How Leading B2B Companies are Shifting Digital Marketing Strategies

During these unprecedented times, it may make sense to change the course of your digital marketing strategy. After all, prospects are shifting priorities as they cope with uncertainty and work remotely from home. The good news? Everyone’s online.

Many companies that allocated marketing spend on live events are now doubling down on digital marketing. According to a survey conducted by B2B Marketing Zone and Webbiquity LLC, 39% of marketers expect to reallocate event marketing dollars to the digital realm, spending on areas such as content creation, online events, search marketing, and website engagement. 

There’s been a lot of change in a short time. But B2B companies are rising to the challenge. We’ve seen many companies nimbly adapt their digital marketing strategies so they can continue to build pipeline and support their customers. 

Here are a few examples of how companies are effectively adapting their digital marketing efforts to connect with customers and prospects right now.

1. SaaStr went fully remote with a digital summit

A lot of time and effort goes into a live event, so it’s disappointing when these can’t come to fruition. Rather than give up on events entirely, consider going fully remote.

SaaStr’s conference is a huge event that brings together leaders from companies like Zendesk, Twilio, Atlassian, Slack, Salesforce, and many more. This year’s conference was originally scheduled for late March in San Jose, CA, but was canceled due to COVID-19.

Rather than throw in the towel, SaaStr held a fully remote summit on April 22. Not only did this provide an opportunity for attendees to learn from some of the best minds in SaaS, but it was also extremely well-attended. SaaStr reported that 16,000 individuals tuned in. Many of the speakers talked directly about the ongoing crisis, as well.

How leading b2b companies are shifting strategies: digital events
SaaStr is one of many in-person events that shifted gears to a virtual summit

What you can learn from SaaStr:

If you had your heart set on a live event, don’t give up. You can still bring together your community virtually. 

2. Salesforce and Dropbox introduced new products and features to support their customers

Are there any new products or features you can offer that would be particularly helpful to your customers right now? 

Salesforce introduced Work.com, a suite of apps to help companies manage the crisis. Work.com is set to help businesses reopen safely with a suite of apps, services, and expertise as a guide.

How leading b2b companies are shifting strategies: product offerings
Salesforce launched Work.com, a suite of apps, content and services to help companies reopen the workplace

Similarly, Dropbox rolled out a number of updates to help their customers collaborate while working remotely. These updates included features like saving Zoom meetings, new people pages, and locking shared files.

How leading b2b companies are shifting strategies: product specific offerings
Dropbox packaged up features that would help customers succeed while working from home

What you can learn from Salesforce and Dropbox:

Offering product and feature updates provides customers with what they need, ensures that you’re relevant, and keeps you top-of-mind.

3. SBA Funding used Conversational Marketing to instantly connect with customers on their website

SBA Funding helps package and place loans for small, independent businesses. When the Payment Protection Program (PPP) was rolled out in early April, a loan designed to incentivize businesses to keep their workers on payroll, SBA Funding needed a quick and efficient way to answer customer questions. They shifted their Conversational Marketing strategy on their website; they went beyond their standard welcome greeting and invited visitors to connect instantly with their team about PPP. During this time, their volume of website conversations spiked by 6X, proving the value of this tailored PPP messaging. 

How leading b2b companies are shifting strategies: conversational marketing
SBA Funding used Conversational Marketing to connect with small businesses about PPP loans in real time, right on their site

What you can learn from SBA Funding:

Now’s the time to double down on your website experience. Conversational Marketing opens the door for instant conversations with your customers and prospects, right on your site. Use this channel right now to stay connected to your customers and maintain momentum in your pipeline.

4. Samsara, BetterUp, and Asana created valuable content

Many companies are creating valuable content  that can help their prospects and customers not just survive, but thrive during this time. If you can identify what your audience is hungry to know, then supply that information, you’ll gain a lot of trust. 

Samsara has created blog content specifically for fleet management during COVID-19, Asana compiled their best remote working resources and emailed them to customers, and BetterUp hosted a series of live shows with inspirational speakers.

How leading b2b companies are shifting strategies: blog content
Samsara delivered helpful blog content to answer customer questions

All of this content is different– targeted directly to each company’s prospects and customers– but it all has the same aim of providing genuinely helpful information during a time of uncertainty. 

What you can learn from Samsara, BetterUp, and Asana:

There’s always an opportunity to help! Content marketing allows you to provide resources to prospects in their time of need.

5. RollWorks created an outbound campaign and timely ebook

RollWorks’ sales and marketing teams delivered highly personalized 1:1 emails and phone calls driving traffic to a timely ebook called Marketing Plan B: 8 Tactics to Build Demand in a Down Economy

How leading b2b companies are shifting strategies: ebook and outbound
RollWorks launched a timely ebook and outbound campaign

The sales team at RollWorks sent personalized messages to prospects, acknowledging the amount of COVID-19 messages in their inbox, and offering a potential answer (in the form of an ebook) to some of their questions. The emails were personalized and came from individual sales reps. Here's a snippet of their outbound email messaging:

...B2B marketers are hungry to figure out their marketing plan B. And we all know that plan B needs to be specific, quick to execute, and differentiated. So our team created Marketing Plan B: 8 Tactics to Build Demand in a Down Economy. This guide may not be the answer, but it is an answer. In this quick read, we share 8 specific tactics (plus some no-cost growth hacks) to adjust to and maybe even thrive in this new normal.

What you can learn from RollWorks:

You don’t have to pause your sales efforts right now. Rather, make sure they’re tailored to what your prospects are going through.

Wrap Up

It can be tough to adapt, especially when there was a marketing plan in place for the year. However, adapting to the current moment by offering new products, providing support, and creating new resources will help you gain trust from your prospects and customers. 

In creating this post, we found many examples of B2B companies that have shifted their digital marketing strategies to be as relevant as possible for the present moment. If you’re looking to double-down on your website and have more conversations with your prospects and customers right now, Conversational Marketing is worth exploring. 

Posted on
May 14, 2020
by
Hung Truong

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