by Warren Moss (@warrenmoss) Business — and society at large — is going to look back at a new period in history once the spread of covid-19 has been contained and things ‘return to normal’: before corona (BC), during corona (DC) and after corona (AC). As B2B marketers, segmenting recent history like this will help us understand how things have changed.
The world will need to accept that some things will never quite be the same again, when business resumes.
The only certainty
The common denominator in the business world, DC, is that everyone is doing everything they can to cut back and defer projects in a bid to shore up finances in the interests of self-preservation. The only certainty is that nobody is sure how long global economies are going to feel the effects of lockdowns and isolation, so businesses are doing their best to ensure they have cash to give themselves enough runway to get airborne again AC. Perhaps the most-surprising shift in certain businesses is how quickly working remotely and meeting by video call has become the norm.
In my experience over the past few weeks, I’m seeing that the decision-making unit (DMU) function has changed — and I think it’s one that’s going to remain affected. Whether the DMU is one person in an SME or a group of C-level people in a larger organisation, the one thing that remote working has done is give people time.
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Thinking more deeply
Taking calls all day is one thing — but there’s definitely more time to be had to focus on work (and everything else) by cutting out a commute, the distractions of the office space and being called in to meetings without warning. I’m seeing that, because people have more time and space to sit quietly and apply their mind to a variety of things, they’re thinking more deeply about them.
The opportunity I see in this is that the case for longer-form B2B content is strengthened to give DMUs more-considered support to help them move down the purchase funnel and make better decisions in the long run. How digital content is curated to target DMUs is set to fundamentally change towards the creation of richer, more-considered content. Brands that don’t have that depth to their material will have to work hard to build up their content — or face being left behind by those who are able to provide more thoughtful work that engages DMUs in their ‘down time’. I’d go as far as saying that people may even consider paying for access to premium content that enriches their work life; it’s certainly something that’s changed in everyday life, during lockdown, as people seek more ways to stay informed and entertained.
This shift may even lead to the creation of purchase-decision aggregators, which narrow down the choices and serve up quality content to the right people at the right time. The world AC is set to have changed forever in so many aspects — but there’s certainly no shortage of opportunities.
Warren Moss (@warrenmoss) is the CEO and founder of Demographica, a multi-award winning full service agency that specialises in the B2B category. He has been chairperson of both DMASA and Assegais, as well as the only African to judge the B2 Awards, which recognise the top-performing B2B marketers in the world. Warren contributes the regular “Thinking B2B” column, which looks at the latest trends in B2B communications and explains why it is fundamentally different from B2C comms, to MarkLives.com
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