A new year usually means a sense of renewal for marketers, with a new budget and new objectives to achieve. But in a mid-pandemic world, a lot of us are asking what we can we do to be effective now and the truth is, none of us know.
So, what do you do? You use demand generation science to streamline your route to success.
Here are some thoughts:
- Accept that you can’t confidently predict anything. With businesses opening and closing, an economy that changes daily and a lot of emotion out there, you won’t be able to rely on what you knew in the past. So pretend it’s your first day at the company, start over and test everything again. Look at what worked a year ago and set up sprints to see if results hold and add a few creative ideas as challengers. Then test and track and repeat. And as things change in the world, do it again. And again.
- Revisit your content. Read everything based on where the world is right now and take out content that’s no longer meaningful. Then rework it or develop new content that will get attention. Unfortunately, trying to develop anything evergreen is unrealistic right now, so go for relevance and a quick development cycle. Save the big guides and “state of’s” for later and work on one pagers, infographics and blogs.
- One bright spot – the shifting market means that folks in your database who haven’t responded before might be ready now. So, test a reheat campaign to prospects who went dark.
- However, there has been a lot of job churn, so before you send mass anything, consider a database cleanse. Anyone who hasn’t responded for a year or bounces should be removed.
- This database churn does mean you probably need to invest in new acquisition programs to add interested prospects the pipeline, so add those to the top of your testing list.
- Re-evaluate return on investment on everything before you invest budget – even the past programs that seemed to always work. Make your best guess on the return you’re likely to see and then run the numbers. Can you make money? This is particularly critical on events. With so many successful in person events moving to virtual, don’t take the organizers word on attendance, qualified leads or engagement. Instead, figure out just what you need to get a positive ROI and really think about whether or not you’re likely to achieve it. If not, maybe save your money for something else. (I can say that so far, NONE of the live events that went virtual last year brought in anywhere near the expected results.)
- If you can’t fulfill – don’t market. Do you have the support resources, product and staff to provide the level of customer service you are promising? If not, pause your promotion until you can catch up.
- Prepare yourself now for reopening or further closing. It is going to happen and things are going to move fast when it does. The testing you do now and the processes you’ve set to determine return will help you take advantage of a tailwind or survive a new downturn.
Need help looking at where you’re at and planning for the future? Contact me and let’s see if I can help.