Article | August 13, 2020
Together with the evolution of buying processes and consumer behavior, the way marketing and sales teams function has also undergone a massive shift.Today, the key to B2B success boils down to strategically aligning both teams.An important element of alignment comes in the form of quality content that Marketing equips Sales with and focuses on educating and engaging prospects and guiding them down the funnel.However, it's alarming to note that 65% of sales reps say they can't find content to send to prospects. And that's where you as a marketer can come in to bridge the gap by creating valuable content that empowers sales representatives to accelerate the sales process.
Article | February 10, 2021
It’s common for brands to become stagnant, rooted in their ways and too set on a specific course which restricts their ability to adapt to change. It is the classic example of the “That’s the way we do things around here” mentality.
But over time, competition increases, markets develop and consumer needs shift. Consequently, very few industries have remained static over the past year let alone the last decade, which has created an urgent need for businesses to evolve.
This notion is backed by Matthew Hayes, Managing Director of Champions (UK) plc, a strategy-led growth agency in the brand, digital and communications space. In this piece, he explains how digging up a business’ roots can actually help sow the seeds for a successful future.
Letting go of your roots
Resistance to change is one of the greatest barriers to a business’s long-term success. This resistance is often the result of a business becoming too attached to its roots, which can sometimes be so deep that they begin to act as an anchor, weighing the business down rather than enabling its growth.
These roots can be categorised as values, goals and characteristics of a business that define how it operates, the messages it communicates, the way in which it conveys them, as well as how consumers perceive the brand.
But as times change, it is common for business roots to become outdated and unsuitable for the current commercial climate. And as a result, businesses begin to face difficulties in keeping customers engaged and in turn, achieving a profitable financial return. To see this in practice, we only need to look at the demise of some the biggest named brands in recent times.
For example, the Arcadia Group is one of the latest victims of digital transformation, a trend that has been gradually impacting the retail space in recent years, and that has only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The digital shift has been led due to the need to meet changing consumer expectations and behaviours, with online sales are increasing year on year, and even more customers are expected to be shopping with a digital-first perspective following the pandemic and its related disruption.
Instead of responding to the change in the market and embracing online opportunities, businesses operating as part of Arcadia Group continued to do things as they had always done. And it was this lack of focus on their digital offering, particularly when compared to competitors such as PrettyLittleThing, boohoo and Asos, that ultimately resulted in their commercial downturn.
Although not so great for the individuals effected in the process, the case offers other businesses a vital lesson in the importance of letting go of outdated roots and adapting to change.
Taking a risk
But due to the deep-rooted nature of such characteristics, there is a perceived risk involved with letting them go. It’s understandable as it will no doubt involve a significant change to business as usual. But, any risks can be mitigated if businesses take a strategic approach in their decision to make change.
For instance, by undertaking branding exercises, such as a brand audit and the formalisation of a value proposition, stakeholders can gain an in-depth understanding of the business’s current position, its offering and their consumers’ expectations, through the creation of audience personas and its market via detailed industry insights and competitor analysis. From here, there will be a clear view of which aspects are not appropriate for the current commercial landscape, and where there will be opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your labour once change has been implemented.
Once a new proposition has been established in theory, it then needs a detailed project plan to role it out in a practice, combined with an effective communications strategy. Taking a look at an example from our own experience. We rebranded Delta Global, a packaging provider for luxury retailers that, at the time, was doing great things with regard to innovation, technology and sustainability but was failing from a branding perspective to communicate its capabilities in those areas.
Our branding exercises helped to redefine the business’s values, creating a four pillar model that communicates them much more clearly. Formed of innovation, sustainability, luxury and ecommerce, clients and stakeholders can now, at a glance, understand exactly what the business does and how it does it.
And to ensure the business and its position only benefited from the activity, it was complemented with a robust communications strategy. This gained the brand exposure in industry-leading titles, including Forbes, WWD and The Sunday Times, as well as a greater presence across social media channels.
This helped mitigate the risk of unsuccessful change through use of effective communication targeted at new audiences, existing customers and internal stakeholders, who now understand the new direction but also be on board with it.
