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What CMOs Say Sales & Marketing Need to Know Today to Support Recovery

Posted by Natalie Robertson on May 7, 2020 3:04:56 PM

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As we enter this next phase of the pandemic, how should organizations shift their marketing priorities? What has changed about the sales process? How should you realign budgets and staff to do more with less?

Merritt Group hosted the webinar CMO Insights: Sales & Marketing Strategies for ‘Getting Back to Business’ featuring marketing leaders across the B2B technology field, including Rashmi Vittal, CMO, Conversica; Russ Cobb, CMO, IronNet Cybersecurity; and Matthew Selheimer, CMO, PAS Global to answer these questions and more. 

A key theme that emerged during the webinar was that businesses need to think creatively and act quickly to meet the evolving needs of their customers—from creating relevant new content to identifying fresh approaches to sales enablement. Some key points made by the panel included:

  • Rashmi Vittal challenged marketing and sales leaders to be “boldly pragmatic” with their content strategies and digital investments. She added that organizations need to pivot to advisory and consultative roles to educate and inform their customers. 
  • Russ Cobb advised brands to “show heart in an authentic way.” He emphasized that companies should ask questions and truly listen when connecting with customers, rather than treat their meetings and touchpoints solely as selling opportunities. 
  • As a data-driven CMO, Matthew Selheimer encouraged marketing and sales to focus on sourcing databases for new leads from existing and prospective accounts and increasing data observation to drive content engagement. 
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Attendees had some interesting insights of their own to share as well. Responses from the audience, who represent a wide breadth of marketing and sales roles, were nearly unanimous in whether companies should still market and sell:

  • 90% said that companies need to continue to market and sell, but shift brand and campaign messaging in doing so
  • 7% said to keep it business as usual
  • 3% were cautiously keeping it under the radar during this time

When it comes to the single biggest change for marketers:

  • 41% said they have had to shift marketing priorities and roles
  • 38% said they’ve seen a shift in buyer behavior
  • 21% said they’ve had to shift their budgets and spending

Looking into the crystal ball in terms of what's next for them:

  • 34% said we might return to pre-COVID-19 normal by 2021
  • 31% said we’ll never return to pre-pandemic normalcy
  • 21% said in 2-3 years
  • 14% said by the end of the year

Nearly every industry has felt the impact of the current global crisis. Although it is unclear when the world will enter into a recovery phase, one thing is certain — the way we do business will not go back to how it was done before. 

Listen now via the Lay of the Brand podcast.

 

 

To learn more about how your organization can quickly pivot, visit our free COVID-19 communications resource center.

Topics: content marketing, Security, Healthcare, government, branding, public relations, performance marketing

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