Round Table “B2B Marketing Online”

Today during the event B2B Marketing Hotline, organized by Marconomy, we had the chance to discuss and share about the challenges that companies are facing in this period, with a special focus on marketing and sales.

The major topics were related to the role of marketing professionals, now and in future, and what kind of way we have to create a trusting relationship with customers while switching from physical interactions to digital experience.

Here some key insights:

  1. The Covid19 crisis has different phases and all companies had to adapt very rapidly to a new situation

From the very beginning of the lock-down we, as company, stopped the media buying activities to move to a strong content strategy. We created a task-force in order to help the organisation to change the focus of their story line and we decided to have everywhere the same positioning: #peoplefirst in terms of what the company is doing for people, customers and employees. This strategy has paid well enough because, beside what was related to social media, we implemented a lot of webinars and training to support the different situations.

The entire organisation was engaged in this kind of big experiment, that was touching every department, creating a very good collaboration model that was making us stronger, as company overall.

Now we are in a new phase and the big challenge will be to understand what kind of relationship and how we will build it up with customers in the future

2. New skills needed

Customer understanding: and I mean not only the direct customer but the whole distribution chain. The customer journey is nothing new but we have now to make very fast analysis in order to

understand the change in consumers’ behaviours and  what kind of influencing factors are rising up. This is a never-ending process and it should be the basis of everything we are doing.

Digital experience: we cannot approach the digital with an analogical mentality.

A digital experience needs to be created in the proper way in order not to become useless or even boring. We need to change the story line, the tone of voice, the rhythm and even the scope.

I would invite everyone not to focus too much on the technical options but really on the broadcasting. Sitting in the shoes of the public and realising things that could really make the difference.

3. Events

Interrupting events and exhibitions during 2020 has created a big disruption into the habit of sales force, used to exploit this occasion to meet and engage customers. We will for sure continue to organise events in future but the dimensions and the experience will have to be very different. Therefore, we will have to match, during the conceptual phase already, the physical event with a new way to create the digital experience that is sufficiently engaging to fulfil the gap.

This is something that is a huge  topic into the retail world and will soon become an important matter also for B2B companies. We need to start to think that way in order not to lose the opportunity to improve the impact of our initiatives also in future. The world is changing and simply going back to the past is not an option anymore.

In clunclusion, 3 key take aways: customer understanding, change, speed.

And one more recommendation from my side to everyone is working in marketing:

“Take the chance! Study, explore new ways and learn from others. It’s now the time to move forward.”

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