How to navigate & grow your B2B business through covid

COVID 19 has been the single biggest factor EVER in creating digital transformation in businesses. Businesses large and small have been clamouring to react fast and the truth is that well into the digital age, many businesses were ill prepared for this drastic transition. 

Covid has become the last thing people think of when going to bed and the first thing they think of when they get up in the morning. It has fundamentally changed the norms for human behaviour. 

  • There is irrational panic buying for toilet paper and pasta
  • People are working from home, this has led to an increase in work and social related video conferencing and innovative trends that are sweeping social media such as celebrating healthcare workers, teddy bear hunt, the hand washing song, the distancing dance and real life at home. 
  • An increase in media consumption and spending time online, with all the major brands moving online. 

With sales teams and field marketing teams not able to meet their customers face to face and events needing to go online what can B2B sales and marketing teams do? B2B marketers are looking to re-allocate their spending to digital channels and finding out that it actually opens up a lot of opportunity and website traffic, particularly if they are able to lead the charge. 

Future Proof your Business

Companies are investing in stronger relationships with preferred suppliers and agencies. They are also taking the time to investigate technology solutions to help accelerate their business in times that are more favourable. 

Audit Your Strategy

Use this time to audit your strategy. Ask yourself some of these questions and conduct a short sprint to ideate creative ways to solve them. Take the time to understand the analytics and data you have in answering these questions. Look for the gaps and use this time to fill them. 

  • Does your product solve a problem customers in the current climate are looking for? If not, is there a way to make your value proposition more relevant or pain free? 
  • Does this open up your product to new market segments you may have not previously considered, someone who also needs to shift their strategy because they are struggling to cope in these times? 
  • Does your business model need to change for the short term or even in the long term to gain back market share? 
  • Do you need to revisit a long term strategy shift you have been debating for a long time? 

Brand Building

Branding is arguably just as important for B2B businesses as it is for B2C. With your consumers spending so much time on the internet this lends itself really well to using digital channels for online brand building. 

Brand counts for a lot even with B2B, focus on content pieces that can add value to your target customers. One of the best examples of this is OOH Media who has jumped on the Teddy Bear Hunt trend and tried to lift community spirits by using it’s OOH assets. They used different bears that reflect their surrounding environment for kids to find when they go outside for exercise. This stellar creative will be used to show the impact OOH media has despite the world being in self isolation. 

Human Empathy - Customer & Employee 

This should always happen, but it’s more pertinent than ever. Empathise with your customers, while staying true to your mission. A stellar example of this is Uber, who has thought of solutions to keep it’s drivers safe, delivery workers in business and it’s customers safe. They have taken an approach that is responsible by being both informative and useful. 

Thought Leadership 

Canva has led the charge, initiating a call for companies to stand together and help stop the spread of COVID-19. With so much misinformation, Canva is trying to help educate people by creating assets to help raise awareness in stopping the spread

Relevant Communication 

While marketing needs to stay relevant, it also has the opportunity to be uplifting. Fedex Office has an exceptional Twitter feed that does just this. It has examples that showcase it’s exceptional employees, tips and tricks for staying productive and provides clear transparent communication.

Support your employees 

Difficult as it is, some of the largest banks in the US have committed to protecting their employees through this crisis. Citi, Wells Fargo and Bank of America have vowed to their staff that there won't be any job losses. In a bid to be future proof and give back to their employees, some businesses are giving employees an opportunity to be trained & upskilled in areas they weren’t relevant for. A great example is to retrain your field/events sales/marketing staff for digital. Plus remember everyone is going through tough times. A small morale boost goes a long way! 

The rate at which each individual industry recovers will be varied, but what’s for sure is that those who were able to make an impact during these unprecedented times will be those that thrive afterwards as well, particularly those that are able to think long term beyond this temporary crisis. 

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