With the major, atmospheric changes we’ve seen this year, marketers have had to quickly adapt to find new ways to reach prospects and stay relevant. When many of us were starting to settle into a new normal, the trying events of recent weeks have shown us that uncertainty and change is the new normal.
Although situations continue to evolve, there are specific marketing and business trends that have taken root and are likely to continue through the year and into 2021. What I know for sure is that to drive business growth in the world today, you need to be agile and understand how to reach the right prospects at the right time. Here’s my advice for marketers looking to plan their campaigns for the rest of 2020, and why email is a constant we can still count on.
With many companies continuing to offer more work-from-home options for their employees, buyers are more engaged online than ever before. Email engagement has risen more than 200%, according to recent studies. According to a recent McKinsey survey, 96% of B2B companies have shifted to a remote selling focus and plan to sustain these shifts for the next year. Email has proved its mettle as an ideal channel to reach prospects where they are because it is personal to the contact and not dependent upon location or device. This is especially important given the uncertain future of tracking cookies. With email, campaigns can reach specific B2B buyers even if they are now working from home or using their personal devices.
The McKinsey survey and a recent Forrester report both show that marketing spend (and most business budgets in general) are decreasing. Roughly 50% of B2B companies have already reduced their budgets (McKinsey). To make every dollar count, many marketers are turning to email, which boasts an unbeatable ROI, generating $44 for every $1 spent.
A reduced budget also means your buyers will be even more discerning with new or renewed purchases, and will be looking for solutions that match their specific needs and values. From my perspective, this is an excellent opportunity for marketers to leverage intent monitoring to target those who have already expressed an outside interest to purchase. By working with a data provider to secure contacts aligned with company IP addresses that have demonstrated “buyer intent signals,” you can reach contacts who are looking for similar solutions.
One thing to note: make sure you use a trusted third-party provider, ideally one that guarantees data validity, to ensure you’re not wasting your own (probably reduced) budget on invalid email addresses. For OMI, our data has a 30-day guarantee of 95% email validity.
I’ve mentioned this before: while there may be the temptation to suspend marketing completely during a crisis, it’s better to continue – yet alter – your campaigns. The Forrester study warns “that going dark with marketing altogether hurts your chances of recovering well” from an economic downturn. Set yourself up for the best possible success during and post-crisis. As marketers, our strategy needs to be agile -- we need to be able to pivot from our course when necessary, so your campaigns reflect the world as it is today.
We’re almost halfway through 2020, and to say this year has been challenging would be a huge understatement. But, we’re learning, we’re changing, and we’re growing. Next week I’ll tackle this topic from another angle, looking at how to take the time to understand a situation and adapt your strategy as change happens. Stay tuned!
Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.