Is change always necessary?
In short, no. Change for the sake of change can actually be just as damaging to a brand as staying consistent. This is because sometimes, the deep-rooted characteristics of the business form a vital part of the audience’s understanding of the brand and its offering.
This might include family-run business values or branding elements that are connected to the location a business was founded in, for example. Often, it’s unlikely that these elements will be hindering the business’s growth potential, but are instead, adding value to it by acting as a USP and differentiating it from the competition.
However, in these cases, while the message does not need to change, the way in which it is communicated might, as often, it is the methods of message delivery that become outdated. For example, this might mean making better use of online marketing channels such as social media, content creation, SEO and email promotions to support both online and offline activities.
It’s all about making well thought out changes in order to remain relevant, rather than constantly altering your messages and offerings, which could actually cause confusion and disconnect between the brand and its consumers.
Ultimately, businesses need a solid footing upon which they can build on. But while these foundations are important for business growth, like a tree’s roots, some often go off at a tangent and become stuck in the past, anchoring the brand to where it used to be rather than allowing it to move forward into the future.
Put simply, if you don’t evolve, you die.
Article | June 28, 2021
Social media marketing post-pandemic strategies have become a boon for marketers delivering positive ROI. More than 73% of marketers believe that social media marketing has been very effective for their business in 2021.
More than 41.3% of businesses reported that they were temporarily closed in the US because of the pandemic. Moreover, COVID-19 affected the businesses so that various industries such as hospitality, pharmacy, finance and insurance, education, etc., had to terminate their employees. As a result, more than 20.6 million people lost their job in the US, causing an unemployment rate of 14.7%.
Now, when the situation is getting better, marketers have changed their approach. They have transformed their strategy towards every kind of marketing. Social media marketing needs to be transformed in terms of campaign planning, content marketing, SEO, technological support, etc. Over 3.6 billion people use social media globally, and the number is expected to increase to 4.41 billion in 2025.
Some significant points can help you to strategize your social media marketing. Let’s have a look at them.
Follow the Trends
While implementing social media marketing, you should be aware of the latest trends in it. For example, Instagram has unique features such as IGTV and Instagram stories. On IGTV, you can share a lengthy video. It assists marketers the facility to come up with longer video content. Instagram stories features are available for 24 hours. You can view it many times within 24 hours. You can share some fruitful information or announcements or ask plenty of questions to keep your target audience engaged. It has location stickers, hashtags, polls, emojis, etc. Similarly, Snapchat has Lenses, Geofilter, Snap Map, and so on.
Keep Approaching Strategically and Innovatively
As people are stuck at home owing to COVID-19, they are hyperactive on social media. An average user spent 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on social media. As a result, marketers believe that it has become quite tough to persuade your target audience to buy your products or services. You can only influence them when you have researched the market profoundly and designed the campaign strategically. An innovative and strategic approach consists of persistency, measurable steps, relevancy, competitive analysis, buyer’s persona resulting in brand awareness, brand credibility, and customer satisfaction.
Don’t Miss Out on the Top Platforms
There are various social media platforms where businesses approach. Facebook is the most prevalent platform amongst users aged between 12 to 34 years. It has more than 2.74 billion active users, followed by YouTube 2.291 billion, WhatsApp 2 billion, and Instagram 1.221 billion users. For a marketer, it is essential to be present on the most used platforms as they already have a crowd, and you need to let them know about your products or services.
Experiment with Coupons & Offers
As industries begin to reopen, the best way to reach your audience is to provide them with some coupons or offers. You can certainly influence them by giving them offers. You can announce those offers on different social media channels. Multiple industries can implement this idea. When a customer finds some valuable product with discounts, they automatically get attracted towards it. Add discounts to leads forms, keep time-restriction, and create a customer reward program. These things can improve your coupon or offers marketing strategy and take it to the next level.
