B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 1 year ago

75. How to do B2B Marketing in the Midst of COVID-19


We're all getting a little fed up with COVID-19 by now, but we need to adapt to the new realities the pandemic has imposed on us. 

No one knows when things will go back to normal, and in the marketing business we can't wait for that to happen, anyway. We have to go the extra mile now and help businesses keep pressing forward in the face of these challenges.

In this episode, I interview Robin Emiliani, one of the co-founders and partners at Catalyst Marketing Agency, about how to do B2B marketing in the midst of COVID-19. 

We talked about: how companies are adapting to the changes brought on by COVID-19, the overnight shift from in-person events to virtual events, the Harvard Business Review study that proves that you shouldn't stop marketing, how sales has changed and what marketing can do to support the sales team now, and the #1 thing you can build during this time.

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or our website.

You're listening to be to B RevenueAcceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on thecutting edge of sails and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show hi welcome to be to be a revenueacceleration. My name is Oilia wice and am iar today with Robin Emily, Ani,fonder and partner at Catelis Marketing. How are you today Robin I'm doing verywell, thank you for asking no problem at all. So today we are talking abouthow to do be to be marketing. In the midst of Covin Nineteen, I think weallgetting a little bit fedup of coin. Nineteen is real painful of us and andunfortunately, we need to adupt. So you and I rerbin Weron te Coll last way todiscuss U Moso matter, and you know we decided and h through some of theinformation that you exchange rith me a way with you great topic and quite aquite an interesting oneffor audience. So, let's go with it, but before we gointo the topic, would you mean introducing yourself as well as yourcompany get Lis Marketing to audience? Yes, so I am Robin Andmiliani and I am one ofthe CO founders and partners at Catalust Marketing Agency and we are afull service marketing agency and we have a specialty and btob tech. So wedo lots of campaign creation, lots of strategy, lots of content, development,Lotof lots of digital advertising, forr clients, but our sweet spot really isbe to be tech. So we have clients like a Dobe and Microsoft. Intel anderoelectronics are a couple of the big names you might know. Yes, some smallone but San. We know about this, this young stuff ups, so robin we are living currently in nopretty much a weard time, a D and and the market needs to quickly adapt tothe new reality. I don't think anyone knows hen when things will go back tonormality, but unfortunately, in business we can't wait. We werespeaking in the preparation of this this this podcast that all the Elf stuff nurses, doctr WaknixTrashif, to try to save life and the fet. We believe that US being verysmall cogs of the economy also need to go diktrai and walk out to suport. Theeconomy in this difficult time, but from a marketing perspective, what arethe main changes that you've seen happening since the Covi Ni, noutbreaken and our companies adepting Gosh? We have a lot to talk about. Don't weow, really yeah, so speaking, first and foremostabout what's changed and be to be marketing is the obvious, so first ofwhich is messaging. So I think I can speak for all marketers at this timethat we have this terrible fear of sounding tone death during these timesand, of course, that peers legitimate,...

...because I'm sure we've all gotten thatemail. You know in the last couple weeks where it felt that it was acomplete turnoff, because it didn't ste right tone or the messaging was off,and it just didn't feel right during this time. But what we're findingthat's really fascinating to me is this shift to right, braid messaging. So letme back up so in the last couple years be to be. Advertising has largelyappealed to the left, brain so messaging, that's very black and whiteand very features and benefits focus. I know you know exactly what I'm talkingabout talking about, I yep, and what we're finding is that the messaging-that's really resonating relates to the right Brad. So what does that meanexactly well right? Brain messaging is more empathetic, it strikes on humanconnection, it can use irony or metaphors and even human humor. Soimagine that like be to be brands using humor and be to be brands really needto embrace this new way of talking and this new way of messaging so that theycan get ahead of the curve. The other thing too, as you all know, is this bigshift from in person events that have transformed to virtual events overnight.You know, because all of the imperinperson conferences have beencanceled and some of the bigger shows, like a Dobi summit, had been replacedwith these virtual events, and there are two sides of this and we deal withclients on both of these sides. So the first of whiches are the companies thatare the ones that are putting on the shows. There are the companies that arethe exhibitors at these shows, and what we're seeing is some of these folks aredoing these really well, and some are not. I man,we have a couple recommendations, so the companies that are putting on theevents you know a lot of people are scrambling to make the virtual eventhappen. The same time. The imperson event was supposed to happen, and thisis this can be a mistake if you're not fully prepared so making sure you'regiving you and your team plenty of time to prepare for this. You don't have tomatch that date of the imperson in person event and try not to prerecordthe majority of the event do as much as you can live and what's great aboutthis, and when I love is that right now everyone is more forgiving, so beingpolished and perfect is being replaced by frankly, good enough and authenticpeople are, you know everyone's got their kids in the background and theyhave background noise and they're sitting in their home offices. Soreally going up and being authentic, I think is become really effective andthen for exhibitors, you know the folks that are actually exhibiting at theseevents. It's a really interesting time...

