We are seeing unprecedented times. Covid19 has changed the world. Not just a country or a market sector, but everybody is impacted.
Where as, Covid19 looked like a blip, dates for an exit strategy vary, some are saying three months, others are saying we are like this for the rest of the year. It certainly looks like a vaccine will be the only way out.
My parents are in lock-down and the vast majority of people in the UK are staying in. By now, most have us know of somebody that has had Covid19. Some have come though, others have not been so lucky and we will all know somebody that has died very soon.
There seems to be a realisation in business that people need to make changes and changes quickly.
Mark Read - WPP CEO recently said ..
"With Covid19 We Are Seeing 10 Years of Innovation Compressed Into Four Weeks. The Way We Work, Fly, Communicate, Shop, Use Financial Services Will Change.”
While Digital was seen as a nice to have, digital is the only way forward as we grapple with the new normal.
Let's take the fitness industry, with all the gyms shut, the fitness industry has had to move online through necessity. Yes, we've had fitness channels for years, there has been a complete move onto digital. This article shared by Nigel Walsh explains.
Car registrations are down 40%
Music has gone online
The Church has gone online
What does this all mean for sales and marketing in the future?
The UK Government told us at the weekend that we would be in self-isolation for another 6 months. It looks like we lost the months of March, April, May and June for demand generation and, worst case is that we will lose September, October and November too. As business leaders we have to plan for worse case, as we all know that "hope" was never a strategy.
We are going to have to assume our traditional path of creatings leads through conferences and exhibitions won't happen this year.
"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."
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.
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.
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
Marketers are typically an optimistic bunch. But this year, they must be careful not to expect and plan for a rapid COVID-19 recovery. According to economists, infectious disease experts, and data modelers, we won’t truly be in recovery and a return to normal (or “new normal”) for some time. Before then, we will likely experience several quarters of ambiguity and difficulty. Gartner for Marketer’s new scenario-planning framework can help marketing leaders prepare.