It’s time to get match fit

An out of the blue invitation for a friendly football match makes alan. MD Richard Hadler consider how to keep your marketing match fit.

It’s been a long-old-time since we’ve had a football team at alan. I’m not just talking lockdown long, I’m talking back when the agency was still called Raconteur Media.

So, when a request came through for a friendly with an industry competitor, it seemed the perfect time to dust off the cobwebs and start shedding the lockdown pounds!

Living in London during lockdown has not been conducive to keeping match fit. Keepie-uppies in the living room are enough to send the fiancé and two dogs mad.

At least I have a good excuse.

Instead of football skills, I’ve been exercising my writing skills as I have embarked on writing my first book, Marketing: the Bottom Line, due for publication later this year. 

For good and bad, B2B marketers are emerging from Covid leaner, also. Respondents to our recent B2B Marketing Solved. Survey revealed that 40% of B2B marketers had reduced head counts and half (53%) had their budget reduced during lockdown.

B2B marketers, like the rest of the world, have been forced to do more with less. With the world now opening up, it’s time to consider how to get match fit post Covid.

When everyone began working from home, Marketers scrambled to find a way to reach their customers. Many B2B businesses had historically been reliant on in-person events to build a sales funnel.

Webinars were the obvious choice to replace the hole in their strategy, previously filled by events. And with just under one third (28%) of B2B marketers expecting interactive tools and webinars to remain a priority in the next 12 months.

Surely we shouldn’t be so hasty to drop these valuable assets? 

In a recent blog, alan Strategist Natalie Plowman argued that instead of abandoning your webinar series post Covid, you should build it into a flagship brand. For marketers on a limited budget, they are a low-cost and low-risk channel. And if you host your webinars live, like our very own CMO Show, they are a great way to have a direct conversation with your audience. 

On our most recent episode of the CMO Show our very own creative director Benedict Buckland interviewed Rupert Bedell, VP Marketing EMEA at American Express. Rupert and Benedict discussed how American Express responded to the Pandemic.

Rupert explained how the company overhauled its benefits scheme in six weeks and why social selling has “gone bananas” over the past year. Listen again here to find out how American Express reshaped its channel mix in response to the pandemic.

American Express is the perfect example of a B2B company that has kept “match fit” by responding quickly to the pandemic. But for every business that took steps to do things differently, there are those that have refused to change. 

Thankfully, I took a similar approach to fitness during lockdown - walking to the supermarket became a personal highlight.

When the day of the match came, we were confident. Maybe too confident. We lost 7-1. 

So it’s fair to say that our first game back wasn’t a roaring success. 

I see a few more friendlies in our future before we commit to a competition. We were after all, a bit lean on the goal-scoring front. 

But with a bit of focus, I’m sure we can get match fit. 

Watch this space.

Let’s solve B2B marketing.

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