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Impact Marketing Webinar: Your Questions Answered

Last week, hosts Jamie Judkins, VP of Sales, ES99, and Stacie Thompson VP/Director of Creative, ES99 talked at length about businesses marketing in a crisis.

They spoke about strategies and techniques we can use to improve our standing and how strong marketing is as a tool for success during uncertain times.

If you missed it, the webinar; Coffee with Impact: Remote Work Series | Episode 4: Marketing in Times of Uncertainty, is available here to watch on-demand.

Unfortunately, Stacie and Jamie weren’t able to answer everybody’s questions in the webinar itself, and so we are using this blog post for them to answer your questions.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in!

What techniques can I use to better understand the needs of my audience?

It’s always really nice to see how willing people are to answer a question when asked directly.

Stacie Thompson: The first is kind of a no-brainer, but it’s essentially picking up the phone and talking to them about what they need. Especially now when we’re sheltered in place, people are more able to pick up the phone and connect in human ways, so if you have customers/audience that are regulars, I would start there.

The second is that you can send out surveys with SurveyMonkey or something similar. You can preface it with some transparency about where your business is at and how you want to learn more about how needs are possibly changing so that you can serve them better. Sometimes you need to tie these to some sort of compensation, but often not. It’s always really nice to see how willing people are to answer a question when asked directly.

Do you have any tips on getting everyone, from the CEO down, to embrace digital platforms to track projects and communicate with one another?

Any respectable C-suite will provide support or at least evaluation of new resources if they understand the value that it presents.

Jamie Judkins: Great question! This is a tough one, and a lot of people struggle to “sell” the value of these tools and resources up the food chain. Any respectable C-suite will provide support or at least evaluation of new resources if they understand the value that it presents. They definitely need quantifiable rationale behind it.

You may have to give some due diligence prior to making a follow-up attempt at this. Vet the choices, do your research, get a demo and identify pain points specific to your business that it will address. Document it concisely, present multiple options and outline repercussions of non-action.

I know you have mentioned everything is mostly digital now; do you suggest doing any direct mail pieces right now?

Meeting people in the physical world vs digital can be very disruptive. 

ST: Go get ‘em! For what it’s worth regarding the question, I love direct mail pieces right now because they’re so unexpected. But they need to be done well and stand out—depending on your business and industry I’d suggest lots of different ways of doing it, but meeting people in the physical world vs digital can be very disruptive. 

How do you address the project management side? The climate is so fluid right now. What tools do you use?

Teams is fantastic both for client-facing as well as for inter-departmental collaboration and team discussion.

JJ: Absolutely! We use the Microsoft suite of tools, as well as some supportive tools such as Trello, for our project management and communication. Microsoft Teams is fantastic both for client-facing as well as for inter-departmental collaboration and team discussion. SmartSheets is a great project management tool that is highly customizable, yet user friendly.

Why should I continue to invest in Marketing during economic downturns? 

You want to make sure you still have a presence so that when people are spending again, they think of you.

ST: History shows that companies that continue to invest during a downturn are better off on the other side of it. I would think about that as keeping the ability to stay in a consideration set, being top of mind, general awareness—you want to make sure you still have a presence so that when people are spending again, they think of you.

Even if the type of marketing you’re doing has shifted to a different form, knowing that you’re still up and running and a viable business in the midst of this helps reinforce your stability, which is comforting to people and companies who may be questioning if you’re able to weather the storm.

What does a new normal look like for marketing? 

I believe part of our new normal for marketing will be acting in a more proactive, agile manner.

JJ: I personally believe that it is going to be highly circumstantial to each business, but one of the major components of change that will likely permanently affect business’ marketing strategies will be agility.

A lot of B2B vertical markets don’t have a lot of market volatility associated with it, and therefore their marketing strategies tend to have longer lifespans than, for example, B2C.

This can yield businesses getting into the flow of things and becoming a bit complacent with marketing strategies. I believe part of our new normal for marketing will be acting in a more proactive, agile manner. This crisis has shown us that anything at any time could knock us off our feet.

From storytelling to creating exceptional communication tools, Impact’s branding and design agency has helped to transform many brands reach more audiences. Find out more at https://es99.agency.