Marketers are focused on nurturing leads and retaining customers following budget and headcount reductions due to COVID-19, according to a new study released by Forrester.
The research builds from the premise that the world has been “turned upside down” since March and looks at how brands are coping amid the major disruption.
It also charts some of the changes to processes that had been part of day-to-day business for B2B companies for years prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Advertising, for example, played a huge role prior to the pandemic, but the study found that budgets “were immediately slashed” as many pivoted to more affordable and targeted marketing.
The drop-off in ad campaigns has also resulted in a decline in investment within the marketing technology industry.
Forrester expects CMOs to spend less on martech solutions for some time yet with the effects still being felt well into 2021.
Overall marketing spend will pick up again but is still expected to be 30% lower at the start of 2022 compared to what it was last year.
The report noted that brands must become more adept at scaling campaigns and delivering great user experiences with smaller teams.
There has also been a focus on relevant content that adds value rather than pushing digital branding that could cause friction and risks across the funnel.
Proof Analytics CEO Mark Stouse added: “Those concerns are addressed by brand – awareness, confidence, trust – not by how many emails or texts you can pump out every hour to people who may or may not want to receive them.”
Growth marketing consultant Benjamin Shapiro concluded that lead conversion efficiency is now the goal for the majority of marketers.
With this in mind, the “smart play” for enterprises is to use cost-effective content to optimise and improve existing marketing strategies.