...and what's cool is I actually had when Iwas client side. I had the opportunity to be an exhibitor at one of thesevirtual conferences and I really enjoyed it and we had a digital boothand we had digital graphics within the booth. We also had videos running inthe booth, but one of the cool things about it was the engagement that we hadand the number of leaves that we drove, because what we found was with ouronline chat. The shy people are more apt to have conversations with DAabsolutely right, and so I was able to field questions as a marketer, but thenyou know some of the more technical questions I could hand off to my salesengineer and he could continue or she could continue the online chat withthese folks and we actually drove a lot of leads out of the event. So peoplecan really do a lot with these virtual events, yeah Ey Fal. You almost feelslike woare relaxing. I know it sons beasy to say that that Eah, what wefeel from what we are doing we've got. We've got some of our stuff. You knowsending us sky, Por, Slak and say just pook to the cauor such and such Companias real large organization yeah- and you know he had his dog on his lap. Hetook hids, Backin bean am and e this, and that- and you know he was tellingme Al- was managing the daytime with his wife and people will spend fiveminutes. The opener is really is very human. Is Pera lotof things that youwould not talk about now. You would never start to call ind say up. Youknow by the way I've got my kids. They make hem at any time now, and one ofthem is dress, as a million, so doeus pin, and I think in a weird way, thingsthat probably would not have been acceptable two months three months agoin a professional discipine way are now quite charming and arming to realize.Actually you know what which tring very odd that we all human speaking tohumans and- and I think everybody is onjoying- the conversation a little bitmore because it's not just business people are more relaxed. They wouldactually tell you why they will not be interested by something Ir. Tell youwhat step they would want. So it's it's so much more, it's more relaxed, morehonest, more human and, and we actually really onjanated the moment. You knowlots of or stuff a teing, as this is, is IIS, obviously not a good moment inthe look of Fisong. If you look at on the t whatappenning on the planet, butfrom what we are doing and from the way people are, I feel that Tona that thatSoli derity the FA that you know we are all Il that same issue. We are sharing.We've got something in common and that' something uncommon in a way we feel isbringing us closeer to the prospect and that's that's. I fond hit veryinteresting, I'm coming back to the topic and what you are saying in themarket and what you'resing your clients doing. Oroh you arvising your clients. Where do you think marketer shouldfocus their time and budget to be able...

...to survive, but also come out of thatCrizo crizy, stronger yeah, I think first and formost is don't stopmarketing. So there was a study done by the Harvor Business Review and lookingat the recession and how did companies perform and what were the attributesand what were some of the behaviors that that were common in the companiesthat thrived- and you know the companies that didn't makedrastic cuts were the ones that actually fared better. So if you maketoo many cuts, you're less likely to survive later, so these companiescontinue to invest in marketing and research and development, and I thinkone of the other things that we're seeing to that is fascinating, is thatis more emphasis on digital Yeh andwe're, really helping our clientsdouble down on media and disial advertising spens, because everyone'son their computers now and these social channels, I mean they're experiencingrecord usage because we're all all sitting in front of our computers andas marketers and as btob companies. We have got to show up where customers areand since everyone's on their computers, digital really has really increased. Inthe last couple weeks, Hich, which I find really interesting, it isinteresting but an we se the same by the way, we've seen a decrease of ofconnection Wy, your fun when we ar engaged with prospector when we engagewith clients or anyone in particular, so we've got different type of compants.We've got channel campaigns, we've got PRODAC companes, we've got followupcompanies, whatever you, you can think of compans, but basically we speak toprospect on the daily basis, Orto Channel partners on the daiy basis, andwe saw droping them of connection with your fun by approximatively seventeenpercent, which is which is major right son as twenty persent. So you know eit'Syou need to walk twenty percen too, to speak to as many people. However, weseen email going up by certain persons and we've seen social media going up byapproximatively twenty two percent, mainly being linedin, of course, butpeople seems to be on Lingtin ther seems to be active. We see people atWel, I kind of you don't know where they were theyare starting to postagain, we've got some. Clients were pesting about things that theyare doingwith their kids and all that, so it seems to be like he the right platformbut keing tat. I think you made the statement that AEreally real. Like you know, you should not stop marketing, and I think I am Iam so so much in agreement with you on that one. I've had some, unfortunately,some some conversation with clients who ask us to relax what we were doing,oppose what we were doing and nd what I'm telling them as look with the waywe walk. If we pase what we are doing, when you will want to Reise Yome, wewon't be able to allocate ou some resources back to the project. No, butwe can't have people sitting on the bench for months and then startingagain in May or Imay or whatever. So we will have to rep up again and I thinkwe AL savwe've had some MOFE clients...

