We all know that the world and marketing has changed.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently said
The way we marketed before Covid19 was the classic forms of "interrupt" and "broadcast" marketing.
For example; advertising, cold calling and email. But in fact these types of marketing (and sales) have been around a long time.
Advertising which came about in 1930, cold calling which came out in 1980 and email marketing which came about in 1990. The way this works is that you interrupt me and the broadcast a message. Sometimes the broadcast is called a pitch, sometimes it's called copy. But the same thing.
Here we have techniques that came about before many of us were born. These were all "something" before the mobile phone was invented and before social media was invented. But if we are really, really, really, honest we know that these ways of marketing no longer work.
But we didn't do anything about it as life was good. We did the number, we got our bonuses.
Then came Covid-19.
What Makes a Good Marketing Manager?
A good Marketing leader recognizes that the world has changed and the "what got you here, won't get you there".
There also listen to their prospects and customers and understand the switch from analogue to digital.
Farewell BC (before coronavirus). Welcome AD (after domestication)
Let's start with an article from The Economist.
In this article by the Economist (sorry a subscription is needed) they talk about "BC" being the life before Covid19 and "AD" after domestication.
Just as we have had to change the way we work, we have to change the way we sell and market.
B2C is now B2B
All of us are used to Zoom calls, in fact there are 300 million daily participants on Zoom. That is a 4 fold increase on last year.
Zoom is now the 6th most downloaded app.
Live has moved online .... we work from home, study from home, we shop from home, we go to church from home, we go to scouts from home, we go to the gym at home. In fact, being online is part of all of our lives. This isn't just a few, it's everybody.
My mother (82) runs her wine group through Zoom. They even had a member, who drives around dropping a wine bottle off on each members doorstep. So they can drink the same wine and talk about, all at the same time.... online.
How is Social Media Making an Impact?
Simon Kemp in his research says that there are 4.57 Billion people in the world on the internet, that is up 7% on last year. There are 3.81 Billion people, active, on social media. That is up 300 million on last year.
So while "Sharon" on facebook left Facebook, 300 million people joined.
Covid19 has seen a 50% increase in social media usage.
In fact the world has changed with social media, from the way ideas are propagated to the way we do business.
So What? - The Winners are on Social
This Business to Consumer (B2C) world gets pulled into Business to Business (B2B) world. In other words our B2C behaviours, become normal in B2B. How? Because we bring our everyday lives into the world of work.
BMW for example, even before Covid19 was selling through social. In November last year, they got 28 pieces of inbound (people making an enquiry to buy cars) through LinkedIn. I'm not talking about their website, I'm talking about people making enquiries through social.
BMW ere able to convert 14 of these into sales. Let's assume a BMW is $50,000, that's 14 x $50,000 = $700,000
That's an additional $700K that they signed from social media. This was for zero cost of Marketing.
Ironically, their competitor, Jaguar Land Rover announced in the same month, November 2019 that they were reducing production as they were not selling enough cars.
This is clear evidence that business has moved to social and the winners who are there .... are winners. And the losers who are not there ... are losers.
What does this mean for marketers?
This means that B2B buyers are very comfortable going online and searching for good and services. Your good and services.
That means that if you and your sales team are not active on social, then you are leaving money on the table. It could also be worse than that, you are falling behind your competition and you are no longer relevant to the modern consumer.
Why B2B Marketers Need to Listen Harder Than Ever
You need to listen because as buyers we hate advertising, cold calling and cold emails. You are pissing us all off.
The other things you have to understand is that your buyer IS digital. We went digital in the last 12 weeks.
If you are using advertising, cold calling and email then you are analogue. But it's worse than that.
Buyer Behaviour Covid19 Style
This online world has enable us as consumers and buyers to even more comfortable with online buying. So while the BMW buyers above were OK last November to make a considered purchase using the internet and social media. It means that there is an inherent behaviour in us to support this.
What is this change in buyer behaviour?
If I say to you that the iPhone is the best phone on the market, what would you do? Of course you will make your own enquiries, you will search on the internet, you will read content, you will ask your friends on social. We are all now, Ok with this, it's natural.
The Impact this makes on marketing today.
This means if you advertise at me, send me an email or cold call you. I will look you up. I will look up who is making the approach (the salesperson) and I will jump to a conclusion about that person based on their passive and active online behaviour.
I will also do all the activities I described above.
If you advertise, cold call me or email me I will go online, I will search and find your competitors. I will compare you with them.
If you are not active online, your sales people look like spammers, or you are invisible online, what conclusion will I jump to?
That you don't exist as a business.
All Your Advertising, Email Marketing and Cold Calling is Driving Business to Your Competitors
Let me make a guess that if you are investing in advertising, cold calling or email marketing you are not investing in social ...... I would make a guess that all this money on advertising, cold calling and email marketing is driving people to buy from your competitors.
You are Marketing and Selling in an Analogue Form But Your Buyers are Digital
Can you see the mismatch?
So what as a marketer and a sales leader are you going to do about it?
To quote my good friend Larry Levine
"has the window of relevancy closed with many of your customers and prospects?"
If you’re a marketing manager or are angling to become one, there’s a good chance that you possess some experience working in the lower rungs of the marketing hierarchy. Producing content, making pitches, and conducting research are all things that some marketing managers can involve themselves with, but at the end of the day, you’ll ultimately be shying away from these tasks to focus more on the overall management of your marketing community. This is because your role isn’t to be a creative guru who produces excellent copy or shapes the media narrative, but rather to be the excellent team leader who steers others toward success while preventing burnout, inter-team disputes, and costly over budgeting.