Physical gatherings are on hold for the unforeseeable future and B2B marketers everywhere are adapting their strategies to our new reality. Integrate gathered event leaders from around the globe to participate in a roundtable webinar and asked what their unfolding situation looks like.  

They weighed in on the short and long term impact of the uncertain situation and creative ways they’re seeing strong marketers adjust. How do event cancelations impact Demand Marketers? We learned a lot, and want to share the key takeaways with you.

Your marketing role may have a minimal level of involvement with the events side of the business, but the absence of in-person marketing has an impact on your approach. Your prospects’ realities have changed, and you are required to change with them. From revisiting your product’s value to articulating that message, there are no shortcuts if you want to retain brand integrity and relevance in today’s market.

Here are 4 ways Demand Marketers can pivot their approach to remain relevant and sensitive during this time: 

1. Update Messaging

Raise your hand if you’ve received an email or been served an ad that felt totally tone-deaf or insensitive this week 🙋🙋‍♂️. 

For many, being the recipient of unadapted marketing has triggered the necessary action to review all external-facing messaging. It’s possible that your eBook that has been in the works for months and just launched in February, is no longer appropriate. 

From nurture emails to evergreen content, some programs may need to go on hold or be adapted in response to our new global context. With each piece of marketing you review ask yourself:   

  • Is this content still relevant? 
  • Does the message acknowledge today’s challenges? Does it need to? 
  • Is the planned recipient still a good audience for this message? 

2. Engage and Cultivate a Community Online  

Go where the people are. Last month, your prospect’s schedule was filled with travel and events. They are now home and likely spend much of their time in front of their screen.

Your audience is more tuned into digital now than they ever were. Engage your audience via online channels and use them to live stream, host digital events, or share advice on topics you’re uniquely positioned to be helpful on. Check out below for some ideas;   

  • Host digital roundtables on how to respond to the current environment your customers and prospects are in. 
  • Start a podcast where you interview customers and give them a platform to share their expertise. 
  • Repurpose your most useful guides and eBooks. Turn that content into insightful webinars or video content.  

You have the opportunity to cultivate trust and instil value with prospects and customers alike as they use this time to virtually sharpen their tool kit. Many are using the time they’ve gained to strengthen their strategies and build upon professional skills, through soaking up the practices shared within professional communities.

Think long term - cultivating relationships and empowering your audience now, will, in turn, make you an essential and trusted resource later. 

3. Invest in different channels

Global pandemic or not, your performance numbers probably haven’t changed. Where you would ordinarily lean on in-person events for a good percentage of qualified and engaged leads, you must now be creative in how you fill the pipeline.

You might have a silver lining of a sales team with a little extra time on their hands ready to jump on leads and accelerate pipeline.

Here are some channels renewed with the confidence of predictability and increased reach:  

  • Paid Social - Linkedin and Facebook are seeing a spike of visitation and engagement. Leverage connected lead gen forms to bring a steady stream of leads into your system of choice. 
  • Content Syndication - Prioritize the 3rd party promotion of content that checks all relevancy boxes, to a customized ICP audience, with an assured number of compliant leads. 
  • Webinars - Encourage connection and empower speakers through round-table style webinars, live or on-demand, with an audience finally glued to their seat, likely with time to listen. 
  • ABM Advertising - Reach prospects from your target accounts wherever they are on the web as they spend more time browsing 

4. Lead with Empathy

How do you want to be marketed to right now? Some of the best marketing messages I’ve seen lately are ones with gestures of goodwill or offers to help. Apply this to everything you do and not only will you be successful, but you will also be remembered as a brand or person who chose integrity and generosity during a painful time in history.

It’s time to once and for all, choose quality over quantity both in marketing, and choices of humanity.

Identify who would benefit from your services long term, and nurture that relationship in the short term with that they need right now. It may not be a pitch, but you’re a marketer, get creative!

The full conversation ‘Impact and Actions – Events and Coronavirus Round Table’ is available On-Demand at: 

Featuring insights and input from Emma Pearce, VP, Product & Strategy of SaaStock, Colleen Leary, Senior Marketing Events Manager at Alert Logic, Kimberley Clarke, Chief Strategy Officer of an Event Management Agency, KCI Management, and Chris Wickson, GM of Integrate Events. 

  • How to manage the coming weeks and months amidst the changing events dynamic.   
  • How to restart your events strategy to get the best results in 2020 and beyond. 
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