Research from Gartner suggests that almost half of CMOs (44%) are facing budget cuts in the second half of 2020 as a direct result of COVID-19, a trend that’s likely to continue into 2021.
The challenge that many B2B marketers face is how to plan ahead, be competitive and make an impact when the immediate need is to simply ‘keep the lights on’?
The truth is, these are not easy conditions to plan for. But at the core of it, we must remind ourselves of some basic principles that will help to guide us through our day-to-day decisions on how to best spend our marketing efforts. Especially with limited budget and resources.
1. Customer first, always
You have experienced it yourself – we have entered into an era of ‘content overload’.
Although the balance of your customer comms is almost (if not entirely) 100% digital, you can’t just pump out content that isn’t helpful or welcomed.
- Do you know what information your customers need?
- Do you know what stage they are at in their buying journey and what next action you want them to take?
- Have you spoken to your sales team, internal experts or customers directly to check if the comms you’re producing are useful and relevant to them?
- If you don’t have these insights, where can you go to get them?
2. You are the real thought leaders
Thought leadership doesn’t have to be a branded white paper. Producing a dense report can be daunting with limited time and resources. But being a ‘thought leader’ can be demonstrated in other ways. Through your people.
- Have you enabled your team on the ground with the right tips and tricks to improve their social media presence?
- Have you thought of simple ways of sharing the team’s expertise with a wider audience?
- Is your team comfortable in front of a camera or speaking on a webinar?
- Are there community groups and 3rd party channels your team can get involved in and start a conversation?
3. Performance and results
And finally, have you thought through what you want to achieve with your marketing, and set yourself targets and KPIs – in order to measure ROI? Are you aligned to the broader business goals?
If what you’re delivering doesn’t have a clear success metric attached, then it’s best to ask yourself – why am I doing this?
According to McKinsey research, looking forward, B2B companies see digital interactions as two to three times more important to their customers than traditional sales interactions.
So with a limited budget, let’s make each digital interaction count.
For real examples of how major B2B brands have used simple tactics to improve their day-to-day connections with customers, read our B2B Marketing in 2020 2.0 guide.