Marketing- the new normal

Dealing with Marketing
in the New Normal
In the past few months, it has felt very uncertain as to what the end result of lockdown and the pandemic may bring..... READ MORE


In the past few months, it has felt very uncertain as to what the end result of lockdown and the pandemic may bring.

At the start there was just sheer panic, I as a business owner was very uncertain about what the future would hold.

I have been pleasantly surprised and proud of the clients we work with and how they have adapted to the situation and how quickly they did it.

If you’re a business owner or marketer working from home with changing strategies and an uncertain future then you’re not alone.

In the past few months, it has felt very uncertain as to what the end result of lockdown and the pandemic may bring.

At the start there was just sheer panic, I as a business owner was very uncertain about what the future would hold.

I have been pleasantly surprised and proud of the clients we work with and how they have adapted to the situation and how quickly they did it.

If you’re a business owner or marketer working from home with changing strategies and an uncertain future then you’re not alone.

As marketers, we’ve had to adapt, get our hands dirty and  try to navigate the rapidly changing landscape and re-work our marketing plans to suit. And if you’re like many of us, then you’re asking yourself difficult questions like:

  • How will the new normal affect our customer’s buying behavior?

  • How should my new marketing budget look?

  • Without events, trade shows or in-person meetings, what media should I focus on?

Normally, events and trade shows make up a major portion of the budget. According to The 2018 Marketing Spend Decision Report, exhibitors estimated allocating roughly half of their marketing budgets to exhibitions, with the vast majority of that going to B2B (40.7%) exhibitions. Due to health and safety risks, event marketing has had to take a necessary pause.

Now we have to quickly change our strategy to match how our buyers are behaving.

The new normal means a shift in how we spend our budgets, resources and plans towards other approaches. Our marketing has to be rewritten day-by-day and this could be a change that will be around for quite some time. Digital media and social channels have started to be used by more and more business who had not thought about using these channels previously. This is an obvious replacement to help capture and engage with your customers.

I would like to talk about what tools we have available to help you best communicate with your customers during this period of time. First of all you need to get to know your customers behaviors.

Get to know your customer’s behaviors

There are various types of customers identified at this point. I found an article which I think quickly and well outlines consumer types at this moment. Source Post Beyond 2020

Slam-on-the-Brakes Consumers:

Feels the most vulnerable and hardest hit financially. This group reduces all types of spending by eliminating, postponing, decreasing, or substituting purchases. Although lower-income consumers typically fall into this segment, anxious higher-income consumers can as well.

Pained-But-Patient Consumers:

Tend to be resilient and optimistic about the long term but less confident about the prospects for recovery in the near term. Like slam-on-the-brakes consumers, they economize in all areas, though less aggressively. They constitute the largest segment and include the great majority of households unscathed by unemployment, representing a wide range of income levels.

Comfortably Well-Off Consumers:

Feel secure about their ability to ride out current and future bumps in the economy. They consume at near pre-recession levels, though now they tend to be a little more selective (and less conspicuous) about their purchases. The segment consists primarily of people in the top 5% income bracket. It also includes those who are less wealthy but feel confident about the stability of their finances.

Live-for-Today Consumers:

Carries on as usual and for the most part remains unconcerned about savings. The consumers in this group respond to the recession mainly by extending their timetables for making major purchases. Typically urban and younger, they are more likely to spend on experiences rather than stuff (with the exception of consumer electronics). They’re unlikely to change their consumption behavior unless they become unemployed.

Regardless of which group consumers belong to, we recommend prioritising consumption by sorting products and services into four categories:

  1. Essentialsare necessary for survival or perceived as central to well-being.
  2. Treatsare indulgences whose immediate purchase is considered justifiable.
  3. Postponablesare needed or desired items whose purchase can be reasonably put off.
  4. Expendablesare perceived as unnecessary or unjustifiable.


  1. Consumer Segments’ Changing Behavior

Marketing online looks to benefit

All companies now need to reassess their marketing strategy.

You have to continuously seek to provide value to their customers while demonstrating empathy and strength during uncertain times.

Currently, there are many companies that have not tried digital or social media channels while some are now taking their first steps. For companies that have already adapted to online and social, they recognize the cost efficiencies compared to traditional marketing.

Digital native marketers can quantifiably justify their spending and what activities can continue to support organic growth.

When times are positive and moving forward, it’s easier to experiment with different marketing strategies and tactics – the assumption being that some may yield while some fall flat. Uncertainty is an opportunity to look at all your tactics and channels on a case-by-case basis and reduce poor performing or low-yield methods.

