Hyperbolic change mandates a new reality. The days of annual marketing plans that are written in August, presented in September, finalized in November and executed from January to December are gone. Here’s our guide to managing change for B2B marketers.
Learning more by learning more
We are long past the time of “this is the way we’ve always done it,” finally! It’s time to test, fail, learn and improve to be more than something that we talk about for next year. Organizations that thrive will live in a constant state of learning and embrace the unknown as an opportunity to better serve customers and respond to their needs.
Go strategy-light, execution-heavy and learn from your customers about how they like to respond. Challenge yourself and challenge your agency to see how quickly an idea can get in market. If something previously took you 6 weeks and $60,000, see if you can do it in 2 weeks for $10,000.
Budgets are buckets to create responsive flexibility
For far too long, companies have used budgets to lock in activities and force marketing activities that aren’t necessarily valid. Trade shows and other rinse-and-repeat activities have been killing the credibility and efficacy of marketing leaders and departments. The “new new” demands that resources are available to find and respond to opportunities vs. locked in, rote actions.
Set larger, long term organizational goals but think short term about how you are going to achieve them. If you are still doing full-year planning, try doing it in 90-day increments instead. This will allow you to respond to changing market dynamics in real time without feeling like you are throwing an entire year’s worth of work away. When something is working, you can always extend the program another 90-days.
Done is better than perfect
Building on the idea above, the rate of change is too fast and marketers need to be set up to respond to the pace of communication. Now more than ever you need a tight, insight-driven brief that gives your agency direction to respond quickly.
Client-side marketing leaders should empower smaller teams within your organization to get these quick-to-market programs live and challenge them to bring the learnings back to the broader organization.
Respond to demand vs. creating demand
Right now the best short term strategy could be to be reactive instead of proactive. The sheer amount of change that is happening in the market is creating new market opportunities and marketers need to be prepared to respond. Products that are heavily demanded require advertising strategies that meet the customer where and when they have demand.
At PTP we talk a lot about brands over time, sales overnight. Now is the time to find programs to put the sales overnight mentality to work. Set up that Amazon storefront or trial e-commerce for a few products. Test new channels like paid social, start a referral program or promote & host a webinar. You’ll be surprised at how quickly some of these channels can be enacted, how much you’ll learn in the process and the immediate revenue impact they can generate.
As an agency – we are looking at ways to move faster everyday to work with you to get ideas in market and change your business. This is a fun time to be pushing the envelope, trying new things and learning a ton. Set up a complimentary “new ideation session” with me.