B2B Sales & Marketing Tips Amidst Social Distancing

The coronavirus and the resultant need for social distancing are having a major negative impact on our economy. Marketers who rely on a sales force with direct and personal contact with customers and prospects are significantly impacted by social distancing. This holds true for many of our clients.

The purpose of this post is to provide some tips to help offset the reduced ability to grow sales through in-person meetings with customers and prospects. Not surprising, most of the tips below leverage digital tools and techniques.

Tip 1: Soften Your Communications

The coronavirus pandemic has made everyone more uncertain if not concerned about their futures—both work and personal. Their minds are distracted by big questions regarding how the pandemic will play out for society and for themselves. While life and business must go on, we must realize that our sales and marketing efforts are happening in that broader context.

We recommend being sensitive to this emotional backdrop in all marcom efforts. It is important to be empathetic and sensitive. Acknowledge the challenges of this time we are living through before hitting your product’s selling points. Consider long-form campaigns where more personal touches can be brought to bear amidst our social isolation. Be real. Be genuine. If your organization is aiding efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus and/or to minimize the impact, share those things specifically and factually. Be helpful, not salesy or boastful. Consider sharing ideas, tips, tricks and best practices appropriate to your target audiences. For example, share innovative methods used by health care workers to protect themselves on the front lines of patient care.

Tip 2: Conduct More Virtual Events

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With tradeshows and conferences getting canceled and people isolating in their homes, it is a perfect time to be leveraging more virtual events. Webcasts are a great tool to reach people interested in a given topic. But rather than an oral presentation with visual slides, add video of the speaker or speakers (at the beginning, ending or throughout) to give the webcast a more personal/human touch. Also, encourage interaction among participants to help them feel more connected and involved. Expand Q&A sessions to include means for participants to follow up individually.

Tip 3: Create and Distribute More Engaging Content

We all know the stats on video. It is more preferred and engages more than virtually any other content these days. As you consider developing content now, consider doing more with video…and bringing in more of that personal/human touch. Beyond video, take a careful look at your existing content as well. PDFs and other e-documents you have can be given new life and value by making them interactive and synergistic. For example, we partner with SaaS platforms that allow us to bring your existing content to life in dynamic, new ways while allowing you to maintain control over those documents and integrate with your existing CRM.

Tip 4: Leverage Marketing Automation Through Drip E-Mail & Text Campaigns

Work with your agency partner to really think through the behavioral element of marketing automation and program meaningful long-tail campaigns with your new and reworked content to be meaningful to your individual customers and prospects. And, as always, bear in mind the fundamentals of what works:

  • Subject lines that are 3 words long engage most effectively
  • Personalizing the subject line increases open rates by one third
  • Less than 20 lines of copy for emails is most effective
  • Two-thirds of emails are opened on mobile devices
  • Dedicated landing pages increase conversion by 300%

The world has changed, at minimum for the time being. What lasting change there will be remains to be seen. Success depends on adapting to change. Six Degrees stands ready to help you stay in touch with your customers and prospects and increase your brand relevance in these challenging times.


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Frank Schab
An experienced marketing and branding strategist, Frank has been helping clients optimize the value of their brands through insightful analysis and effective strategy for more than three decades. Along with holding positions at General Motors and Pfizer, Frank served as a Managing Partner at Interbrand New York and VP of Global Brand Research at Opinion Research Corporation before co-founding Six Degrees. His brand-building work in various sectors including hospitality, medical device, pharmaceutical, automotive and technology has taken him to 17 countries on four continents. Frank holds a doctorate in psychology from Yale University and speaks fluent German.

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