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Post-COVID lead generation: What has changed? Everything!

It would be a mistake to ignore the new reality: The world has gone through an ordeal that has included a serious health threat, personal isolation, business on pause, new government regulation, cash infusion from the government, the close-down of trade shows, close-down and slow start-up of restaurants, and by the way—when we do meet prospects in person, we’re all wearing masks. So yes, life has changed. And of course that has an impact on B2B lead generation, as well.
Prospects are doing more on their own, but they also welcome human contact.
During the worst of COVID, we all feared for our loved ones and learned to work in isolation using our home resources. Coming up to speed with Zoom/Microsoft Teams/Google Hangouts, we realized that our information sources have changed. This is true of marketing and sales departments, but it is also true of your prospects. Prospects were used to looking over a cubicle wall to talk to a coworker or share an opinion about products and services under consideration. Over a cup of coffee they could ask their colleagues about vendors with whom they had positive or negative experiences. This kind of important communication has been missing from the past few months. Meanwhile, they have relied more than ever on visits to websites, web reviews, and emails from people they know.
Salespeople need to start a new conversation with their prospects.
And they may need new tools to do it. Some prospects are still good prospects, ready to pick up where they left off two months ago. Others are in a different place. Their budgets have been reallocated. Their priorities have shifted. Their needs have changed. Your salespeople need to understand where their prospects are today, so they can address the new needs and priorities. As marketers, we need to support this need with data collection, lead requalification, lead nurturing, and tighter integration between sales and marketing. As marketers, we need to develop new content that is relevant to our prospects so we can track (by the content they consume) where they are in the buying continuum.
When priorities shift, opportunities emerge!
Some prospects will want to put the purchase of your product or service on the back burner. Others will see it as more important and more urgent than ever. You need to understand how your lead funnel has changed. And you don’t have to do it alone: Ask your marketing agency to help.
Talk to an agency (like Verdi). From lead requalification to content development and lead nurture, we can help. For marketing automation that allows you to re-score and re-prioritize your old leads, identify new leads, build awareness at the top of the funnel and lead qualification at the spout, your marketing agency can help. If you’d like to understand how we think an agency should assist you in this post-COVID world, perhaps you need a 10-minute conversation with a Verdi representative who is hungry for human contact. Learn more.
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Post-COVID-19: How to use your marketing agency.

At this writing, it looks as if we are past the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re in the recovery stages, and it’s time to do some planning.
The first half of the year has slipped away, and we all have a lot of catching-up to do. As an agency, Verdi is here to help.
Let’s do the easy stuff first:
  1. Let’s rebuild and verify your lead funnel. We need to make sure your prospects are where they said they were four months ago. Has their contact information changed? Are they back to work, or are they working from home? Are they still interested in engaging with you? Don’t assume; be sure! The Verdi Group can do that for you. You can’t afford to lose any ground with your best prospects or waste time on those who have shifted. The sooner you know where they stand, the better you’ll be able to plan for the future.

     

  2. Meet with your agency to plan your third and fourth-quarter activity. Make sure you are comfortable with the tactics already under development. A lot has changed this quarter, and your plans need to be reviewed. A strategy session with your agency – even if you leave your plans unchanged – is well worth the couple of hours it will take, and you’ll enter the second half of the year with more confidence.
    Meet (online) with your agency team. The agency, with its position as an outside partner with a creative outlook,  can be a great asset to your planning and can bring a new perspective to your strategy. Long term, your goals will have changed, your prospects  and sales process need to change to reflect the new reality. This means that your marketing strategy should be adjusted to account for the cultural shift of fewer public events, working from home, and Zooming.

     

  3. With your marketing agency, take a hard look at your martech stack. Technology has advanced – making possible personalized custom content directed to the various members of your prospects’ buying influences. It’s now easy to assess engagement, buying intent, and readiness to buy. Some of this technology is useful, but other parts are costly and offer more hype than practical benefits.  Your agency can advise you on what is working and what may not be fully baked yet.

     

  4. Last – but not least – work with your agency to strengthen your relationship, to encourage them to become more collaborative with your team, and to help each other through these difficult times.

 
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John D. Clayton Featured again in RBJ!

Check out this article from last week’s Rochester Business Journal where our very own John D Clayton, SME in predictive analytics, discussed how analytics can help the construction industry by taking out the guesswork.

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