Key areas of consideration for B2B advertisers as they react to changes in buyer behavior and attitude.
B2B advertisers are being left to question their approach in reaching business decision makers whose priorities have completely shifted due to COVID-19.
According to an eMarketer US B2B buyer sample, 18% of respondents claimed they would spend less because of the pandemic, and 30% of those respondents were considering “aggressive cuts” in their B2B spending. However, these radical changes in business decision maker's buying habits should not discourage B2B advertisers from staying active in their marketing efforts.
Below are some tips on how B2B advertisers can begin to pivot their strategy to resonate with the post-pandemic B2B consumer mindset:
Evaluate COVID-19’s specific impact on a vertical-by-vertical basis.
B2B advertisers should be taking into consideration the severeness of priority shifts across different business categories. Industries like healthcare, hospitality, travel, and retail grocery have been majorly impacted by COVID-19, however, they are each dealing with their own set of unique challenges tailored specifically to their vertical.
Continue to invest time in researching how buying behaviors look for specific industries, as well as the unique issues they’re facing during this time. LinkedIn is a great resource to utilize for getting a sense of what topics and challenges are being discussed among different business categories and industry professionals.
Understand how your offerings could match the needs of business buyers at this time.
Once you’ve identified the challenges facing each relevant vertical, you can now determine if and how your product can deliver value at this time. Here are a few examples of how this is currently being done in the B2B marketplace:
- Software companies have observed an increased need in the marketplace for software that enables remote working.
- Financial companies identifying the need for materials that educate investors and businesses on the financial implications and risks associated with COVID-19.
- Telecommunication companies responding to an increased need for connectivity by keeping customers up-to-date with changes to their network and maintaining 24/7 call centers to ensure accessibility.
If you’re struggling to think of ways in which your offering can be viewed as practical during this time, try to brainstorm other techniques your brand can use to deliver value, such as developing COVID-19 POV reports or other thought leadership materials that relate to your value proposition.
Practicing both patience and preparedness for the long term.
Although it’s a very difficult and unsettling time, B2B advertisers will need to remain patient - as COVID-19 is expected to leave a lasting impact on business decision makers, their buying behaviors, B2B industries as a whole. Although some aspects of the future remain uncertain, B2B businesses should continue to prepare for long-term impact and develop strategies that are sustainable for the future.
For example, seek out digital alternatives that facilitate interactions with buyers to replace previously scheduled trade shows. Continue to monitor the situation and gauge how B2B needs will transform as the situation develops, while preparing for any potential opportunities for your offering in the future.