How Marketing Teams Can Adapt During Times of Economic Crisis


By Lauren Keepers

Few marketing adages and proverbs are as timeless as “know your audience.” Whether you’re a global consumer brand or a B2B technology provider, every marketing practice must appeal to the emotional and logical responses of their buyers. If you were to diagnose the current emotional state of the world, what descriptors come to mind?

Just for starters, there’s the magnified sense of uncertainty relating to health, well-being, job security and much more.

Right now, marketers are frantically reevaluating the best approach to address their target audience’s psychological needs in a tasteful and sensitive way across each and every email send, social post and content push to their customers and partners. The ultimate goal? To deliver socially responsible brand communications that both calm nerves and support business goals without exploiting fear.

But the question still stands—how do you use science to publicly relate with your customer base during times of uncertainty? Just like in times of normalcy, these methodologies need to manifest themselves in two areas of your marketing practice: your communication strategy and your operation strategy.

So let’s start with your comms strategy.

ACCELERATE TESTING 

You’ve got eyes and ears, so use them. In order to identify which marketing tactics elicit a response, you should test email, social and paid advertising campaigns wherever you have the bandwidth to do so. And if you don’t have the bandwidth, reprioritize your schedule so you do. Seize this time as an opportunity to get to know your audience even more deeply by experimenting with email subject lines, social graphic designs and new long-form content styles.

Salesforce Pro Tip: As you test, collect and leverage your new messaging insights, make sure that you’re incorporating those insights into the lead qualification process. Pardot lets you segment lead scoring, which ensures that you determine which leads are ready for your sales team with greater audience specificity.

RELY ON RESEARCH FROM LEADING CONSULTANTS

If you want to get your customers to listen to you even more intently, incorporating fresh market data will help deliver a message that may otherwise appear opportunistic. Allow a little bit of wait time for big consulting firms, media publications and news outlets to collect and publish statistics for you to incorporate into this timely messaging. Marketing teams that consume this sort of data will also be more attuned to changes in desirable buyer segments as certain targeted industries may be more vulnerable to economic downturn than others.

Salesforce Pro Tip:  If you’re looking to differentiate messaging based on industry, dynamic content is your bestie. These features in Pardot make it very easy to plug and place content based on known prospect data. 

TRUST YOUR GUT

If you’re a marketer, odds are you have a fairly innate sense for how to mindfully communicate with people during times of gray. Leverage your high emotional intelligence (EQ) by articulating and applying the way you’re feeling in your copywriting to help offer a tactical nudge of support—and yes, do it even if it feels slightly “off-brand.” The point is, people are craving connection. As long as you follow your nose and adapt your communication style to help satisfy that craving, you’re already on track to win over your customers’ attention.

Salesforce ProTip: If you’re questioning your messaging and want some extra eyes for approval, submit short or long-form materials for internal review using Sales Cloud’s chatter tool, or if you’ve got deeper pockets, leverage Community Cloud to foster cross-departmental collaboration. Both applications can function as pseudo project management tools and help coordinate approval processes.

Now that your content team has perfected your messaging balancing act, how do you ensure the fruits of your labor are tracked, attributed, and optimized? Keep these key marketing operations deliverables in check to deliver no matter what changes are passed your way.

ESTABLISH A (VIRTUAL) EVENTS DASHBOARD IN SALESFORCE

Has your CEO ever asked you what success came out of an event, and you answered, “We had some really great conversations”? Yeah, they want numbers. Regardless of whether or not your sales teams are engaging in-person or virtually, keep tabs on their account activity by staging a customized dashboard. To keep your leadership crew satisfied, make sure to define key success metrics to measure your event value against your event objectives and to stay in tune with your audience’s core needs. Explore what revenue attribution models make the most sense for your business—check out their differences here. Here are some critical events-related KPIs to be mindful of that can be easily translated into a custom events dashboard:

  • Revenue 
  • Cost 
  • Profit 
  • Brand awareness 
  • Lead generation 
  • Opportunity generation 
  • Education
  • Community engagement
  • Press pickup

INTEGRATE YOUR WEBINAR PLATFORM WITH PARDOT

If you want to create an opportunity to further teach (or remind) your qualified leads about why your product or service is valuable in the first place, use a webinar. If you want to make sure you track and communicate with that group of leads using the right messaging, make sure your webinar software, whether that be Zoom or GoToWebinar, is integrated with Pardot (and that your Salesforce connector is enabled with Pardot). There are several ways to go about doing this, but owning as much of the webinar registration process as possible in Pardot, not the webinar platform, is your best bet to exhibiting more creative control and tighter lead management. This ensures that all registrant information is collected and stored in a Pardot list (and correspondingly entered as contacts in Salesforce) and all promotional email sends and post-webinar communication are 100-percent branded in your name, not the webinar platform provider’s.

TRACK LINKEDIN EFFORTS THROUGH SALESFORCE

Every social media marketer’s dream is to be able to attribute their work to bottom-line revenue. With this Salesforce’s LinkedIn Integration Guide, social strategists are able to do just that. There are three ways to integrate LinkedIn and Salesforce: LinkedIn Sales Navigator with Salesforce App Exchange, syncing Salesforce and Sales Navigator through a native API or using Zapier or Workato to create a bidirectional data exchange between Salesforce and Sales Navigator. Through any one of these integrations, you’ll empower your creatives and your sales squad to:

  • Automatically log InMail messages. 
  • Access LinkedIn data in the lead or contact record. 
  • Associate LinkedIn leads with open (and closed-won) opportunities.
  • Enable personalized lead outreach via Salesforce, Pardot or LinkedIn InMail

With these tips in hand, I’ll leave you with this final tidbit of inspiration.

In times of evolution, we, the marketers of the world, should strike while the iron is hot and lean into gaining market share while others are retreating. Double down. Dig the pivot. And embrace the creative shift while keeping your leads qualified, your opportunities plentiful, your sellers unleashed and your business moving forward.

Want to connect with a marketing operations expert to talk more marketing tech? Connect with us.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren brings over three years of B2B communications expertise to Canpango’s marketing team. As Content & Social Media Specialist, Lauren combines her knowledge of the digital ecosystem with her knack for collaboration to craft and curate content that satisfies the interests and challenges experienced by Salesforce customers and partners.

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