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  • Pat Browne

6 marketing changes that will lead to future success

Updated: Jul 24


Last March the world, as we knew it, changed – maybe forever. What has definitely changed, and there is no going back, is the digitization of our work experience. If you were already developing marketing automation tools, or planning digital implementation strategies, these got accelerated to go live in a matter of weeks that, at one time, had been planned to take years. Entire industries are waking up to a digitally transformed world.

But what does all this technology mean to the customer experience? Are customers going to be better served, or are they going to find the new world too impersonal? And what about the employee experience: are teams going to find alignment or are remote teams a threat to productivity?

Our traditional planning process has been turned on its ear. Gradual, carefully managed digital transformations have been sped up to unheard of implementation speeds. Whole industries are waking up to a digitally transformed world. It doesn’t matter whether you are a B2B, B2C or combination, your world and how you interact with your customers has changed.

Significant changes

1. Outside Selling, a thing of the past?

Once thought of as the poorer cousin of outside sales, inside sales will dominate for the foreseeable future. The days of the traditional face-to-face meetings are certainly of-the-past in the current pandemic environment and will probably stay that way for the foreseeable future. We’ve all heard about the Zoom/Webex fatigue, but this is the way of the future.

Sales software helps accelerate sales, automate tasks and ultimately help salespeople make smarter decisions. Salesforce (the industry juggernaut) CRM offers: - Lead & Contact Management - Sales Opportunity Management - Workflow Rules & Automation - Customizable Reports & Dashboards - Mobile Application. Newer tools such as live chat, 1:1 asynchronous video, and sequences allow sellers to schedule personalized follow-up emails to prospects. In fact, according to blog.hubspot.com, inside sales teams make 43% more calls, leave 10% more voicemails, and send 9% more emails than organizations predominantly made up of outside salespeople.


2. Automated marketing, key tools for inside selling success

Hand-in-hand with inside selling goes automated marketing. Sales and marketing departments will use marketing automation to automate online campaigns, lead generation, contact nurturing, etc. Along with managing your subscriber or contact base, marketing automation allows you to create and disperse relevant content and messaging at scale across channels.

Marketing automation tools (MAT) are designed to perform 9 key tasks for inside selling:

· Customer/Contact data organization and storage

· Lead management

· Moving contacts from leads to customers

· Lead scoring to measure the level of engagement and qualify contacts

· Integration of multiple touchpoints

· Management and analysis of marketing campaigns

· Campaign performance analytics

3. Virtual Tradeshows and Product Launches

The standard of new product launches – the in-person event is changing as we speak. “One thing that has to be completely reinvented is Product Launch,” says Don McGuire, vice president, global product marketing, Qualcomm. “Most often product launches have been held in pomp and circumstance, big events, lots of people in attendance, media, KOLs, talking heads, partners, influencers always at a physical location, and that has completely changed. What has been interesting to see is how that has shifted. Business must go on and products must be launched. But how we get that word out, and how we address new products and how we deliver them into the marketplace has shifted considerably. On the one hand the need for technology and solutions to create similar experience and still have an effective product launch, the other side of the coin is adapting those solutions and that technology to facilitate product launches. We have had a whole team developing virtual ways for presentation of new products, from streaming video to green screens to graphics to virtual reality. The challenge is maintaining engagement. At the beginning of the pandemic, brands were struggling with lacklustre presentations that didn’t inspire or maintain engagement. Recently, brands and their agencies have stepped up to the plate and are creating more compelling ways to bring products to market in virtual world.”

Jonathon Morgan, CEO, Yonder added, “Once again, the pandemic has accelerated the digitization process. Our clients have all had to re-think their go to market strategy accelerating a trend that has been happening for a while. Success or failure of generating buzz, credibility, excitement for product launches used to sit in the hands of the people who could get invitations to these physical events. Different power dynamics emerge when this becomes an exclusively digital event. Traditional tastemakers, media and influencers may not be the key opinion drivers who drive the digital experience. Who’s going to drive the consensus on whether or not the product will be seen as exciting? Needing to establish and find your online fandom will be essential to successful product launches in the new environment.”

4. Offline Marketing to Online Marketing

Nowhere are the changes to a fully digital world as apparent as they are in the online marketing world. As we spend more time with our screens, marketers are spending more money on digital. A fully digital marketing strategy allows for the management of a marketing budget by metrics. Everything is trackable and can be compared to specific KPIs. Digital ROI can be measured accurately, giving marketers a deep insight into which channels are the most effective at engaging their customers. If you can combine this with e-commerce, then you know exactly what is working. Digital allows marketers to align with rapid shifts in consumer behaviour and adjust messaging and budgets as required.

According to HubSpot data, website site traffic increased by 16% from Q1 to Q2, and marketing email open rates were 18% above pre-COVID-19 levels by the beginning of Q3. Companies that were already invested in these channels have not only been able to stay engaged with customers throughout the current crisis, they have been able to quickly adjust the tone of their messaging to reflect the times and communicate important information to their audiences in a timely manner.

Are we talking about the end to traditional story-telling and traditional media? The answer is no. What we are doing is changing the focus from which we tell stories, traditional media and the consumer ad spot will continue, but as a support to what is being delivered online. The first focus will be digital, second brand support through traditional media.

5. Customer service in a digital world

Along with additional time online, consumers are also searching for product information in a self-service environment. Nuance Enterprise estimates 67% of users want the self-service option. The increase in chat-initiated conversations in a self-service environment is up by 45%. Chat bots offer one way for brands to initiate a consumer relationship. Consumers are also looking for a number of different resources that offer guidance on common queries such as high-quality product training videos. Brands who don’t have a suite of knowledge-based resources in place will need to create one quickly. The growing desire of customers to engage with high-quality, on demand video that enables them to become skilled with the products they use will only grow. In fact, check out YouTube on any given day, if you don’t control and supply your content, someone else will and not necessarily with the commentary or brand voice you want.

6. Changing how we look at the customer journey.



The traditional sales funnel needs to make way for a new customer journey that puts the consumer at the centre of everything. Coined the “Flywheel Model”, it focuses on enhancing the customer journey even after they’ve matured into a customer. Nurture your customer from the first moment of contact until they become subject matter experts and become brand advocates. Various models have different stages, this suggestion comes from vwo.com (https://vwo.com/blog/flywheel-marketing/).

The Flywheel Model may very well be the most important model modern businesses can adopt, as they put customers in the center of each business operation to move the company forward. While it may take some time and shifts, the process is worth it if you can enjoy constant growth that’s driven by consumers and raving fans.

In the end, the new go-to-market playbook will be made up of inside-selling, online marketing, and self-service customer care options. Embracing the Flywheel Model will facilitate each of these actions for success. Ensuring that new technology and software adopted for each of these tasks remains lean and agile will enable brands to keep pace with customer expectations. Companies who embrace and activate these strategies, will be the ones that thrive in a post-pandemic world.

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“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief - WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care? People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it,” Simon Sinek.

Pat Browne is a passionate leader with a proven track record of building high-performance teams and developing strong relationships with partners. She is a senior level advertising executive with integrated experience across a range of sectors including healthcare, retail, skincare/cosmetics, CPG, financial, travel, digital, social and direct marketing, database management, CRM and interactive marketing. For more, go to ideasLAB.ca

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