Make Hay While the Sun Shines: 9 Things Marketers Can Do Now with Newfound Time
The slowed pace of business activities due to the coronavirus presents a great opportunity for marketers to tackle the B- and C-list tasks that have been on their to-do list. Most marketers have more time for these tasks, and for many companies there’s easier access to executive decision makers and the organization’s subject matter experts.
Here are nine things you can do now that will give you and your company an advantage when business activities return to normal.
#1) Prospect list building “by hand”
When you create a direct marketing plan – email, USPS, phone, etc. – it’s easy to contact a list provider service. Easy, but not always optimal. People, job titles and functions, and contact info can change quickly. Start with the company website and LinkedIn to confirm your prospect list.
#2) Prioritize your leads: A-1; A-2…
Take your top prospect companies and do a deep dive online. Go beyond their website. Look for coverage of the company in the trades. If two prospects are in the same business, yet one clearly exhibits more innovation and growth, you’ve identified an A-1 versus an A-2.
#3) Personae exercise – Know your customers and prospects
Start with three to five customer/decision maker archetypes. These may be sole decision makers, such as a purchasing manager, or they may be part of a DMU (Decision Making Unit). What are the demographics and psychographics of each? How do they stay informed? What drives them emotionally and functionally? What are the trigger events in their role as it relates to buying a product or service you offer?
#4) Competitor research
Too often we find competitor research and reporting is done by salespeople in the field. Marketers can take the lead with this important function by creating portfolios for each competitor. Start with online research: websites, LinkedIn, trade media. What are they doing better than your company right now? What parts of their business are they trying to grow the most?
#5) Build a deeper public relations contact list
You likely have a solid earned media target list of the major reporters and outlets covering your business category. But are there more out there? For example, beat writers at national horizontal business media outlets – WSJ, Industry Week, The Economist, etc. And don’t forget about bloggers and podcasters.
#6) Polish your team’s online profiles
LinkedIn continues to be a vital resource for vetting vendors. Do the profiles of the executives at your company represent your company’s brand well? Do they include bylined thought-leadership articles? And do the LinkedIn profiles mirror the profiles you have on the company website?
#7) Create “evergreen” content
Content is driving marketing like never before, and for most companies much of the content is reactive: new products, new services, special offers, company events, etc. Evergreen content – that which is not time sensitive – can be produced ahead of time and plugged into your content calendar. This may include personnel profiles, brand position papers and manufacturing process videos.
#8) Review content “in the can” to make sure it’s still relevant
When business activities get back to normal, or the “new normal,” the ways we work and interact may be different. Make sure content you’re planning to run is still compelling and relevant in the post-pandemic business world, and the tone is not drastically out of touch.
#9) Learn a new skill
“I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.” – Steve Jobs
More than that, learning to code gives you the foundational computer literacy that will help you understand other aspects of technology, and it helps career opportunities. Here’s a list of resources: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/250323. Beyond coding there are other skillsets you can learn or hone with online resources which give marketers an advantage, such as marketing research, design and layout, photography and videography.
Bonus Tip: Write a listicle
You’ve got to admit they work.