Strategic marketing initiatives are, or are part of, fundamental cultural shifts in the way companies are looking to attract, engage and convert clients for the long-term. Recently, we’ve seen these initiatives being accelerated and placed into greater focus, largely due to the impact of COVID-19 on 2020 sales and marketing plans.

Here are six trends we’re seeing for a shift toward long-term strategic marketing:

1. Automated nurturing

Marketing automation is far from ‘the shiny new thing’ – it’s been top of a marketer’s toolkit for some time, but due to recent events, there’s been a huge focus on delivering valuable content, at the right time, across all stages of the sales funnel. There’s an obvious and unavoidable shift away from in-person events due to COVID-19 impact, therefore content has once more become king of engagement. Content hubs are becoming particularly popular as we must find alternative ways for customers to interact with our brands.

2. Keeping the digital house tidy

There’s been a recent shift toward appreciating your digital presence and performance for the long-term, such as CRO (conversion rate optimisation). We’ve seen specific focus on gathering and analysing data for key insights into what is actually working. There’s been a move away from ‘one off, big bang’ type campaigns as people recognise that optimizing digital presence is a work-in-progress, a living tool that needs constant care and attention.

3. Wider video adoption

Video technology uplift is an obvious trend resulting from COVID-19, but we’re seeing this across the entire buyer funnel from initial engagement all the way through to client nurturing and retention. This could be in the form of a founder video on social media, increased engagement through best practice video guides, or perhaps business development video contact instead of email or direct message. This adoption and utilization demonstrates a shift away from events and words to live batch production. It’s a captivating and meaningful way to engage with customers, and lends itself well to portraying the human qualities of your brand.

4. Leadership-led brand differentiation

Recent changes to the world as we know it have resulted in a focus on people. Real humans behind a company or a brand. This has led to increased focus on personal branding and proactive thought leadership to underline softer brand differentials. Here, it’s less about pushing capabilities, but the culture, character, and attitude of the business.

5. Greater data analysis

Data analysis on BD enquiries can result in really rich insights, by proactively looking for nuances and creative opportunities. Here, it’s about making the most of what you already have. Your BD team will love this level of insight and intelligence. It allows them to understand the key 20% of activity making the 80% impact. It’s a golden opportunity.

6. Targeted campaigns

As we’ve already mentioned, nobody is in a position to head to Medicon Valley, the Golden Triangle or Genetown with a pop-up stand at the moment. Unfortunately. So we are seeing an increase in targeted, regional-specific digital campaigns. Again, this links back to customer insight; knowing what buttons to press with your clients, personalizing the message, and reaching out via LinkedIn or DM. It lends itself to data analysis perfectly. You can understand exactly what and where is working for you, and that’s a marketer’s dream, right?!!

For further resources on how to adapt your strategic marketing initiatives for 2020, check out our COVID toolkit, alongside our guide ‘Making the most of CPhI, without CPhI’. It’s amazing how creative you can get when you’re forced to think outside the box!