B2B Tech Marketing During the HolidaysPosted by Lisa O'Brien on Nov 10, 2020
The fourth quarter is always a challenge for marketers in B2B technology. It’s typically the biggest quarter for sales and the last chance to hit that all-important annual number that investors, analysts, and executives want to see. But it’s also one of the toughest quarters to reach people, especially since you’re selling to companies instead of consumers. Very few enterprise buyers are paying attention during the week of Thanksgiving and the last two weeks of Christmas, and while Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge days for consumer-oriented companies, they don’t really hold any special significance for enterprise tech purchasing.
To help you navigate this important, tricky time for enterprise tech marketers, we’ve put together some suggestions for handling marketing activities.
Don’t go crazy — after all, you’re not selling stocking stuffers — but winter-themes on your website and marketing materials can help infuse your brand with a holiday “feel.” It’s also a good idea to send a winter themed email to customers and partners in the first half of December to thank them for choosing your company and letting them know how much you value them.
Try not to tie yourself to a specific holiday, though. Many of your customers may not celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, after all, especially if you sell to a global market.
Front-load lead generation activities to October and early November. Once Thanksgiving hits, people tend to check out. Plus, with all the pressure to complete projects and hit KPIs by the end of the calendar year, your prospects are less likely to attend webinars, read white papers, or do anything not directly related to the immediate tasks at hand.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday
These unofficial “holidays” are critical for consumer-oriented companies, but that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage them for marketing purposes. For example, if you sell to retail companies, a webinar on preparing the network for heavy traffic or white papers on using analytics to better target potential customers for the big day could be useful.
Likewise, even though your customers are organizations and not consumers, if you have a product with a very short sales cycle, offering deals around Black Friday and Cyber Monday could be a great way to take advantage of an environment in which everyone is at least partly primed to buy.
COVID-19 Messaging for the New Year
If the line of business managers still have an unspent budget, they’re looking for productive ways to spend it before the New Year because, if they don’t, they may see it cut. Plus, decision-makers are thinking hard about 2021 and the tools they’ll need to grow, especially since most public health experts believe we will have a vaccine for COVID-19 within the next three to six months, which should allow the world to get much closer to normal.
As such, you’ll want to balance your message. Show prospects how you can help their companies during the pandemic, but also look ahead to a post-pandemic world. Remember, though, that “normal” won’t look the same as it did prior to COVID-19. At the very least, many employees will likely remain working from home, but depending on your industry, there may be other differences.
The holidays are a time for giving, so it’s not a bad idea for your company to do so as well. For example, choose (and fully vet) a worthwhile charity to support. From a marketing perspective, it’s a good idea to look for a charity that at least somewhat aligns with your company’s mission. If your company is in networking, for instance, you might choose a charity that provides broadband access to families in need. Tastefully promote the charity on your site, and track donations.
During the holidays, your prospects and customers are probably more likely to be following social media than they are email and other business-focused channels. So get into the holiday mood by promoting your charitable work and photos of employees enjoying the holidays. Given the pandemic, though. it’s not a good idea to send out photos of company holiday parties if you are having them, even if they do adhere to your local COVID-19 safety requirements.
The holidays present some unique challenges for B2B technology marketers, but some unique opportunities as well. So long as you plan carefully and adjust your messaging for the season, your organization can effectively increase leads and grow sales at this pivotal time of year.
Want to talk to an expert about marketing during the holiday season. Get in touch!