks on topics related to customer engagement, diving into the various nuances. Meantime, we’d love to hear from you if you’d like to discuss how to turbocharge your lead generation programme: lstewartmuir@saycomms.co.uk

By Louise SM. 

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