Nearly every industry has been affected by COVID-19. Changing work conditions, layoffs, manufacturing delays, and disrupted supply chains mean that all companies have to get creative to reach their revenue goals.
B2B technology marketers have been impacted as well. As our customer bases and target markets react to the shifts in purchasing, our carefully-thought-out projections and forecasts no longer make sense.
Even worse, some markets — like education, retail, hospitality, and healthcare — have completely dried up.
If you sell to an industry that has hit the pause button, perhaps it’s time to rethink your targeting.
Figure out your untapped markets
It’s time to work with your product team to understand the under-used portions of your product and how those might find new life by serving different industries or niche markets that have yet to be affected. Consider these examples:
- Car manufacturers have pivoted to producing ventilators
- Drug makers reworking SARS and MERS vaccines to speed COVID-19 vaccination
- Niche consumer retailers stepping up ecommerce efforts in the absence of physical stores
- Hotels and resorts have contracted with state and local governments to provide quarantine and temporary isolation spaces.
You know how the product serves your target customer. Now, expand your thinking.
Will other industries buy your product at a higher rate because of their new needs? Many of these companies needed your product before, but these new circumstances might have made a product like yours a priority.
Consult your customer-facing teams and prioritize next steps
Your customer support, sales, and product marketing teams have quietly been gathering anecdotal knowledge about your niche customer markets. Look through customer support tickets, sales conversations, and market research to find edge cases that have so far been ignored for bigger opportunities. You can also look through your CRM for previously unqualified leads you might reach out to.
Aggregate these edge cases and new opportunities and prioritize them based on how prepared you are to implement a change to target them. Prioritize your changes based on levels of difficulty and the amount of effort it takes to make the change.
High priority and low effort tasks may include:
- Adding new search and display ads and landing pages that focus on underserved markets to current campaigns
- Emailing your program manager to refocus your targeting on lead purchases
- Retooling your lead scoring to increase urgency for follow-up on new market opportunities
- Reaching out to previously unqualified contacts
Mid-priority and mid-effort tasks look like:
- Revising content assets to speak directly to new markets
- Building new display and media campaigns from scratch
- Researching ABM targets within your new market
Low priority, high effort tasks may include:
- Writing new software features to target new markets
- Writing new content marketing campaign assets (white papers, slideshare, videos, blog post series)
Form your new target market plan
Once you’ve gathered your resources and prioritized your next moves, build a plan to implement your changes. Remember to specify assets, people, outside contacts, and deadlines for each of the parts of your plan. Consider:
- What marketing assets and campaigns do you need to update or write to bring awareness to these markets and begin your selling process?
- Who owns the revision or updates for each of your marketing assets, design elements, customer support articles, and branding elements?
- What media partners, lead providers, or promotional teams need information about the changes?
- When can you reasonably expect each of these individuals to complete their parts of the plan?
- What incentives can you offer that will help hesitant new customers sign on quicker?
Consider polling teams to find out whose work loads or markets have been significantly decreased by the circumstances, and assign them to the project.
You’re not alone
TechnologyAdvice works with each of our partners to help them find the right buyers for their technology products. We can help you revise your media plans and reconfigure your targets to fit the changing needs of the market.