Covid-19 and B2B Marketing: Impacts, Strategies & Emerging Trends

In more ways than one, Covid-19 has turned this world upside. In a panning, trickle-down effect, budgets are getting slashed, layoffs are occurring left and right, and marketers are starting to shift to newer ways to engage with customers and prospects. Now more than ever, they are being looked at to generate the much-needed sales pipeline to influence the revenue while creating programs to increase consumption and renewals. We all have seen frivolous spending to create a share of voice and personalize the customer experience, and now we are forced to execute creatively and become more frugal.

Impact of COVID on B2B Marketing

B2B communication alone has shifted from a place of targeted, rushed, cut-to-the-chase conversation to one of partnership and understood struggle. A sentiment of give-and-take has rushed over the field, highlighting the fragility and the need for mutual respect to keep such business-to-business marketing alive. The whole mindset shift from treating customers and prospects as partners and not targets has made up for the falling open rates, mail being sent to deserted offices, and calls being forwarded to unmanned phones.

The whole new social distancing has brought all in-person meetings and events to standstill. For B2B, the businesses rely on these customer engagements with experts and executives to advance the sales pipeline.

Recent McKinsey research on decision-makers’ behavior globally across industries since the crisis began reveals that the significant digital shift is here to stay. As per the study, more than 75% of the buyers and sellers say they now prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over in-person interactions. This sentiment has steadily intensified even after lockdowns have ended.

New Emerging Trends in B2B Marketing

With the world staying inside and in front of the computer, there’s no wonder how B2B marketing will shift in the wake of Covid. While marketing has progressively built an online presence over the years, more and more trends are being set in the online sphere during the pandemic.

Businesses are taking their employees from the shop or office to their homes and online in one fell swoop, cutting down the price of office-related costs. The marketing model in the wake of Covid is “meeting people where they are,” which is on social media, in front of a video camera, and over email.

Profits are turning despite much of the world staying in their living rooms. We will see even more businesses hold conferences, trade shows, and other networking events online to foster communication, connection, and growth. Many B2B sales leaders say going online is for the better, not only temporarily—but permanently. 

Strategies to Make a Resilient Marketing Engine

In 2020, what businesses care about more now than ever before is empathy. They don’t want products and deals getting shoved down their throats out of guilt when they are already barely staying themselves afloat. It’s vital to refine the messaging such that it doesn’t add stress on customers and prospects. It’s imperative to not hard-sell at every touchpoint and prioritize quality over the number of emails, webinars, cold calls, etc. What our customers need today is more focused and succinct content that caters to their demands tied to the pandemic.

Businesses must cater to how goods and services can fill the void left behind. The pandemic has forced B2B marketing to become more simplistic and cost-effective while working with less paper. Digital pipelines are essential to reaching other businesses and to streamline costs.

Above all else, focusing on customer needs is what will help businesses stay alive and thrive in a post-pandemic state. Following data in this ever-evolving marketing world is essential to developing alongside desires and demands.