The great philosopher, Mike Tyson, famously said, “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” The year 2020 will be remembered for a lot of things, but for marketers, it’s going to be remembered as the year that their best laid marketing plans took a punch square to the mouth.
The question is, what happens next? In a Mike Tyson fight, this is usually the part where the greatly overmatched opponent takes a beating and hits the mat. Let’s hope that doesn’t define how your marketing efforts are going after this bit of adversity. As they say, it’s not the adversity that defines us, it’s how we react to the adversity. Don’t let your leadership as a marketer fall into question right now.
It’s perfectly natural for marketers to take a step back, and reassess their strategies. In many cases, these strategies have spilled all over the floor. Events have been cancelled. Outlooks have changed. Budgets have been tightened. None of this, however, changes the need for companies to be seen and have their messages out there. In fact, it’s just the opposite: now is the time to let the market know that you’re still on your game!
For our part, we had big plans with our clients in the months of March and April, and while we may have rejiggered announcement dates and certain timings to work around cancelled events and get in sync with the new reality, what we didn’t do is advise our clients to take their foot off the pedal. Just the opposite is needed: keep driving. Keep making news. Keep telling your stories. Keep searching for new stories to tell. Don’t lose ground just because the world seems to be unravelling. Don’t unravel with it – this is not the “safe” thing to do. In business, there is nothing ever safe about muting your marketing voice.
The word of the day is “pivot.” The whole industry has to do it in order to keep the wheels turning and their businesses growing. At OmniScale, we maintain relationships with a lot of front line sales people. So far, we haven’t heard any of them talking about how their yearly sales goal has been reduced. They haven’t been. They’re still expected to grow their accounts despite the challenges in the world around us. Their expectations are still high. If their quotas aren’t shrinking, marketing efforts to support them shouldn’t be either. It’s time to find new ways to reach people.
There are plenty of things companies can still do to keep the momentum going. Driving news on new product releases shouldn’t be stopped. Funding announcements should proceed. Building case studies on customer successes is as important as it ever was. Updating analysts on company progress, highlighting customer wins and sharing details on how you are dominating the market during this awkward period in time is a great way to keep the buzz machine humming. You may not be able to get to an industry event right now, but you can host your own online events that can showcase the strength of your company and its relationships, as well as your creativity as a marketer. Drive, drive, drive!
Now is the time for marketers to grab their tool kits, marshall their forces, and rush into action to support the needs of their business. Call a meeting with your marketing partners. Talk about what got shelved, and discuss what can be done to pivot and take advantage of the new landscape – the new opportunity. There is plenty that can be done right now! Those that take advantage of this moment and keep their foot on the pedal will be glad they did, because this, too, shall pass. When it does, business leaders will look back and take stock of what ground they gained and what they lost. Don’t let your marketing leadership (or lack thereof) contribute anything to the loss column.
As always, we are here to help. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to share our ideas on how to respond with authority to this new environment.