Global Views: Post-Lockdown Marketing (Part 2)

Welcome to Just Global’s content series: Global Views. The focus of each edition of Global Views will be centered around one topic that the marketing and advertising industry is facing. 

Re-Entry to IRL

It’s hard to imagine a world “post-COVID” as many nations are still struggling with the immediate effects of the global pandemic. However, with the onset of vaccination roll outs and adapted societal behavior, many people are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

So, what happens now? In Part 1 of this feature we explored the interpersonal skills and attitudes for the future. We’ll now dive into some technical understandings across Search, Social, Demand Generation and the consideration set of B2B decision-makers.

Search & Social

Google search trends shows that overall growth in search demand for B2B technology categories has accelerated 20% YoY in March. Yet, compared to four weeks ago, collaboration software decelerated to 55% (from 73%) and Teleconferencing decelerated to 111% (from 189%) while Business Intelligence Software searches went from 17% to 54%. What can brands learn from search and social trends that will help maintain growth throughout 2021?

Manger, Search & Social

Privacy has been a major topic on the forefront of everybody’s mind in 2020, and that’s not going away. This past year has changed marketing forever.

Platforms will now rely more heavily on on-platform data, third-party audiences and how platforms collect or report on data. It looks like we’re moving closer and closer to finding a better way to look at multi-platform attribution. 

Brands should be taking what they’ve learned from their core audiences this past year and apply them to industries that they know will be in hybrid or permanent work from home environments to maintain growth in teleconferencing and collaboration software.”

Demand Generation

One of the most critical adjustments B2B brands made to their media mix was finding digital lead generation solutions to replace event marketing. Do you think B2B brands that found success with digital channels will keep them in their media plans? A return to in-person events for lead generation? A combination of both?  

When COVID-19 first entered our lives, there was a lot of panic in marketing departments. Many scrambled to find a home for the portion of their demand gen budget, usually dedicated to in-person events, without knowing if they were making the correct decision or not.

The goals CMOs placed on their teams did not go away, if anything there was more pressure than ever to keep going despite the goings-on in the world, and being forced to find a new channel mix which would equal pre-pandemic results caused anxiety.

Anything digital like programmatic, social and SEM were clear winners while OOH and in-person events were, and still to a large extent, decimated. Fast forward a bit of a year later and we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Demand generation teams are now going to be tasked with figuring out if they return to their pre-pandemic ways or did the changes being forced on them work?

In my opinion, there is not one singular answer. Each team has to look closely at the numbers. Do those numbers tell them they need to get back to having in-person events or that the extra cost they had been incurring to produce those events was not paying out? The numbers and only the numbers can tell the story and determine the best path forward for a marketer being held to, well, numbers.”

Business Operations

According to a recent survey by McKinsey, companies reported that COVID-19 has accelerated their adoption of digitizing their internal operations and client relations by three to four years. They also found that the process of adopting digital platforms was 40 times faster than expected – prior to the pandemic, the implementation of digital products would take more than a year whereas at the height of remote working, companies have implemented use of digital solutions within a few months. As an operational leader for an international B2B business (Just Global!) – did you also experience a heightened need for digital workplace solutions? If so, what are the most important factors you consider before investing in digital platform solutions for our business? Are those the same factors that you consider when evaluating whether to renew those platform subscriptions? 

Frauke Cast

Head of Business Operations

Nothing becomes more frustrating to users if they have multiple platforms that can do the same or if the platform slows down work by either a clunky UI or a slow processing time.

Thankfully we had a lot of platforms and IT requirements already in place when the pandemic started. That clearly gave us a head-start. But it quickly became obvious that we needed more clearly defined processes around existing digital platforms.

I do see faster and better adoption of digital platforms since we all started working remotely. The quick chat with the coworker about how to use a platform is now replaced with a note on a Slack channel, which brings the question and answer to a broader audience. It also shows a sense of “we are in this together” and encourages users to ask questions.

When choosing a new digital platform or reviewing existing ones for renewal, it’s important to consider the business need; ensuring improvement or upgrade to existing platforms (if replacement) – new or better functionality; better UI; better integration with existing platforms; minimize overlap with other platforms; and costs. Nothing becomes more frustrating to users if they have multiple platforms that can do the same or if the platform slows down work by either a clunky UI or a slow processing time.

Want to learn more about marketing post-lockdown? Read Part 1 of this Global Views feature.
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