The current context linked to the Covid epidemic has shaken up meetings between customers and prospects. Marketing managers had to adapt quickly to build and maximize the engagement of their over-requested customers via digital. In order to optimize these new modes of communication as well as possible, in-depth knowledge of their data seems to be more than necessary.
Reinventing relational practices in the face of the pandemic
Professional events are attended each year by millions of visitors, whether they are private individuals, executives, functional directors or business leaders. They are one of the pillars of Operational Marketing strategies for B2B players, especially in the IT sector. However, health restrictions have led to the ban on major trade fairs and conferences. Marketing managers therefore had to urgently reinvent their practice in this area.. Companies that had already started their digital transformation around data were the quickest to react to the brutal change imposed by the pandemic. The current period will have had at least one virtuous impact, that of convincing laggards to accelerate their digitization.
Accelerating digital transformation: an urgent necessity for companies
More specifically, the cancellation of all events and generalized containment have led the marketing teams to thoroughly review their annual objectives, in consultation with the sales teams. All planned actions and events were immediately switched to digital. Overall, within the company, the entire communication strategy had to be reviewed, generally with a sharp increase in the budget allocated to online actions. In many organizations, very involved in trade shows, this share has sometimes increased by more than 20%.
Demonstrate friendliness in a time when physical distancing is the norm
Marketing managers had to be creative. In an attempt to recreate the conviviality inherent in events dedicated to Executives, many of them have set up digital events such as round tables, or even wine testing by videoconference. In order to precisely target prospects by type of problem, working in close cooperation with the media partners was essential. Being as relevant as possible and better capturing the attention of customers and prospects – over-requested during this period – is essential. To this end, insightful operational marketing managers have been able to favor more vertical subjects and adopt an approach specific to each sector of activity and each profession.
Data: a strategic tool for marketing managers
Initially, in order to reach as many customers as possible, the Marketing teams have increased the number of webinars. Nevertheless, many of them quickly realized the relative ineffectiveness of this strategy, a more qualitative approach offering more advantages. From this perspective, data is strategic. They provide the necessary insight and knowledge to be as close as possible to customer issues. Indeed, the use of data makes it possible to better segment the databases and bring more finesse to the media plan. Instead of adopting a mass mailing approach – with emails ending up in the trash – the intelligent use of data makes it possible to communicate with customers and prospects in a targeted manner. The idea is to send them content and invitations to digital events that are relevant to their industry and interests.