Across our clients, we’re seeing an increase in leads, but a decrease in down-funnel activity. Intuitively, this makes sense. People have more time on their hands to evaluate options but are hesitant to pull the trigger during this time of uncertainty. As marketers, this throws a wrench in things. How should marketers react to this new, temporary reality?
Our approach has been to analyze what the new CPL target should be, as well as evaluate nurture opportunities. On the nurture front, the longer lead-to-close times makes the case for lead nurturing more tangible. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big believer in some form of nurturing even when the world isn’t on fire. This environment though exacerbates the need.
One common objection I often hear is “We’re already nurturing through drip e-mails. Why should I spend marketing dollars here?” My response generally goes something like this:
Warm leads are incredibly valuable. Stopping your investment after you get the lead is generally counterproductive. Marketing is about winning business by staying top of mind and establishing/maintaining thought leadership throughout the entire buyer journey – not just pre-lead. Given that e-mail open rates are between 15%-20% and E-mail CTR is around 2-3%, by relying solely on e-mail, you’re not engaging an overwhelming majority of your audience. You can fix that by incorporating paid media. In addition, e-mail is a silo. Digital advertising allows companies to digitally surround prospects and customers with a variety of creative – search (text), display, social, video, native, and so on.
Pro tip: B2B buying decisions are made by 7+ individuals on average. By incorporating ABM tactics at this stage, you can maximize your chances of brand recognition and consideration across decision-makers.
In conclusion, we’re living through a time of unprecedented ambiguity and change. It is scary. However, all is not lost. By thinking critically about your marketing efforts, and adapting in turn, the costs of COVID-19 can be mitigated.