If you’re anything like me, you draw energy from meeting with potential new customers and developing meaningful, lasting business connections. Of course, this became a lot more complicated in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Social distancing has created new challenges for building and maintaining B2B relationships, but businesses are adapting, and the savviest businesses are finding new ways to connect with new clients and nurture established connections.
While the recent news about a vaccine for Covid-19 is encouraging, the current outlook suggests that we should prepare for more social distancing and potential lockdowns well into 2021. Of course, the prudent thing to do is to hope for the best while also preparing for another year of social distancing and other measures aimed at curbing the pandemic.
With this in mind, here are three strategies that will help drive customer engagement and optimize your 2021 marketing plan without breaking the bank on your marketing budget.
1. Continue to Focus on Outreach Initiatives
Simply staying afloat is, of course, critical to surviving a crisis, but it’s also important to think about long-term sustainability and growth lest you lose out on opportunities to those who do. Developing new leads and engaging in business outreach to protect long-term growth while also recognizing the reality that we will be socially distanced for some time to come. This means, that in 2021, you should be prepared to rely heavily once again on remote outreach and marketing initiatives.
The pandemic has greatly impacted consumer behavior, the greatest being increased time at home, and higher levels of daily screen time. As I mentioned in my previous article, Five Marketing Plan Considerations for 2021, these changes make it imperative to review your data from the past year as you prepare your 2021 marketing plan to understand changes in the marketing landscape and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
As you prepare your remote marketing initiatives, bear in mind that you should:
- Continue to use, but don’t over-rely on, proven digital marketing channels such as email outreach, newsletters, content marketing, and social media engagement.
- Look for opportunities to enhance your digital methods. One way to do this is to augment your other capabilities with underutilized and over-performing non-digital marketing channels such as direct mail and tactile marketing.
When setting your 2021 marketing budget, be sure not to stay stuck in the same rut as in previous years. The world has changed, and your marketing must adapt if it is to provide the flow of new business needed for growth.
2. Implement Virtual Events
As a way to connect live with potential clients, online events and conferences will never truly replace in-person events. Still, digital events are far more personal than email will ever be! With some thought and planning, online events can become a great opportunity for direct engagement and personal connection. Consider hosting online events as part of your 2021 marketing plan to:
- Facilitate face-to-face interaction – Because sales are largely driven by emotion, establishing a relationship with your customer is essential. However, building new B2B relationships can be incredibly difficult during the pandemic and social distancing! Online meetings create an opportunity for face-to-face interaction which will allow your customers to get to know you better—an essential step to building a trusting, lasting partnership!
- Reinforce company image and branding – If your business is accustomed to maintaining a certain image, the pandemic is undoubtedly presenting you with new challenges to overcome. If your customers are used to high-quality annual events, consider going digital to remind your customers and industry partners that you are still available to provide consistently top-notch services to your clients. Differentiate yourself by packing as much value as possible into an online webinar or group meeting.
- Create networking opportunities– While digital events can’t offer the exact networking experience of an in-person conference, they still allow you to connect with contacts you might not otherwise capture via email or cold calling. Many online events are using “breakout rooms” to approximate small group “side conversations.”
A side-benefit that many organizations are realizing when they shift to virtual events is that their marketing budget stretches further without the overhead of physical spaces, meals, travel, etc. Many companies are finding that they can do more with less and still provide a first-class experience by holding events online.
3. Solidify New Business Relationships with Personal Outreach
If you’ve read my past posts, you know that I believe personal business relationships are essential to the success of every company – both B2B and B2C. When I launched Awesome 3D Cards, I was motivated by helping my clients strengthen their business ties by building and solidifying personal and emotional connections.
Investing in personal bonds with customers becomes an incredibly effective strategy for driving sales and growth.
If you’re looking to create a natural opportunity for direct follow-up outreach that cements your relationships with clients or potential customers, it’s hard to beat the ROI of a pop-up card with a handwritten note.
Since sales are emotion-driven, investing in personal bonds with customers becomes an incredibly effective strategy for driving sales and growth. A pop-up card that opens to reveal a 3D “surprise” is the perfect tool to cement connections because it is:
- Memorable –When a flat piece of mail transforms into a dynamic 3D model, the recipient will experience surprise and delight, which they will in turn associate with your brand.
- Emotional – Opening a 3D pop-up card is a micro-experience that creates and strengthens positive emotional connections between the recipient and your company’s brand. Whether you’re sending an Awesome 3D Card to a VIP customer or stakeholders at a big, potentially new account, you can count on the recipient having a positive emotional response that you can use to strengthen your business relationships.
- Personal – When you send a 3D card, make sure to include a hand-written note to solidify your relationship and demonstrate that the recipient is deserving of your time and attention. Additionally, sending a 3D card creates an opportunity for direct personal client follow-up to make sure they received the card and to ask for their impressions.
If you’re looking for new marketing ideas and ways to better reach your customers in 2021, Awesome 3D Card can help. With open rates near 100% and a low unit cost, 3D pop-up cards from Awesome 3D Cards offer exceptional ROI. Why not earmark some of your 2021 marketing budget to put Awesome 3D Cards to work for your business?