Why Marketing Is So Critical Now It is unbelievable that it is almost a year since the Covid pandemic hit and the country went into its first lockdown. What a year; offices shut, face to face customer meetings put on hold and many companies feeling the full force of totally unanticipated events. I am a great believer in looking for positives. It is so easy to find someone or something to blame and have a list as long as your arm of why things can’t happen. Whereas we have not experienced a situation like the past twelve months before, in the technology sector we are no strangers to change. For many of us we have faced economic recessions before and managed to come out the other end stronger; we have seen inflection points in terms of technology innovation or customer needs and have managed to adapt our businesses to capitalise on these. Covid is no different; we can either lock down, or break out. Personally, I believe the latter is the right approach. Redefining Engagement Interaction with customers and potential customers is fundamental to business success. If you don’t keep close to your customers, you risk them churning. If you are not continually engaging with new organisations, you will struggle to develop opportunities to grow your business. It is unlikely that we will return this year to being able to attend events, meet with customers as freely as we did in the past, or to fully return to office-based working. We need to face up to this and find a way to redefine or reimagine the all-important ‘engagement’ that is critical for business success. I believe there are two areas that organisations need to be prioritising right now. First is adjusting their propositions and positioning to align to what their target market needs right now, and second is finding effective ways of engaging with these audiences. Both of these areas require a focus on marketing. For those of you who already have a marketing function in place, it is time for this to step up, fill some of the gaps that have been created and be effective. For those of you who have not really had to focus on marketing, then I believe this has just changed and it is most certainly the time to view marketing as critical to your future. Establishing Your Position It is not just travel companies that have seen a fundamental change in the needs and priorities of their customers; any organisation providing solutions and services to businesses have seen changes also. What was viewed as important pre-pandemic may not be relevant now and there is a whole host of new priorities that have been created. This is a catalyst for change. Take a look at the markets you serve. Ask the question if they are the right markets and then understand what their needs and priorities are today. What are their “Pain Points” that they need help to address? What are the “Gain Factors” they are looking to make? Just a subtle change in the way you position what you do and how you help, could be the difference of riding out the storm or surfing the wave. Surely it is worth spending some time. Engaging Your Audience The sole reliance on the skills of your sales team has been undermined by the pandemic; it is near impossible to cold-call someone who is not working in their office and meeting up with someone is something we can only remember fondly. More and more buyer journeys are now starting with a web search. Yes, first impressions are well and truly now your website and unless this is up to standard, that is where it ends. It is not just about your website looking the part, it needs to incorporate that aligned proposition and more importantly, it needs to be found; that means you also have to impress Google. With less live conversations taking place, you need to be thinking digital. How do you capture the details of people visiting your website? How do you follow them up and how do you keep them engaged and cultivate their interest until they are ready to speak to your sales team? Again, this is where marketing has a significant role to play. What you want to say needs to be placed into content that can be digitally consumed. You need to show how you think with thought leadership content placed where people go for ideas. You need to articulate how your products and services solve the priority issues of your target market in easily digestible format, and you need to create a buzz about what you are doing by sharing compelling case studies. The reality is you cannot reach your target market in traditional ways. It is unlikely that this will be possible for some time to come, or if the old way will ever return. You need to find new ways to be found, to engage and to build pipeline and this starts with marketing. For organisations looking to review marketing within their business or who see the need to establish marketing for the first time, we offer a free of charge Marketing Discovery. We spend time understanding your business, your challenges and your aspirations and then share our thoughts, based on experience, how you put in place highly effective marketing for growth. If you are interested in taking us up on our offer of a Marketing Discovery, please drop me an email at email@example.com or visit our website for more information.