It’s been a month like we’ve never experienced in our lifetime. When there’s a health care crisis and a crashing economy – who has time for marketing? Thoughts immediately go to loved ones, health risks, and crisis management. When there’s an economic downturn, marketing budgets typically get cut. Marketing professionals’ job security is a concern. What’s a marketer to do?

Fortunately, after looking back on my career, there are plenty of lessons from past crisis such as 9/11 and the 2008 crash. Wisdom learned the hard way.
Here are some ways to adapt to the changing landscape and make the best of whatever reality is thrust upon us.

Get a New Plan – Quick

In a call last week with some of my closest friends, many of whom are also CEOs and entrepreneurs, one thing everyone agreed on was – cut fast and cut deep. Make the hard decisions as quickly as you can, adapt to a new reality, and get hustling. Teams need to pull together in a crisis. Fear and uncertainty are top of mind for everyone. Whatever decisions need to get made – pivoting the business, cutting expenses, pulling back marketing budget – the faster they are made, the faster you, your team, and your business partners can move past fear and spring to action. This is where leadership really matters, so it’s an opportunity to step up.

Be a Hero to Sales

In many B2B industries, sales teams take on much of the business development burden, with marketing in a supporting role. With salespeople unable to travel to events and meetings, many will need to adjust quickly to a new way of operating. This is a great opportunity for marketing to step up and show how effective lead generation can be while creating new content and programs to empower the sales team to prosper in an “all-digital” marketplace. There are almost always frustrated marketers inside the organization who have been preaching the value of marketing for some time. This is the time to shine.

Data, Data, Data

If your marketing database is a mess, guess what? So is just about everyone’s. Every marketer knows it. BUT, typically the short-term demand of business doesn’t allow the time to invest in a marketing database. This is a window of opportunity to invest in housekeeping. In my years of experience, there are really only two things that matter for successful demand generation – content and data. While no one has time for it, so much wasted effort, cost, and diminished return happens because of bad data. Here’s the best part – cleaning up your data, expanding the coverage of your addressable market, and establishing data SLA’s, isn’t that expensive when compared to the investments that are made into marketing programs, trade shows, advertising, and content. Now is the time to turn the headache of bad data into a strategic asset for your marketing organization.
Here’s a blog article we’ve done in the past, that talks about data strategy.

Go Virtual

If you are a B2B brand, your marketing calendar is typically filled with events. However, with large events closing across the world, that won’t be a viable option for some time. Virtual events, webinars, and web conferencing are booming. Most folks are stuck at home on their computer. You can reach a larger audience, draw more leads, for less cost than most enterprises spend on events and trade shows. This is a great strategy to both improve marketing results and save money doing it.

At Demand Frontier, we work with many of the leading virtual event and webinar platforms in the market. Here’s a blog article we did about Virtual Summits, and how they have become a powerful platform for the B2B Marketer.

Help Where You Can

People do not want to be sold to right now.
They are worried, they need help. If your company is in a position to help and contribute to dealing with the crisis, now is the time to show the world you care. Recent research by Mindshare USA shows that consumer preferences have quickly focused on the COVID-19 crisis and want brands to “step up and help.”

This doesn’t mean be an opportunist. However, a lot of folks need support right now – medical practitioners, businesses, the unemployed. If your company can do something to help, it’s a great opportunity – for all the right reasons. If you are lucky enough to be in that position as a marketer, think about how your marketing efforts can directly support a cause or those in need.

I hope this helps. Having been through crisis and joy, ups and downs over the years, I’ve also learned that it will be alright. Life is beautiful and going through the hard times makes the good times even better. So, take a moment and breathe.
Here’s a favorite tune of mine, have an awesome day,
Todd Davison. CEO, Demand Frontier
Todd Davison
CEO, Demand Frontier