If we’ve learned one thing in 2020 is that in an environment where physical interaction is getting more restricted, digital channels are lingering all over the market. Just as Businesses in every sector are trying to sustain if not grow, B2B organisations are also figuring out ways to stay in the market, operate and recover.
According to the ‘State of Internet Traffic Trend’ report by ACT Fibernet, there is an increase in internet traffic by 73% on weekdays and 65% on weekends. And here’s where marketers can make a difference. Marketing will play a key role by providing what the customer is looking for online. Businesses are rushing for the new Marketing methodologies for this changing environment to meet business objectives for this ‘New normal’.
When I say digital strategies, the only thing that comes in my mind right now is Social Selling. If you know the difference between marketing and sales then it’s really easy to understand the difference between social media marketing and social selling. While social media marketing is focused on marketing professionals, social selling is mainly focused on sales professionals. It is basically the ROI of social media interaction built through 1-1 connections with customers. Gone are the days when cold calling and bulk emails were the things. With social selling, salespeople directly interact with their prospects with personalized email campaigns, personalized newsletters, researching on them and using social media effectively to create an impact which eventually develops a connection between the business and prospects.
Now the questions arise, how do we do that? Buyers today are looking for authentic and transparent solutions to their problems. We are marketers or salespeople at the end of the day, in order to sell your product you need to sell yourself first. For this, you need to create your personal brand. The audience develops a connection and trust with your brand when you create content around your experiences, learning, and what you believe in. People are more interested in stories rather than facts. I see plenty of people posting on subjects that are in no way connected to their brand or product but somehow target their potential leads strategically and that’s because of the value driven content writing.
Juliette Stapleton says,” When businesses do not put a personal brand upfront, they have to compete on price, quality, and other general attributes. Leveraging a personal brand offers an advantage to stand out in a way that appeals straight to the hearts of your followers” in one of her blogs. Businesses that encourage personal branding have found to strengthen employer branding both internally and externally. Say, personal branding is directly proportional to employer branding. Since we have talked a lot on personal branding let’s try to understand what employer branding is. It describes the values, morals, ethics, work environment, and reputation of the company.
In order to build that, companies have to empathize and fit in the shoes of the clients. For instance, when Cisco said “Change the world. Pursue your dreams. Find your passion”, consumers found it beyond recruitment and could connect instantly, several banks waived off late fees and overdraft during the pandemic which showed their empathy towards customers. Another great way to practice employer branding is by valuable giveaways. Google never misses a change of comforting his customers no matter what the situation is. In response to the pandemic, Google announced to take the advantage of ‘Google Meet’ for free till September. Walmart announced a $100 million over five years to create a new center for racial equity on Black lives matter protest.
Marketing is a vast concept and its implementation may vary during or post pandemic (2020) but obviously will have to adapt to the changing expectations and buying behaviour of the clients. Since the world is moving toward recovery mode, strategies are more deviating for and towards the client. There are several other marketing strategies setting their foot in the market such as Digital Marketing, Meme Marketing, Contextual Marketing, Growth Marketing and so on. This is a never ending and recurring process until the end of era.
It reminds me of quote by Steve Jobs-
“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new”.
Therefore, we need to pre-empt the customer’s needs irrespective of the phase we are in.
You call it Pandemic, Marketer’s call it mutant Opportunity.