Don’t Prioritize too Many Sales
Unquestionably, it’s vital to increase the sale of your product or services. Therefore, you are in business, after all. But, you must take care that the point is not just to sell but also to take care of your customers as they recover from COVID-19. So, while offering value to your customers, you can continue with your win-win strategy. The customers or your target audience need to understand that the relationship you have or carry with them is beyond sales.
Social Media Analytics
Are you aware of finding out social media trends? Do you know what your target audience or consumers expect from you? There are multiple social media analytics software that can help you find out audience analysis, competitive research, and product research. Social media analytics plays a critical role which provides strategic marketing information. The fundamental of social media analytics is collecting and evaluating marketing and audience data to decide your business decisions. It is a sure way to elevating your marketing operations and product strategy.
Video Content Marketing
Video content is used by 87% of online marketers. Video content is more appreciated and valued by the consumers as they provide them with statistics, infographics, emotional content, and valuable content within less time. Providing the said content via a mode of video increases the viewer engagement. This marketing tool is educational, informative, and resourceful.
The majority of online users consume video content daily, identifying and targeting these viewers as potential consumers and designing the strategy to maximize engagement by targeting specific audiences accordingly.
Your social media marketing post-pandemic strategy is nothing without content. The quality of the content should be your utmost priority. Whether it is in text format, video, or something else, it should be taken care of innovatively and strategically. Approximately 67% of B2B marketers believe that content quality, consistency, and engaging content play a huge role in audience decision-making. Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to enhance audience engagement, brand identification, customer satisfaction, generate more leads, and save money. The high-quality content comprises research, qualitative and quantitative information, content forms, content scoring, niche, etc. High-quality content works as a catalyst for social media marketing post-pandemic.
Get the Right Platforms for Your Business
Utilizing multiple channels for your business is essential. Still, as a marketer, you must know which channel gives you a favorable response in terms of customers’ engagement, profitability, brand recognition, etc. Here is a summary.
Approach towards a variety of social media platforms should be designed distinctively.
Analyzing the various consumers on different platforms is essential and advisable. These benefits in creating the content marketing strategies accordingly.
Categorizing and identifying the best possible and successful mode of reaching the consumer/viewer is essential for maximum involvement.
The flow of the targeted audience towards your website/platform helps generate profit, grow the business, and help develop consumer satisfaction.
Social media marketing post-pandemic has been transforming day by day; therefore, businesses need to adopt some changes earlier mentioned in this article. However, those strategic ideas can be very fruitful if executed sophisticatedly and calculatingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should every business use social media post-pandemic?
Due to the pandemic, screen time has increased, resulting in maximum usage of social media, which is one of the most effective and successful platforms to enhance brand identification, client satisfaction, sales generation, and customer engagement.
How social media help businesses during COVID-19?
It is cost-effective compared to print media marketing, where it saves time, involvement and performs progressively.
Why is social media so crucial for every business?
Social media helps businesses finding out their target audience, market research, and build brand credibility.
"name": "Why should every business use social media post-pandemic?",
"text": "Due to the pandemic, screen time has increased, resulting in maximum usage of social media, which is one of the most effective and successful platforms to enhance brand identification, client satisfaction, sales generation, and customer engagement."
"name": "How social media help businesses during COVID-19?",
"text": "It is cost-effective compared to print media marketing, where it saves time, involvement and performs progressively."
"name": "Why is social media so crucial for every business?",
"text": "Social media helps businesses finding out their target audience, market research, and build brand credibility."
Article | March 11, 2020
The addition of artificial intelligence (AI) to the traditional marketing ecosystem can help businesses leverage real-time customer interactions to automate routine tasks and personalize responses to convert more leads. Many tools in the marketing tech stack including marketing automation, customer relationship management systems and content management platforms incorporate AI to some degree already, and it is becoming more pervasive. AI is already being applied by many B2B marketers with substantial success. According to the most recent Gartner Marketing Technology Survey, marketing leaders rated AI as their first choice of emerging technologies that will have the greatest positive impact on marketing over the next five years. The growing use of automated chatbots, text and other tailored marketing messages all require a strong AI foundation to provide a more human-like interaction, the report noted.