Digital Demand Generation – Sustaining & thriving in crisis

Sales | 3 minutes to read

16th Apr, 2020

Total cessation of sales activities!

An unprecedented crisis has forced total lockdown on personal interactions – a basic necessity of seller and buyer but that must not lead to a total cessation!

While face to face interactions and traditional marketing activities may have taken a backseat, it is yet a new day for digital marketing – bright and shiny. Digital marketing is the most measurable marketing channel that sets clear ROI goals with an untinted view on its achievement/failure.

The current crisis when it is definite of long-term consequences on businesses, sustaining the challenges are important while simultaneously preparing for the next chapter before it unfolds is also equally crucial. This is where the duo of traditional demand generation and digital marketing can take the lead position to overcome the impact even if it may not totally thwart the consequences.

Sustain 

The new cycle is as much for marketers as for customers. So, while sales tactics should not be as aggressive as it was yesterday, it certainly needs to be customised to cater to sensitivities of this newness.

Digital is the new context: personalization is not dependant on physical experiences alone, it can be transcended to effective digital experiences too. With traveling and lockdown becoming the norm and given that in February there was a 500% surge in cancellations and postponements of significant events (PredictHQ), short virtual meetings, webinars with existing clients and prospects can help mitigate that gap brought on by lack of face-face to meetings.

Slew of webinar invitations must have lined up in your inbox by now which only shows the dominance it right now occupies amongst digital channels. Webinars can be easily considered as the most effective tool when it comes to address mass audience for education about products and services, demo of your products in one go. It can also be customized to be interactive and engaging depending upon how you want to organize it for responding to audience queries or striking rapport with the audience. The exchanges can be helpful in understanding the gaps in your products/services, idea generation in solving existing problem or even the pulse of your target audience in terms of where they stand in the buyer journey.

Renewed email marketing strategies, data suggests that email open rates are generally increasing by 5-10% every week globally, may be an important consideration for lead generation now than any other times.

Channelizing marketing budget into digital: Considering the fact that people are working from home, their screen times have increased exponentially which can be an important factor in revisiting lead generation tactics. With the increased screen time, response rates have also hiked up that can be explored further for generating demand. Hence, channelizing budgets into digital segment and utilizing virtual channels for demand generation tactics is the way to go.

Online presence is the key: The pandemic has brought in change in terms of target audience. The target audience’s pain points have undergone drastic change, their plans, sensitivities, fears and motivational determinants have taken a shift. For some businesses, the target audience may have changed with their services now appealing to broader segment and yet for some the focus of their target audience may have shifted. They may have shifted from fast consumable items to high cost bracket items for sheer availability of time on hand for their evaluation and gaining deeper understanding of it. Hence marketing strategies need to shift to online in accordance with focus on addressing the fears and hopes of customers affected by COVID19.

A laundry list of digital tactics that shall help sustain now and make you ready for the next normal can be noted here. Take this opportunity to deep dive into tasks and get your digital demand generation right.

Revisiting paid search activities pertaining to keywords, social media, online ads etc. Analyse which is most important – paid social or paid keyword

Mapping out content strategy with the evolving needs and audience demands

Reviewing website in terms of updating, redesigning, site analytics, A/B testing for landing pages, etc

Increasing the frequency of retargeting campaigns and making it more robust

 Thrive

While adapting to the changing environment is the key to sustenance, to cope with the unknown future it is important to bring agility in the old approach and sustain communications. In essence this is what business continuity plan also embodies.

 Building new network of prospective customers: Starting something amidst crisis is the work of a confident and an expert business which is an important factor in laying the trust between business and customers. Hence, investing time in how to generate new leads while maintaining the regular lead generation system intact and also planning on tactics to cater to referral ready leads can help you be ready for future.

Marketing with crisis in mind: The situation is not going to last and we all are optimistic about it. But then are we ready for new normal? There is a need to draw connect between our solutions and services with the new realities that shall face us. Market landscape may have changed drastically and with that whitespace discovery would further gain prominence. A contactable and clean database full proofed in the interim shall come as the rope then. As the lead volume takes plunge whitespace discovery and more targeted prospecting with clean data will fortify the business from taking the hit. A deep go-to-market strategy aligned with newer realities will be easy to action out immediately reducing time-gap vis-à-vis peers.

Planning for several version of tomorrow: nothing is definite hence, aligning the challenges and strategizing for every possible scenario keeping in view the customers, competition and market landscape is important. It is better not to be caught unprepared after a long lull.

Continued investing in technology upgrades for workforce: Worse comes to worst and we are looking at a year long worldwide recession down the road, the collaborative technologies and proficiency of workforce in using these are equally important. Technologies for collective team brainstorming maybe on risk mitigation, file-sharing, collaborative documents, common dashboards for ease of communication and real time visibility are some of the technologies that would ensure workforce adapts and remain flexible to beat the unclear future.

In all, a revision of marketing strategy with focus on digital right from discovering continuously evolving whitespace and reallocating resources and budgets for exploring valuable tools aimed at multiplying lead generation is the need of the hour. A business can then safely build long-term resilience for any kind of environmental hiccups.

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