Attached is an interesting article on how, a single conference was a "super spreader" of the Covid19 virus.
What has that got to do with Sales and Marketing?
Well if you were expecting to do your demand generation in March, April and May 2020, I assume you have already worked out that this demand generation season has gone. I think the expectation is that conferences will be pushed into the fall and we will play catch up but do our lead generation in September, October and December.
So no can do.
This article talks about conferences not being able to be run until the fall 2021. Why then? The view is that we need a vaccine and this needs to be rolled out to 60% of the population.
Now, of course, you can disagree with me and go ahead and book a conference, but do you really want to be the person that infected a whole bunch of people. It won't do your brand any good to be a "super spreader".
Of course you can move conferences online, I'm looking forward to seeing how this will work with hundreds of people. I'm sure the technology is there, it will take us a little while to get used to it.
And there's the rub. If we do get used to it, will we ever go back? Surely sitting at home and being educated is better than flying across the world. With all that expense and carbon emissions. If we can do it at home, we have have a better quality of life and it's better for the planet. So why would we ever travel to a conference again?
So what can you do?
First you need to kiss goodbye to the ideas of conferences and events, so you need to move the budget into something else?
What about advertising?
"Engagement with social media advertising has also declined ... because audiences are turning to more organic content than paid."
"The researchers found the average global CTR (click through rate) across the 18 industries examined was down 17.2% in mid-March compared with the start of the year."
What about cold calling?
While there are some people that "shouting out" that they are cold calling. I am already seeing a backlash. Mark Schaefer says in this article, in terms of tone "How would you sell to somebody at a funeral?" I'm not sure you would cold call somebody at a funeral, even if they customer is at their office, which is highly unlikely as they will be working from home or furloughed. Even if you do get through to people, there are currently no face-to-face meetings.
The same as cold calling, I've already see people call emailers out on social media. This is a dangerous route to take.
How do you sell and market in a Covid19 World?
The feedback we are getting from senior leaders is social selling.
People are not looking for a master class that nobody will ever use when they come off the webinar, they want a methodology that will get into the sales team DNA. This ia a "new normal" after all, not a glitch.
As a CEO of a company said to me yesterday, "we need mindset change and habit change". His view is that selling through social is the "new normal". He also told me that in the future, our business will change. There will be more working from home, less conferences, less travel. People know they don't need to fly and have a face-to-face meeting.
This CEO wants to invest now, so that his company can survive the crisis, they have the time now to make the changes. He wants to invest, so they come out of this crisis stronger, with the skills your team and people need to know. Rather than trying to retrofit the skills once the floodgates open and we move into the "new normal".
We are in strange times, it feels that things are going to get worse, before they get better. I wish all of you good health, stay safe, as we work through this together.
If you want to chat sometime about the "new normal" then contact me here
A major US drug company unwittingly became a 'super spreader' after a meeting of executives led to nearly 100 people becoming infected with coronavirus. Biogen held an annual leadership meeting at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf hotel, Massachusetts, in late February. By mid-March, around 32 cases were linked to the conference but now that figure has reportedly tripled to at least 99 after the virus was taken to six states by attendees returning home. After the meeting on February 26 and 27, many at the event felt healthy and boarded busy planes and traveled around the country, according to the New York Times.