The Current State of Marketing and Sales

by | Marketing

Buying Behavior is Changing Rapidly

Consumer buying behavior is changing constantly, depending on the latest devices, technology or economic conditions. As professional marketers I believe it’s our job to have a pulse on this buying behavior. It’s our job to sift through the information and distill it in a way that helps your organization make more informed marketing, sales and business decisions.

Things have been unfolding at a rapid pace the past few weeks. Let me share a few insights that we’ve garnered from conversations and other resources:

  • In general, internet traffic has increased by roughly 50 percent.
  • Organic traffic and conversions are a bit of a mixed bag. It really depends on the industry.
  • The pandemic is rapidly shifting buying behavior. There’s obviously been an uptick in online purchases and 13 percent of consumers are using this opportunity to discover new brands.
  • The cost of digital ads like those on Facebook or Google Ads has fallen significantly. We’re seeing some clicks cost as little as three cents.

With some industries booming and others at a standstill, you might be wondering what your marketing and sales looks like in the coming months. In my last article, I wrote about the importance of continuing to market, but I want to take a closer look at what exactly that means.

Right now, experts and economist predict that consumer spending will resume anywhere within three to 18 months. You should be working now to prepare for that uptick because the most successful organizations see big wins during the upswing, not when the economy is at its peak.

Selling When Few Are Buying

For many industries, now is not the time to sell. Simply put, many companies are not making purchases – or at least large purchases outside of immediate COVID-19 needs. Rather than selling, focus on building relationships. If you look at any sales cycle, cultivating initial rapport with a lead or prospect is step number one. Building rapport is nothing more than making a connection with someone and establishing a relationship – that’s what you need to work on right now. In the near term, your goal should be to remain top of mind. Demonstrate that you’ll be available when the customer or client is ready to buy.

Strengthening Your Marketing

If you’re not generating significant sales right now, strengthening your marketing should be a priority. Here are a few steps to take.

Revisit your target market. I harp on this one quite a bit, even when business is smooth sailing. Remember that the best marketers have a strong understanding of their audience. Use this time to clarify who you need to reach and how.

Identify your ROI positive channels. Rand Fishkin used this phrase in his latest Whiteboard Friday and it perfectly sums up how to approach any active marketing campaigns.

You don’t want to blanketly cut your budget. Instead understand what’s working and what’s not. Analyze specific campaigns or keywords to understand what can be temporarily paused and what can continue to run so you maintain visibility.

Continue to leverage your subscriber list. This is another thing I harp on constantly on our podcast! Your subscriber list is your biggest marketing asset. Make sure you remain in communication with the individuals who actively want to hear from you.

Use this time to educate and prepare for future marketing. If you are slower than usual, it’s a great time to educate yourself on channels or tools that you’re not actively using. Maybe that’s Google AdWords or YouTube. You don’t need to become an expert, but it’s wise to have a basic working knowledge of the tools available.

Now is also a great time to revisit your past content and understand what can be updated or re-purposed. Ensure your content is ready when people start buying again because they will, and they’ll be looking for thought leaders like you.

Many organizations don’t know how to market during times of uncertainty.  If you have questions or want to discuss next steps, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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