Survive or Thrive? CEOs Must Invest Now in Marketing

If the cut is small

In an April 2 survey, 90% of marketers reported that their budgets were frozen, delayed, or cut dramatically. Numerous studies have shown that this behavior, while common, has the opposite effect to what CEOs want.

  • Harvard Business School studied 4,700 companies in recession and found that “companies that cut costs faster and deeper than their rivals … are less likely – 21% – to outperform the competition as they progress. These times get better.”
  • Boston Consulting Group published a study on the performance of large companies during and after a recession, which found that “companies that recklessly cut their marketing spend often find themselves having to spend much later than they can save to recover.”

One reason for this counterintuitive behavior (saving money for the department itself so that it can thrive during and after the recession) is that most senior executives don’t really understand the role that marketing plays (and should) in strategy. on the scales.

Spend smarter

He found that when MIT researchers studied the financial performance of companies that took multiple actions during an economic downturn or recession, the data showed that “investing to create and maintain a competitive advantage is still the best recipe.” It is facing crises”.

Obviously, it is never advisable to spend on marketing tactics or approaches that don’t work. Personal allowances are usually canceled or postponed during the pandemic. Brochure printing is also not a revenue-generating marketing activity.

Spending money wisely in today’s environment means that we can deliver tangible results with the constraints that B2B companies face:

  • Trading rounds and opportunities have been canceled or postponed and are likely to be significantly less effective for some time after the restart.
  • Direct and indirect sales and channel teams should use video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings.
  • Customer / Executive Information Centers are offline due to customer travel restrictions.

Internet conferences are not a sufficient solution to these challenges. It is a basis for connecting people, but instead of meeting in person, it does not provide the experience that people want or expect. The only way to provide such an effective experience is to use interactive digital applications that customers can run on their own.

The reason customers go to conferences, trade shows, and even sales meetings is for active participation and personal dialogue. If they just watch presentations or videos, they can always do that in their web browser; they don’t need a video conference meeting.

Given all the evidence, here’s what B2B sales and marketing departments need to provide at this critical time:

  • Interactivity with the customer. Give the customer control over the app by placing it in the driver’s seat. An interactive experience is a non-linear and personalized way for customers and potential customers to learn about relevant products and solutions and the overall value of a company.
  • Sales tools. It provides interactive applications that sales teams (and channel partners) can share during a video conference with a customer, allowing the customer to actively participate in the meeting to discover the unique value differentiation relevant to their specific needs.
  • Marketing tools. Move events online, but use interactive calendars during webinars, virtual business events, and digital product launches, so attendees can create their own personal path through history (or product demonstration) and engage in visualization instead of passive ( and absent).
  • An extensible platform. Reuse, develop, and extend the interactive applications created now to meet your immediate needs in the short term, instead of recreating all content or applications when new products/solutions are added or the story expanded.
  • Online and offline. Ultimately, the world will return to a combination of online and offline/face-to-face dating, and apps that have been effective in virtual dating should be distributed to sales staff training centers, iPads and laptops, and large screens sensitive to touch at exhibitions and conferences.

The immediate result, which will have a lasting and lasting effect even after the economic crisis, is nothing less than a digital transformation.

This investment in the way sales and marketing work together to deliver long-term first- and second-line results will pay dividends and allow for long-term changes to the process and approach used by sales teams and marketers.