Spread across more than 150 countries, the COVID-19, novel coronavirus episode is a horrendous human catastrophe, influencing a huge number of individuals over the globe. While the full monetary outcomes of this dark swan occasion are as yet hazy, we know that the effects that the virus — and the intense measures being taken to contain it — are now precipitating change across businesses.
In India, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have passed the 1000 mark. The report from most of the health organizations indicate that the virus will go away soon if people take minute precautions.
One such measure is social distancing. In case, social distancing fails, the virus will spread like wildfire around the globe. The USA has now become the new focal point of the epidemic as the COVID-19 spread stabilizes in China while the United States of America reports more than 100,000 cases.
The coronavirus outbreak has impacted the lives of people so drastically that it has left businesses around the world counting costs. The travel industry is the hardest hit with tourists cancelling holidays and business trips and airlines cutting flights. On the other hand, supermarkets and online delivery services are witnessing a huge growth in demand.
But how is the epidemic affecting B2B Marketers efforts in growing their business? Read on to find out.
B2B Marketing In The Time of COVID-19
In-person meetings have always been B2B marketers’ preferred choice of striking a deal than the digital counterparts. However, handshake deals are turning difficult to strike because, you know, you aren’t supposed to shake hands.
COVID-19 hasn’t only affected the entertainment and sporting event schedule, but also the large marketing event as well. Across the globe, a majority of the events are falling foul of coronavirus including Google I/O and Cloud Next Conferences, Mobile World Congress, WonderCon 2020, and Adobe Summit.
On the other hand, the travel and events industry has come to a grinding halt.
These latest cancellations of events might soon start having a chilling effect on many businesses’ ability to attract new clients. Almost all businesses are pretty much in the same boat and this call for transformation at least for now.
Go Remote or Go Home
During the COVID-19 pandemic, if your company still relies on steak dinner-type interaction, you will struggle. Currently, the world is for companies that know how to operate efficiently relying on digital innovations.
With the advancements in technology and the availability of the Internet, social distancing measures such as shutting down physical events won’t impact your business much if you know how to take the right steps.
Moving things online through webinars and other digital solutions is an obvious replacement for the lack of events and in-person engagement while in quarantine. It helps you run your business, engage with customers remotely, and B2B lead generation for your business amidst the COVID-19 chaos.
Other than the possible benefits, webinars will also cut down the unnecessary meeting that should never have been meetings in the first place.
Webinars, Virtual Events, and Digital Solutions Can Be A Big Breakthrough
Forget the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations have been leveraging the power of webinars as a business-critical communications tool for decades. The three key-drivers that make webinar a popular choice are;
- Reduced costs and travelling time associated with face-to-face meetings;
- The increased need for flexible working arising from trends such as digital transformation, globalization, etc.;
- And, the rise of mobile, video, and social technology as a common norm combined with its ability to deliver measurable ROI cross-channel.
You will be able to easily understand from these key-drivers that this is exactly what marketing and sales staff, especially in the event industry require during times like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, if you are someone who has always wanted to expand your business globally, a webinar is the perfect thing to make your dreams come true. Webinars being accessible to a global audience means you can extend your business reach effortlessly and conveniently.
You can cut down the cost of having your representatives physically fly to far off places and finalize deals through face-to-face exchanges. Webinars and video conferencing enable both one-to-one as well as one-to-many virtual meetings between stakeholders and business representatives by avoiding unnecessary travelling.
Companies Are Changing Track To Fight COVID-19
‘Necessity is the mother of all inventions’.
Companies across the world are rethinking their B2B marketing initiatives and production lines to fight the coronavirus pandemic. LVMH has switched from producing perfumes to making hand sanitizer, and luxury hotels are transforming themselves to become quarantine centres.
With the COVID-19 outbreak, companies, businesses, and organizations are posed with various challenges. From travel bans to school closures and recommendations to maintain social distancing to limit the spread of the virus, business owners are embracing digital tools and rethinking their business model to get ahead in the competition.
Below, let’s take a look at the few ways how companies are fast-tracking digital transformation.
- Telehealth – Healthcare systems are expanding their telemedicine through smartphones and other tools to assist patients in diagnosing illness without having to visit overcrowded facilities.
- Remote Learning – Schools and universities started offering virtual learning options with some of them even deciding to switch the rest of the semester’s work to online learning.
- Virtual Events – With conferences and in-person meetings being cancelled, some organizations are switching the events to be virtual through platforms that combine video and networking to offer the benefits of in-person events.
- Work from Home – Even those companies that were against the idea of a distributed workforce are now allowing employees to work from home.
- Technology – Technology companies around the world are working to support businesses through tools for team collaborations and cloud meetings.
Hopefully, the coronavirus pandemic passes soon and leaves only a minimal impact on lives. Maintain social distancing for time being and avoid going to crowded places. As for your marketing goals, it is time to double up your efforts. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures and the extraordinary measures B2B marketers should undertake is digital transformation.