You might not be ready to have this discussion yet, but the coronavirus has changed the landscape of things.
For now, we are seeing layoffs, economic changes, and differences in how things are being done. Best believe that we are not seeing the bigger picture yet, though. By the time the world fully heals from the virus and the lockdown is lifted, we will know just how much we have been hit.
This will be the same for your clients too. The least that you can do for them is help them to prepare for life after this pandemic with your services.
Here is how to make that happen
1. Redefine Your Demographics
Do not confuse your target market with your demographics.
As you should have already known before now, your target market is a much wider range than what your demographics are. The latter is hyper-specific so that you know just who you are trying to reach with your content.
It is important to review your demographics at this time because of the changes going on within the stables of many businesses that you are serving. While they might still be a part of your target market, they might have now fallen out of the demographic bracket that they used to be in.
For example, we have already started seeing a lot of layoffs. At the same time, business is slow these days – so you cannot expect your clients to be earning as much as they used to anymore.
With this data alone, you can reshuffle their demographic class based on the number of employees that they have on their payroll and revenue potentials.
Doing so right now will help you better prepare to meet their needs when the pandemic is over. Rather than just continuing marketing to them from where you left off – which will not resonate with them as much now – you can get better value for your marketing by understanding the current state of your market.
2. Develop Personalized Products/ Services
Heading out of this pandemic, not all of your B2B clients will need the same thing. They will still need your services/ products, but not in the same way.
For example, let us assume you are a supplier of top tier accounting software for these businesses.
After the pandemic, some of them will be interested in knowing how off-track they are with their projections, where they have to adjust the budget to meet operating procedures and how much they can salvage. Others might be more interested in how your software can help them project the best line of financial action – to take loans, downsize, leverage internal resources or more.
Of course, they still want the core of what you are offering, but they want it in different ways now.
Likewise, being a B2B marketer doesn’t mean that you should forget the human side of your clients too.
A Forrester research confirms that the consumer market is fast losing its appetite for adventure, which is also causing consumer energy to taper off. This shows you that to make an effective sale to the business side now, you also have to cultivate good relationships with the decision-makers of the business.
To do so would be to get personal with them.
You don’t have to just trust your guts here either. Up to 73% of B2B buyers have already claimed to want a personalized experience like their B2C counterparts gets. Best believe your work is now cut out for you in gaining the market back onto your side.
3. Be Open
A lot is going on about how marketers should respond in the middle of the current pandemic. While some are suggesting a step back, a majority is all for pressing forward with marketing.
The only difference here is that you adjust your message so that it meets your audience at the point of their needs.
This is advisable because your clients will remember how you stepped up in the middle of the pandemic when it is all over. Likewise, part of stepping up is being there – and open to engagements too.
More than ever, this is not the time to go dark on your target market and different demographics that come with it.
Just like we mentioned in the opening part of this piece, this is a time of great uncertainty. The last thing you want is for your business to be one of such uncertainties to your clients too.
Consumers value responses a lot, and the numbers favor that too. This is why 72% of buyers within the 18-34 age range will stay loyal to a brand that responds to/ engages with them. The numbers reduce as we go to the higher ages – but it is still impressive at 47% for ages 45 and above.
Lest you forget, these are the same people that will reach out to you on behalf of their brands. The last thing you want to happen is to be out of reach, so much that they take all that new business to another brand when the pandemic is over.
4. Be Flexible
You don’t need to take a hard look around you to see that nothing seems normal anymore. Thus, this is not the time to impose impossible strictness on the brands that you are doing business with.
Coming out of the pandemic, have a plan to help your clients ease the tension on them.
Be open to talks with your clients on how you can better help them gain stability in the first few months. This could mean reviewing your prices, introducing better financing options for them, curating more value-added packages to meet specific needs, etc.
Depending on the kind of services you provide, let your clients know that you are there to help them weather the storm. Best believe that you will be investing in their loyalty to you – and you might have just gained yourself a customer for life.
When their accounts start getting bigger, you would be reaping the benefits of the labor that you have put into helping them stay their grounds when every other place was slippery.
Get Started Now
No one knows how long this pandemic will last, but we are all hopeful that it packs up and leave very soon. While we keep hoping on that, the truth is that is not within our control. However, everything that has been discussed in this piece is well within your control.
Get started right now. By the time the world is ready to start running like normal again, you will have been better prepared to serve your clients at a new level.
And oh, they will be expecting that new level. After all, things aren’t what they used to be anymore.
Do any of these trends jump out?
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