OpGen Media: Marketing Ops & Demand Generation Insights

How B2B Marketers Are Responding to COVID-19

Apr 29, 2020 10:20:33 AM / by Brandon Pindulic

What Demand Gen Experts Have to Say

With all in-person events having been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to engage in a bit of a conversation with some of our fellow marketers to see how they are handling the situation. We wanted to know how B2B companies of all sizes were adjusting and what their future plans looked like. This lead us to asking each other questions such as:

  • How are companies realigning their budgets and goals? 
  • What are they doing differently? 
  • Are they spending less overall, or switching to digital means?

Who have we interviewed, and what are their responses?

Here are some of the insights from the industry experts:

Keenan Shaw. Demand Generation Manager, Robbins Research International

Keenan Shaw has been taking over the responsibility of Demand Generation Manager for over two years. He is the leader in the lead generation department of the Robbins Research International. 

How is your company realigning their budget and goals?

“In response to the changing climate, we've cut our digital ad spend by 75%, with our event marketing spend going permanently dark. We've pulled all event-related visuals and revised all of our messaging to respond to the current landscape.”

How is your company campaigning differently and are you switching to digital means?

“We are focusing our efforts in the near term on finding ways to change lives through more non-event digital offerings - such as our audio training programs, life coaching, and virtual business training. 

We are providing our clients with many free resources such as a unique series of podcasts, this free resources page, and providing webinars to educate people on changes in the business and finance landscape. 

We believe that adding value and helping people thrive in this trying time will keep people engaged and get them ready to create more breakthroughs once things go back to normal.”

LinkedIn Profile:

Company Site: https://www.tonyrobbins.com/

Christi Williams Demand Generation Manager, Managed Solution

Christi Williams is the Demand Generation Manager for Managed Solution. She has been using various digital mediums to build humane communication with her potential clients for generating leads. 

How is your company realigning their budget and goals?

“We typically host 5-10 relatively small events per year, such as workshops, happy hours, etc. Obviously, in light of what's going on, we haven't been able to continue to do those, so as a result, we've turned to webinars.

We've also shifted the content of these events to more relevant and timely information for our target audience.”

Is your company campaigning differently?

“We've always been a content-focused company and believe in creating value first, by developing resources for current and prospective clients. 

As a result, our day to day content creation hasn't changed. Still, the topics we are talking about are - we've created a lot of resources for organizations to be more productive & secure while working remote – this includes a ton of training on Office 365 products (we are a Microsoft partner) in the form of blog articles, webinars, and videos. We're pushing the use of video as it helps stay connected.

Lastly, instead of talking about long-term strategies, we're talking about what can help both right now and long term. As far as KPIs, we're not looking so closely at those right now – of course, webinar sign-ups and attendance, qualified meetings, and conversion rates are still important. Still, our real goal right now is to help our clients and community remain productive and secure during these hard times; however, we can.”

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christikeating/

Company Site:https://www.managedsolution.com/


Carrie Smaha, Demand Generation Manager, InMotion Hosting

Carrie Smaha is the Demand Generation Manager and general champion of open source platforms and WordPress communities at InMotion Hosting. She is responsible for creating and managing marketing initiatives via lead generation programs, marketing automation strategies, as well as inbound and outbound sales funnels.

Is your company campaigning differently?

“Customer service and employee safety are always our top priorities. With that in mind, our strategy was to get as many of our employees set up for remote work as quickly as possible while maintaining award-winning customer support for our full line of products. And with many face-to-face businesses being forced to operate remotely recently, we're updating our Support Center daily with helpful articles like How to Get Your Business Online Quickly to help our customers adapt.”

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carriesmaha/

Company Site: https://www.inmotionhosting.com/


Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Demand Generation Manager, SSB

Elizabeth Fitzgerald is currently contributing to SSB as a Demand Generation Manager. It has only been around 4 months for her in this company after performing well in her previous companies like Clark University, Allied Integrated Marketing, Toast,Inc, and more. 

How is your company campaigning differently and are you switching to digital means?

“So! As far as pivoting…. Events were one of SSB's main lead generation tactics for Q2, including hosting a Collegiate Summit for our higher education advancement and athletic clients. All of these events were (rightfully) canceled. We went back to the drawing board, and SBB is excited to announce a new webinar series starting next Thursday, April 2020. Jeff Hunt, a published author and authority on crisis management in the digital age, will be our first guest speaker. We plan to continue this series with continued presentations, panels, discussions, and roundtables.

We are also trying to be forward-thinking with long term solutions that we know will help our clients in the future. When they get back to work, they're going to be busier than ever. We recently announced the launch of a new solution, Sponsorship Central, with our partners at Trak Software. Sponsorship Central is the first comprehensive sports sponsorship management solution that seamlessly integrates the entire lifestyle of a partnership between property, brand, and agency.” 

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-e-fitzgerald/

Company Site:https://ssbinfo.com/


Clearly, companies are doing everything in their power to manage cash outflow while still looking for ways to grow their business.

From the responses we’ve collected, it’s clear that companies have shifted extra attention and resources to organic, digital efforts such as Inbound Marketing. Companies are now relying more and more on publishing more digital content, webinars, podcasts, and distributing free resources. All these efforts are for building up pipeline and thought leadership so that when things begin to normalize again, they’ll be well positioned to take advantage of the pent up demand.

What strategies are you employing across your marketing efforts?

Topics: Demand Generation, Marketing Operations, Digital Marketing

Brandon Pindulic

Written by Brandon Pindulic