Adapt to the new ways of doing business through persona research and strategic goal setting
Business was already in flux heading into the infamous year 2020. Trends in communication emerged and shifted the marketing, sales, and service departments’ goals in almost every industry. Video-first communication, the rise of B2B podcasts, and the growing emphasis on personalized messaging are only a few examples.
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Then the pandemic hit. Few businesses avoided organizational and operational upheavals on some level to combat the debilitating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because we work with clients in various industries, we were uniquely positioned to observe many sectors’ resilience and adaptability. Sixty percent of businesses surveyed by McKinsey in early April, for example, said their new remote sales models were proving as much (29 percent) or more effective (31 percent) than traditional channels.
We feel fortunate we could help our clients reach and exceed their marketing and sales goals as the pandemic took hold.
Your 2020 Should Determine 2021
Understanding how fast business — and life in general — can turn, it’s both scary and exciting to realize it’s already time to start planning for 2021. Will the next year bring much-needed stability and normalcy? Will our businesses benefit from cautious or ambitious goals and initiatives?
The first place to start when planning for 2021 is to reflect on 2020. Observe the metrics and goals your department and business set this year. If you fell short of your goals, you’re not alone. 2021 will be a year of fiscal prudence, careful resource allocation, and general recovery for many businesses.
However, it’s also important to understand we still don’t know the demand curve for our economic recovery over the next several months. Many businesses would do well to push forward with potentially fruitful initiatives and take advantage of when industry competitors may focus solely on risk aversion.
Whatever course you decide to chart for 2021, unifying goals between leadership, marketing, sales, and service is the most important thing your business can do. Wherever you’re headed, each department needs to understand their role in achieving your success.
Business as Usual at Your Own Risk
Just as your business operates differently now than it did just a short (or long) year ago, your customers have likely also shifted their preferences for similar reasons. In fact, 45 percent of consumers say their brand preferences have changed due to the pandemic. As consumers continue to cope with the uncertainties presented by this year’s events, businesses in all sectors will need to adjust their messaging and content strategy to connect in meaningful ways.
Buyer Persona Audit
At Beacons Point, we recommend auditing your buyer personas every year. A persona review is even more critical in a year with a seismic shift in the way customers buy and live.
A content audit — also referred to as a “content inventory” — describes the process of identifying and organizing previously created content into distinct topic areas.
Conducting a content inventory is a necessary step in the content planning process if you have done any content marketing in the past — including the creation of blog posts, videos, or gated resources like webinars, guides, and white papers.
During the content auditing process, we encourage marketers to evaluate each piece of content for topical relevance and think about ways to update or repurpose that content into more high-quality pieces.
Evaluate your past content and make sure that it still connects with your target persona’s pain points. If it doesn’t, update the content — body content, titles, H1 and H2 tags, keywords, etc. — to show your customers your commitment to their evolving needs.
It’s OK to Start Small
Don’t worry about what you have and haven’t done in the past. 2021 will be a reset for almost every business and industry. As the world continues to cope with the new realities, business forges forward. It is up to us as marketers, salespeople, and business leaders to push the economy forward with strength, compassion, and vision.
If you are not ready to commit thousands of dollars to advertising, hiring, or any other similar expenses, that’s okay! What’s important right now is focusing on the step in front of us, not the whole staircase.
With 2021 just around the corner, we’ll all be trying to get back to where we were — back to some kind of normal. If you need a partner to help craft an inbound marketing strategy that aligns and reaches your cross-departmental goals, we’re your resource.