The coronavirus pandemic rewrote our understanding of “normal” in a matter of weeks. Companies across all industries have had no choice but to roll with the punches. Whether that’s embracing remote work or shifting to digital formats, the new normal for businesses seems to be taking shape.

Despite the chaos, there might be a silver lining.

We can’t deny the fact that adversity tends to breed innovation. The magnitude of this worldwide event spurred companies to reassess processes and consider alternative strategies.

That’s certainly been the case in the B2B marketing sphere. Tradeshows, seminars, and face-to-face meetings aren’t feasible options for conducting business at this point in time. The emphasis has shifted to digital.

Companies with established digital marketing capabilities are well-positioned to adapt to the changing environment.

No one knows for sure what’s in store for the marketing world. Nevertheless, here are three of my predictions for the future of marketing.

Reorganization of Marketing Divisions

The pandemic’s economic fallout has led to less demand in many industries. In turn, business leaders have had to emphasize cost and resource efficiencies.

Agile companies will treat this shift as an opportunity to improve antiquated processes. It’s critical to reorganize marketing divisions to ensure customers are receiving tailored experiences across each stage of the buyer journey – which is often quite complex and includes several decision-makers in the B2B space.

Per Gartner’s survey of 750 B2B buyers, 77% reported that their latest purchase was very complex or difficult.

Companies must efficiently allocate resources to simplify each stage of the purchase process.

Increase of Account-Based Marketing & Personalization

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is far from a new concept. However, many companies don’t leverage ABM tactics to provide frictionless and personalized customer experiences across each channel.

Per Forrester’s survey, only 55% of marketers considered their ABM strategy to be “established.” That’s up from 43% in 2018, but obviously, there’s still room to grow.

Without physical connections, personalization becomes even more crucial to converting leads and keeping customers.

Adoption of Personalized Virtual Events

Speaking of personalization, companies will rely on personalized virtual events to stay on target with business goals. At least for the foreseeable future, in-person meetings and events aren’t viable or advisable options.

Engagement and connection are the most challenging aspects of virtual events. But, with proper pre- and post-event coordination, companies can still use virtual events to convert prospects.

Again, the focus will be on personalization and seamless experiences. Event pages should be responsive and user-friendly. Marketers can also leverage pre-event discussion groups and community functions on their event page to boost engagement.

 

No one could have predicted what was coming in the first half of 2020. The same holds true for the rest of the year and years to come. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t adapt to the ever-changing environment.

How is your company approaching marketing during the pandemic?