Hello, welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing and More. Last week, I said that I had one marketing takeaway from the pandemic. Well, I actually have two.
Let’s talk about what I said last week. I shared that it’s important to update your marketing plan when the economy is opening up. This time around, it’s important to re-evaluate your customer’s behavior changes, understand what behavior changes are permanent, and how they affect customers’ buying decisions and the usage of your products and services. Use that insight to update your buyer personas.
Another element which goes side-by-side with buyer personas is your messaging frameworks. Since the customers’ behaviors have changed, you need to review your messaging frameworks and determine if the value propositions, talking points, positioning need to be changed accordingly.
In the previous podcast, my key marketing takeaway was that you need to refresh and update your buyer personas and messaging frameworks before revising your marketing plan.
So here’s another takeaway that I want to address in this episode is the need for building a marketing continuity plan. We’ve heard of a Business Continuity Plan.
What is a Business Continuity Plan?
I like this definition from IBM’s website: “A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that outlines how a business will continue operating during an uncertain disruption in service.”
In IBM’s blog post, it goes on to explain: “It’s more comprehensive than a disaster recovery plan and contains contingencies for business processes, assets, human resources and business partners – every aspect of the business that might be affected.”
That sounds complicated!
If we have a Business Continuity Plan for our company, why shouldn’t we have a Marketing Continuity Plan?
What is an Effective Marketing Continuity Plan?
“A marketing continuity plan is a document that outlines how marketing will continue operating during a sudden disruption in service.
The plan should address every aspect of marketing that might be affected. The plan should contain a checklist to evaluate creative, copy, and communications in owned, earned, paid, and social media channels. It should also include key decision-makers and representatives from each marketing function. And a frequent huddle will be activated for the duration of a crisis.”
Do you like that definition? I like it very much! Of course, I created it!
During the pandemic, many marketing teams started a daily marketing huddle to ensure close communications. Key players or representatives from management, social media, PR, email, paid media, product marketing, web, content, demand gen, or data analytics work together to address any urgent issues.
The initial daily huddles tended to last for hours since many issues need to be addressed at first.
Effective Marketing Continuity Plan Team Discussions:
- Share what social media content is going out?
- Discuss currently running ads and proposed replacement ads
- Brainstorm creative outreach
- Modify talking points or messaging
- Review data analytics to see what worked or didn’t work
- Address “help needed” from team members at the tactical or execution level
- Communicate key initiatives and adjusted priorities
And over time, the number of issues declined, and meeting times could be reduced to 15 or 30 minutes.
How to Have a Daily Stand Up (DSU):
Take the time to observe what you did and document it. Answer the following questions
- What were the key topics addressed during the crisis?
- How did the team reach certain decisions?
- What data was needed to make these decisions?
- Who were the decision-makers?
- What help was needed at the tactical and execution level?
- What templates worked the best to communicate with upper management or to convey tactical information?
- How did we decide on budget allocation?
You can turn it—your whole process during the pandemic–into the documented marketing playbook for crisis management, which is the marketing version of a Business Continuity Plan.
Viola, now you have a documented process to help marketing move forward and faster next time. Well, let’s hope there is no next time.
How to Create an Effective Marketing Continuity Plan
On several occasions, I’ve worked with clients to modify their existing marketing processes and help document actionable marketing continuity plans so that they could focus on important priorities such as creative, marketing planning and outbound executions.
Again, if you have any questions, reach out to me via pamdidner.com
As you venture out, please continue to stay safe and healthy.
Talk to you next time, take care.
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