Recalibrate Your Channels for COVID-19
A portion of this post is excerpted from the MultiView e-book “Navigating Your Business Through The COVID-19 Crisis.”
Unfortunately, we’re probably still in the beginning stages of fallout from the COVID-19 crisis that has swept the nation and much of the globe. Even if the health concerns of coronavirus are mitigated relatively quickly, the lasting impact may be economically. Consensus thinking at the moment isn’t whether a recession is likely, but how bad it will be and how long it will last.
There is some good news in this. Fundamentally, the economy is in better shape than what we had crashing into the Great Recession in 2007. That gives optimists reason to suspect – assuming we do get a handle on the spread of this virus – that the looming recession won’t be catastrophic.
It’s human nature, and by proxy business nature, to take defensive postures when fearing a crisis such as this. Capital outlays may be reduced and bold plans may be put on hold. Even if that’s going to be your approach to navigating this potential downturn, you should take audit of your current activities and budgets and decide if they’re going to be right for the impacts this specific crisis will have. One of those specific impacts will have an effect on a big part of B2B business – interpersonal communications. If you haven’t started or completed the process of moving your business digital, this crisis is the catalyst you can’t ignore. Here’s why it’s one move to consider.
Recalibrating your sales and marketing channels
For obvious reasons, e-commerce has been slower to proliferate across B2B than B2C. However, the COVID-19 outbreak could be a watershed moment in that timeline. Personal and face-to-face business is preferred by many, but we could be facing a new reality in the post-crisis era – one that calls for less of this interpersonal business. Should that be the case, those already or closer to making the shift to online or digital channels will win out.
It isn’t just sales channels that could use a digital makeover, but the marketing that leads to those sales. Research has consistently shown that B2B businesses allocate the majority of their marketing budgets to live events like exhibitions and trade shows. Studies from Demand Gen Report indicate B2B marketers find live events the most effective channel for generating quality leads.
With the status of live events in limbo for the foreseeable future – coupled with the stark reality that even in a post-COVID world we may be unsure exactly what live events will look like or how well attended they will be, it’s the perfect time to investigate and identify opportunities to move some of your sales and marketing functions into digital channels. New leads must come from somewhere, and in a marketplace that’s retreating from interpersonal communications, digital channels provide the fastest, most targeted opportunities to keep those important functions operating.
It could be reasoned that B2B was built on handshakes. But with fewer handshakes taking place, digital channels are the logical and rational remedies for operating in this new environment. You can’t just pull the plug on marketing, so recalibrate that budget where it can provide you the most benefit.
Auditing and recalibrating your sales and marketing channels is just one consideration for navigating your business through these uncharted waters. For a more detailed look at ways you can prepare your business for the looming recession and recovery, download MultiView’s new e-book, “Navigating Your Business Through The COVID-19 Crisis.”