...wecas to actually puse, maybe for threemonths what we were doing and fundamentally I think you know I canget it. You are concerned your sfosus okay, you know what let's freezeeverything, but your gointo use. AEFOR you yeah, in', Trea, Mons time when youwant to resume, is like marketing what we is like marketing. It takes a littlebit of time to go back to that momentum. To Go back to producing that volume ofPi Plang on a monsty base is anathing that you know that ruck rolling youknow pushing Iu nit to push the Rock a little bit, and when you get themomentum, then he becomes easier and Lis. You stop pushing the rock it's notgood. So we trying to discurs that with CIIT's a very small minority thatAvascus to stop things. You know some of them maybe shot off cash, and youknow they've got to be careful with what what theyare doing an as mayberight for the smaller companies, but some of the biggest one. We actuallymanage to convince a good thought of them to not stop but butreduce whatthey were doing. So we can keep the team kicking. We can take everythinggoing and you know at the end of the day book we've been lockd done for whatthree weeks now I don't know if how long you've been locked on in in Denver,but here yeah, yes, Rik as well rook is its to u normal wthe. First Weekeverybody was figuring it out the second week. People are like okay, well,tats annoying. So the week is like okay, we need to go by this te new normal.Let's carry on, we can stop you Nos Aitat, so so so you know with the newnormal. I think I think things will come back to normal, but I do Ondretosot agree with you. Stopping marketing stopping silly selling is, isI think I that's my opinion is a mistake. So is stake and you know thecompany you want. Your company won't see the impact right away, but to yourpoint you know with our longer sale, psychos you're going to feel it later.It's breand Q, for when you don't have the track rolling that you're going tofeel the impact of this yeah, and I think that that's particularly true, ifyou are there is two types of oganization.You've got organization where the business modos most almost as a pay asyou go, and if they've got lots of customers in a specific theatical thatis impacted, then the revenue will go down, but I think most of forcustomers,probably Lik kills. They would have two years threeyears a month O be recurringcontract montly, you know three ours of confract, basically already planned out,so the revenue is that going is probably the grow. That could beimpacted, but only no revenue grows. The arebus important and, I thinkinvestors, the market, the Mao low for bat quarter, but I don't think theywillll Lo forterribl or yeah, and the company that will increase the valueand and the attraction we probably wil do whenthat don't stop, but there you go so to be a lit more specific. Could you couldyou show some example of campaigns or program that you are running from foryour clients that have been successful in these new times? If I shul call themthat way? Yeah absolutely so. Adobe comes to mind first and one of thethings that we're doing to help them is...

