Not Going Out? Marketing and BD ideas for the next few weeks and months

For many of us, meetings, networking and events are key activities that form a major plank in our marketing and BD strategies.  Needless to say, those kinds of activities are going to be seriously affected in the next few months, so does that leave a gaping hole or are there effective alternatives?

As COVID-19 sadly takes hold more strongly across the UK, short-term conferences, exhibitions, seminars and other marketing events are being cancelled or postponed, and we are being advised to ‘social distance’ as much as possible.  And organisations have understandable hesitation in planning any kind of physical event for the next few months when it’s still so unclear how long the effects of the epidemic are going to last.

It feels like marketing and business development could be put on hold with the risk of the classic slump in revenues in three to six months’ time as the current pipeline dries up.  However, it doesn’t have to be this way – there are plenty of tactics that businesses can employ to keep their pipelines healthy, maintain key relationships and continue to raise their profiles with important audiences.

Instead of going out The alternative way to stay in

Seminars, round tables and workshops

A staple of many businesses’ marketing calendars.

 

Webinars

They may make it harder to network over a glass of wine but are just as good for communicating expertise and ideas.  And you can still host an online discussion (and people can raise a glass remotely perhaps?).

Plus presenters can all contribute remotely if they are WFH and you can record it for future ‘content marketing’.

Networking over coffee, lunch, drinks or dinner

It’s all about building relationships in a relaxed environment.
 

Pick up the phone!

We all love email but it’s not very human. So maybe we can’t meet a business contact or client for lunch or coffee, but we can chat on the phone to build a relationship and discuss ways of working together. And if you can make it a video call it will be all the more personal.

BD and sales meetings

Whether it’s an early stage exploratory session or a formal pitch meeting, these don’t have to go on hold.

Meeting apps: Zoom, Teams, Citrix etc

Ditch the traditional conference call in favour of a conferencing app that supports video and, equally importantly, screen sharing so you can be sure everyone’s looking at the right page of the sales presentation, pitch document or project plan. Again, participants can all be in different locations.

Speaking opportunities

A great way to raise professionals’ profiles, whether it’s at conferences, seminars or round tables.

Podcasts

Create your own – but try to keep it dynamic and interesting. A two or three way conversation on a topical subject can be good – and if your target audiences are all stuck at home, there’s going to be increased demand for interesting, engaging content.

Social media

This isn’t going to be affected by changed working habits except for…

Social media

….the fact that we may have more time to engage with it, get a sense of how we can use it and network with contacts online.

 

I’ve no time for…

  • Writing articles
  • Blogging
  • Updating contact data
  • Sorting out your CRM system
  • Marketing planning ….

Make the most of any freed-up time

As we said above, people are likely to be ‘consuming more content’ – reading and listening more – so now’s the time to create articles, blogs and social media posts.  Or to get on to all the other important BD and marketing activity that might have slipped down the priority list.

 

Business undoubtedly faces a tough challenge for the next few months but by staying positive and thinking creatively about our marketing we can help reduce the negative impact for the long term.

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