Every pound is now under scrutiny.

There will be no wiggle room in targeting people who may not have an interest in your product or services. When assessing your marketing strategy, it’s critical to monitor how customers have shifted their business priorities, budgets and redefine what value means to them.

Invest in marketing channels that can help connect and engage customers.

Here are seven channels to consider for your marketing strategy

As mentioned earlier, now is the time to focus on marketing strategies and tactics that are high yielding.

When you’re re-evaluating your marketing strategy, think about both short-term and long-term goals. Make sure any necessary budget or resource budgets don’t hinder performance in the unforeseeable future.

Put your customer’s needs at the forefront and pivot your strategies, tactics and product releases in response to the shifting demand.

Review the various channels you have or haven’t used from websites and press releases to webinars and social media. Nimble marketing teams that can adapt quickly and decisively will likely flourish when everything gets back to normal.

Strengthening your focus on online and social media channels will help normalize your marketing during uncertain times and even provide an edge to the competition which may be slower to adapt.

Review and adopt these high yielding strategies for your adjusted marketing strategy:

  1. Webinars and Virtual Events

Instead of in-person events, repurpose resources for online or virtual events. Many companies such as Forrester SiriusDecisionsOutreach and Adobe Summit 2020 have all gone virtual out of concern for the health and safety of our customers, partners, employees and communities.

Platforms such as GoToWebinarON24 or Zoom can provide an opportunity to still online events and meet-ups virtually.

Although it can never replace face-to-face interactions, there are still many opportunities to engage other attendees. Learn from their peers, connect with like-minded individuals and keep up with the latest industry insights – done in the safety of your home office.

  1. Content Marketing

Add new content topics to address today’s situation and provide education. Share positive stories, innovation or news that your company is working on. Perform a content audit during slow periods to improve your overall content performance. SearchEngineJournal provides actionable tips on how to track articles and what to look for when evaluating your content.

  1. Social Media

Engage followers across various social networks. Leverage Twitter polls, chats and live updates to inform and engage your followers. Update your audience on LinkedIn with video content which will humanize the experience. Join live discussions on Twitter similar to what Social Media Today has done with #SMTLive.

Use social listening tools to get a feel on what your customers are talking about and how they’re reacting to the current situation. Leverage more one-to-one social media interactions because human engagement is still necessary for a time when face-to-face meetings can’t be done.

  1. Website Chatbots

Chatbots have risen to popularity and are a useful tool in your marketing strategy.

Optimize your website by using conversational marketing chatbots such as Intercom or Drift to interact live with website visitors. You can use chatbots for various scenarios such as helping visitors find information about your product, answer any inquiries or provide opportunities to engage with a sales member.

  1. Video

Engage your audience through video marketing. It’s not difficult to understand why video is such an important format for marketing.

Video is engaging, easy-to-digest and can also be shared across multiple platforms. During the downtime, identify how you can create or repurpose content in video format. Instead of a written case study, turn it into a video. Once a webinar is complete, upload the video and continue to use that content.

Try engaging your potential customers through using personalized videos through Vidyard or Wistia which to humanize their outreach.

  1. Lead Nurturing

This could be the most important strategy during a downturn because it helps you stay in consistent contact with potential customers. In short, it helps you educate potential customers through thought leadership content while maintaining a strong relationship.

Companies who excel at lead nurture generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost according to Forrester Research. Considering a downturn, building trust is important for when they are ready to make a purchase decision.

  1. Customer Stories and Testimonials

Social proof is one of the biggest forces in marketing. This is also an opportunity for you to re-examine how you use case studies, customer reviews and testimonials in every touchpoint of your customer’s journey.

Leverage websites such as G2 or TrustRadius to gather customer testimonials and think about which content pieces, webinars, website resources need more social proof.

Final thoughts

No one can predict what will happen in the near future, however, we can work on what we can control and improve our odds of weathering this crisis. The only thing we can be sure of is the unpredictability that’s happening. As marketers, we can still take steps to offer stability to both our organization and our customers.

Companies should use this time to double down on connecting with their potential buyers and current customers. During downturns, buyers will re-assess their level of caution which impacts decision-making and budget.

However, you can help mitigate the risk by opening up channels of communication, enhancing visibility and building trust with customers. Buyer beliefs and values will be shifted and you have to adapt. Let this uncertainty be an opportunity to adjust your marketing strategy and write a new chapter in your marketing playbook.