...we're really acting as their triageteam to assess a lot of you know, because we have a lot of campaignsrunning for a Dobi at the moment, but we're going back and reevaluating allof the content to make sure it's appropriate for distribution, and howdo we need to modify that content, so that is current it you know so thatit's more relative to these current times, yeah we're also helping them alot with virtual events. You know, there's there's some discomfort from alot of our clients about how to execute a lot of these virtual events have topromote them, how to drive registrante. So you know we're supporting them witha lot of the the campaigns associate associated with that one of the other clients that we haveso MCA connect is a Microsoft partner, okay and they're. One of the thingsthat we're helping them do is step out of the box and provide their clientswith services that are outside of their typical services. So, for example, youknow they're they're, helping their clients with implementations andupgrades of Microsoft products, but one of the things that we're helping themdo is put on these webenars on how to work from home, because a lot of theirclients work on premise, so they're not used to this working from home, sowe're coaching them through via these webonars on how to work from home, howto be more productive, how to be more effective and then explaining to them.You know how they're going to be a good partner to them so going out of the youknow, out of the box and really being of service to their clients and then two Hunde clients that I thinkI should mention, one of which is aro electronics. One of the things that is fascinating during this time is howthe sales people are in and what they're doing has changed so we'rehelping ero electronics with a lot of their sales enablement tools. You know,because they're no longer having these in person these face to face meeting,so we have to have really powerful compelling digital materials that theycan share with their folks. So what I love about that is everybody's up theircreativity game. This is really a time to flex your creative muscle, becausethat's what's going to resonate with your Audienceis, more interactive, moreinteresting, more engaging types of content, so we're doing a lot of thatfor Ero. We're also doing a lot of that for Intel. So we've seen this crazyspike in video. As you can imagine, you know creating lots of video for ourclients both to be incorporated into campaigns, but also be created, for youknow, helping the sales team and creating tools for them. Okay, thatsounds cool very, very good, very good, very good. Let's took about the futureand the light at the end of the turnal okay, how do you think the bit to bemarketing wark will look like when the...

...locgdown is over yeah? I you know whatI would. What I would advise marketers is to you know, like we talked aboutearlier, is keep this momentum, your marketing efforts and your LeGeneration Tha efforts may need to be modified, but continue this this pushforward. The other thing to that's coming that has waned a little bit atthis time as a count: fase marketing yeah, so things like intent, data, you know, which isheavily reliang on IP addresses of corporations. Direct Mal. Some of thosethings have scaled back significantly during this time. That's going to comeroaring back so be prepared for that plan. For that now be ready to rampyour ABM campaigns, backup because that's going to be critical and thenalso it addressing like from here and out we're going to talk differently andpeople are transformed as a result of this, and I think in a good way andWTOBE marketers have got to you, know, show up authentically and talk humanand stop talking about features and benefits and really focused on thisright, Brin type messaging, because we're all walking away from thistransformed, I think it's a great time to build a relationship. You know whatwear what we believe is opening that? U You, it may be difficult for, sellspeople to actually collect a freshly printed, puches oder from their clients,but I believe you know t the conversation still goes on and I thinkfrom a marketing crospect I carrying on marketing carrying on selling, but I'mtalking about the top of the Fenolia is absolutely key. If even for us, youknow we had a couple of new contract, so we've been able to bring seven newclients since since the beginning of the log down, but we hade two or threethat didn't come in because despite the FA that who are towards the ejust tobout, basically we are the dokisine stage of the contract, which usuallywe've got hundred tos on conversion. Then we Hare Tu, here fur saying look,we know WHA, don't believe is the right time to start and ou know tlet's posit,and I think that's what it is it' suppose I think, as we carry on what weare doing, we are trually nurturing conversation. We are putting toseconversation, they are in the bag and I think they'e going nowhere and as soonas the Lok done is over- and I don't know if it's fearly a question of theLav don is being over, but as soon as people adapt towards the new iswhatever the you is locked on being over, or you know, people having towark in a different way and stuff like that. I think that all those conversationwould results in opportunities moving forward, so almost seetas an investmentis abot carrying on making your investment and and and you going tocollect the fruit of that Labor later on in the year, but but yeah, I doagree with you and it was actually wonderful and refreshing to have youonthe podcast to Dhey rer Ben.

Even if I'm feder to speak aboutcovinnineteen, it was good to speak to speak about it with you in that sense.So so, thank you so much for your insight. Today. I really appreciate you.You took the time to be with me on the podcast and show some of Yoursel andshel also examples of what you've been doing, which I think is is really whataudience is after now. If anyone wants to connect with you discuss about,potentially our catalist marketing can support them in the marketing journeyand take that conversation of flying. What is the best way to get hold ofyour Robbin? Yes, so the best way is probably email. So my email address isrobin at catalyst, marketing dot, io or they can visit the website, catalyst,marketing, dot, IO and they can fill up the contact, form and I'll be sure tobeach back out. Wonthe fool wel once againit was great to have on Dhe showis like you for coming and draining us today, O'r Bin. Thank you so muchoperatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technologycompanies worldwide, while the traditional concepts of building andmanaging inside sales teams in house has existed for many years. Companiesare struggling with the lack of focus, agility and scale required in today'sfast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. Seeo operatics canhelp your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dot net you've beenlistening to B, to be revenue acceleration to ensure that you nevermiss an episode subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thankyou so much for listening until next time.

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