Let me guess – your budget has been slashed to a number so low you’ve never thought you could work with or have even seen before. Sales are slow, so certain strategies and budget lines are being cut. Don’t panic. It’s not the end of the world. After all, let’s put on your marketing strategy hat for a moment. Yes, you’ve. got. this.
BUDGET: Two things to get started:
1) Review what your budget should have been versus what it is now. Knowing what you’re starting with will help you re-work the marketing plan you completed for 2020 for the new, post-COVID 2020.
2) Look at any spending on programs and campaigns that would have been, but is no longer needed or applicable. Is there an event that was canceled? Travel is halted, so is there spend that can be re-allocated to something else?
THE INTERNET: Yes, it’s kinda a big deal (has always been, but now more than ever)
If you still have a sales team, even if they are bare-bones, they still need leads. How can you generate these leads and keep the team busy generating profits? Finding that – now that’s your secret sauce.
Luckily, there is one thing that has been changing the world for some time now but it seemingly appears for some to have only happened overnight: the reliance on online communication. If your grandparents never got online, chances are they figured it out during COVID. And that’s the point of this – where IS everyone? You guessed it – online.
THE SALES FUNNEL: Lead generation and awareness – now
No matter what your vertical is, no matter what your product is, there is a relevant angle you can take to fuel sales now and/or post-COVID. Did you know that YouTube is the #2 search engine in the WORLD? Yep. Doctors who aren’t performing elective surgeries – do you know where they are right now? Yep. Online. Actually, they are on YouTube (followed by LinkedIn).
So, remember that “found” money we talked about at the beginning of the article? Guess where it should be placed – online into digital advertising, blogs, videos, etc.
BRINGING THE OFFLINE ONLINE: Bridge the gap – for less.
B2C: If you don’t have e-commerce…wait, you DON’T have e-commerce?!
Bridging the gap between the online and offline worlds is crucial right now. For those brick-and-mortar businesses that rely on foot traffic, e-commerce is a MUST. Simply start by setting up a small store. Just a few of your most popular products. Run some Facebook ads. Even better, put together some short videos with your staff. Authenticity is everything, so the videos don’t have to be blockbusters. They should: tell the story of the product, why someone needs the product, how to purchase, and they should be, you guessed it, authentic. Have some awesome customers that wouldn’t mind recording a short 15-30 second testimonial on their phone for you? Great! Post it.
B2B: Stuck at home…and perfectly ready to close some quality leads!
Obstacle: The sales team can’t make their rounds or their calls, so the funnel is drying up.
Are you in the B2B world right now and your sales team is stalled because they can’t go make their rounds? Not to worry – you can still drive leads with LinkedIn and YouTube ads. Send the users to a landing page, collect leads, and have the sales team follow up and close the leads. We can get the digital “hook” in the right customer through targeting. That ensures that your ad is shown to the right person at the right time. No more cold sales calls that “bother” the office staff. The ad simply appears in their feed “naturally” so they can engage at their leisure.
A MATH MOMENT: Don’t worry, it’s not calculus…
Think about this: Say you usually send a sales team to a conference once a year for two days. You spend an astronomical amount of the budget on staff, booth space, decor, meals, travel, hotel rooms, marketing/promo materials, etc. For hypothetical reasons, let’s just say you get 10 new leads and 5 of them close. Each lead is valued at $20K so you raked in $100K from the event and probably just covered the cost of the event (we’re not taking into account up-selling here – just the basics). Remember, as well, that hundreds of potential leads probably walked by your booth without engaging…
Now think about this – say you take even just half that total spend to create some product videos or promo reels, take some great photos and then use the new assets to create and push out ads, blogs, emails, etc. digitally for a few months (we recommend a minimum three-month campaign to really see results). Now, because you were able to target more directly to the right customer, you bring in 10 new leads and 8 of them close; $160K. Then, the next month, those 8 new leads have recommended your product or service, and your ads bring in 8 more leads and 6 close; $120K. Now you’re up to 16 new deals in two months and $280K for half of what you would have spent at the conference for two days that only brought in $100K. ????
THE REAL DEAL: Sales is here to stay, it will just be different thanks to a shift in marketing strategies
I’m not saying that in-person sales are a thing of the past. But, in-person sales are going to become more of a follow-on to the online experience. The sales team still has to close the deal and make the connection to do so. As a marketer, you’re just providing them a much more vetted, quality lead that is already expressed an interest in your product based on the strategic content you’ve created and used for targeted campaigns.
FOR THE WIN: Sales closed on the quality leads generated by a targeted marketing campaign that lives where the customer is: online.
Now, the sales team can work their magic for an up-sell, and continue to check on the client to further strengthen the relationship. In the meantime, you are reviewing the campaign success, making tweaks here and there based on analytics and feedback from sales and further strengthening the message. That’s the beauty of digital – cost, flexibility, and transparency thanks to data.
And, when safe, the sales team will feel comfortable visiting the business in-person since they have established the relationship already. It’s a win for your budget, strategy, sales team, and finding the right mix of spend and content will most definitely be your company’s secret sauce in 2020.