Hi, everyone! I’m doing something different for this episode in light of the effect of the coronavirus pandemic in our industry. Today, I’m sharing an excerpt from a webinar I did on March 18, focused on marketing in times of uncertainty. I teamed up with Ryan Lewis, a good friend of mine at Bonfire Marketing. At the end of today’s episode, I will have details on what else you can learn in the webinar and how to watch it.
Before I get started, just want to let you know the sound quality may not be as sharp as what you’re used to. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy the episode.
From my perspective, now is actually a perfect time to start engaging with sales. If you are working with your sales team closely, fantastic! They are your BFFs! Try to enhance that relationship, if you will.
And there are three things I want to talk about and just to share with you in terms what are some of the best options to actually work with a sales team as a marketer. The first one is you need to think about modifying your product messaging and positioning. The second one is about revising your content based on the new positioning which is something I just talked about, and thirdly to take into account the current new formats of virtual communication.
Obviously sales love to do face to face. Now they can’t.
So they are forced to change and they use the new tools, and you need to understand how they use those tools and to better help them in terms of communication. Another one is to give them some love and give the strategic account the air cover to complement the sales engagement. So with that being said, let’s move on to the next slide.
And the couple examples I want to share with you in terms of modifying the product messaging and positioning that has a lot to do with the business strategy changes. For example, I’m a platinum member of United, and I got this message. And if you actually have flown United, you know that if you want to make any reservation changes, they charge you whopping $200, right? Doesn’t matter unless you pay three times of airfare otherwise you have to pay the reservation change fees and you can see the email I got was actually way before March 3, they basically said, “Hey, I know customers are looking for more flexibility as they make their travel plans right now,” which is true, right?
Everybody’s cancelling the travelling plans and the future reservation.
They basically said, “Guess what, if you book anything, anything at this time between March 3 and March 31st, you can change it for free for the next 12 months, it doesn’t matter your location destination the date, you can make the changes with no change fee.”
Same thing for Loom. The loom is actually a video platform. If you haven’t used them you should look into it. I love using Loom to make a quick video recording to share some of the feedback I have with my social media manager or even if I want to say a quick thank you to a potential prospect. I do a quick recording on Loom and I just send it out. It’s a wonderful and easy tool to use.
And the full Loom, they actually have a premium version of it. They also have a paid version which is the Pro. On the free, I call it premium or a free version of it, you can only record up to 25 videos. Now they actually change their free plan from 25 to unlimited and also cutting the price of lawn pro in half before it was $10. Now it’s $5. And they change the existing free trial from 14 days to 30 days. On top of it, this is the most important part, they know that all the teachers and also K to 12, and education institution, universities are doing everything online. So they are really working hard to make sure that the tool is available for teachers and students.
If you are a marketer for Loom, this is a business strategy change.
On top of it, you have to change your messaging, and the positioning of your product. The second thing that you have to change is the content, right? In the past, you were probably creating content horizontally that apply to all industry segments. Now with this specific direction change, you have to think through that some of the key content that you are going to create needs to be specifically tailored for teachers and students, and also K to 12 schools, universities and other educational institutions. As a marketer for Loom you need to think through, “oh, now with this direction changes, I need to think through in terms of the segments I need to go after to align with the product messaging, positioning, and also the vertical that sales team will go after”.
What does that mean to you? Well, obviously, for me, I’m a pro member, I’m actually going to get some of my money back and apply to next year. That’s great. So this is actually a very good email in terms of talking about the changes, and how the marketers modify the product messaging and the positioning changes, and at the same time, increase the pipeline. Does that make sense?
Now let’s move on to the next one.
And you probably said, “okay, Pam, that’s great, but that’s a B2C example.” Understood. Now I’m going to share with you in terms of B2B example: Sirius XM. And a lot of you probably have it. I’m actually a member as well. Obviously, consumers are probably the biggest portion and also revenue drivers. But they also have an offer for business right here on the upper right-hand corner, right?
When you click on that, this is the page that I show in terms of they obviously sell this specific product through the authorized resellers. They are working very closely with resellers and channel partners to sell this to businesses which are the right model. I see that as the right model for Sirius XM.
So with that being said, you can see that 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 they have six talking points or positionings to sell to businesses right before is probably monthly fee now is a low monthly fee. Maybe in the past, they actually have a long-term contract that you have to sign. Now they have no long term contract. Some messages are changing, and you need to make sure that your content and your messages align with the new direction to actually help educate the resellers.
So modifying existing or creating content is actually essential.
So how does that impact you? I mean, you will be like “oh, yeah, you know what, I do this all the time.” I totally understand. But engaging with sales you need to start observing and understanding how sales use the current online conferencing tools, right and then create a sales entry contents to align with that. And your demo videos, which are interactive content needs to be easily shareable and easily incorporated into the company’s online conferencing tool.
Another thing is very, very important is while you are creating content, just don’t create content and pass that to a sales team. Is it possible that you can buy in the right context and map your content through the different sales stages? So with that being said, that’s one thing that you need to pay attention to.
And the last one I want to talk about is the use of account-based marketing to provide air cover.
Now is the time that you need to stay very closely with a sales team, especially about their game plans. Maybe when they started their 2020, they have a very ambitious goal to actually go after new accounts. But now, with the current situation, they probably need to make adjustments between the existing versus new customer ratio, and you need to understand that because that will impact your demand generation goes, okay?
Another thing is the total sales revenue, annual revenue, they have to achieve (maybe) the same, but they probably make an adjustment between quarters in terms of what that revenue should be. Again, you need to understand that, and then you have to modify your demand generation goal accordingly.
Also, in terms of a sales pipeline, they are looking into the existing sales pipeline very, very closely. Whatever is in the pipeline, you probably look into it have a lot of thoughts and they are modifying and to determine what is actually the right plan to move forward. And they are going to have a multiple or more frequent sales, huddle meetings and you need to attend that just to stay close, right?
One more thing that you need to think about in terms of account-based marketing is a challenge or a difficult time in terms of how to rebalance your marketing outreach between the top of the funnel and also the bottom of the funnel accounts, communications.
Also, one more thing you will run into is in terms of the budget discussion, right.
And I was in the corporate world for a long period of time. I totally understand in a time like this, the first things that got cut are troubled budgets. The second thing got cut is a marketing budget, right? So you probably have to go through the 5% budget cut reduction scenario, 10% as well. And you need to look into it and see if you can maintain and salvage some of the marketing budgets. and one of the best ways to do that is to align with the sales goals.
Okay, so look into that and see if you can do what you can to make sure that you take care of your sales team and also maintain your marketing budget.
Hey, thank you so much for listening today. To see the whole webinar including Ryan’s portion, visit my YouTube channel. Ryan talks about different conferencing, interactive technologies and marketing tactics that you can leverage to keep the momentum. Really helpful information.
If you’d like to see the slides, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before I sign off, I want to acknowledge it’s a tough time for all of us. Honestly, it’s even tougher for independent consultants like me. Most of the speaking engagements are cancelled and the client engagements are put on hold, which is totally understandable. However, I take this opportunity to reflect, determine the next steps and to continue to do personalized outreach. And for some of you, I understand, I totally sympathize that working from home is very challenging, especially with young children.
I hope that you do find time to relax. If I can provide assistance in any possible way, or you simply just want to have a chat like a therapy session, please reach out anytime.
In the meantime, stay healthy and be safe. Take care.
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