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The initial survey, carried out on 16th March, revealed how marketers felt about working remotely due to the pandemic, the potential for delays to product and service launches and digital transformation investment, the major concerns of large enterprises versus SMEs about the impact of remote working, and much more.

As we all know, events have progressed extremely rapidly since the crisis began to unfold, and what was true a fortnight ago probably doesn’t hold true any more.

A follow-up survey, carried out on 31st March, starkly illustrates just how much has changed for businesses in two weeks, with demand for products and services, marketing campaigns, and marketing budgets severely reduced – but with some surprising bright spots in the way that companies are innovating on their products and processes.

A blow to product and service demand, marketing campaigns and marketing budgets

While it comes as little surprise to anyone that businesses are experiencing lowered demand as a result of the coronavirus crisis, it is still sobering to note how much this has escalated in the space of just two weeks.

Among global businesses with annual revenues of more than £50 million, 35% noted in the first survey that they had experienced lowered demand for products and services – but this figure has since leapt up to 64%, almost two-thirds of respondents.

As a result, marketing campaigns and budgets are being severely impacted. Just 12% of respondents to the 31st March survey say that marketing campaigns are “going ahead as planned” – down from 42% on the 16th March, a drop of 30 percentage points. A similarly dismal 13% say that marketing budget commitments are going ahead as planned, down from 36% two weeks ago.

New hires, product or service launches, technology and infrastructure spending and planned strategic initiatives like digital transformation have all taken similar hits, although in slightly more encouraging news, the largest percentage of respondents – 28% – say their businesses are still going ahead with planned strategic initiatives like digital transformation or restructuring, while 23% say they are still going ahead with technology or infrastructure spending.

In the wake of the previous survey, I wrote about how digital transformation investment is more crucial now than ever before, as usage of products and services shifts from the physical world to the digital one – requiring many brands to get creative about how they deliver their product to consumers, and/or rely more heavily on their digital infrastructure than they ever might have expected to.

However, investment in marketing will also play a crucial role in businesses’ ability to reach consumers in the midst of a global crisis – and their ability to come through it, which makes the slim percentage of large enterprises going ahead with planned marketing budgets all the more concerning.

How are organisations adapting to the changed environment?

How have organisations’ processes and the way they deliver to customers changed to accommodate the ‘new normal’? On 16th March, less than three-fifths (59%) of respondents from large enterprises said they had changed employee policies around things like remote work, travel and bonuses to accommodate the situation. Now, an overwhelming 95% say they have.

A similarly high percentage – 88% – of enterprises report that they have created a dedicated team to deal with the impact and implications of COVID-19, up from 61% two weeks ago. And just over two thirds (67%) of global enterprises report that they have changed their marketing strategy in some way – through discounts, messaging, partnerships, or similar – in light of the situation, a 41 percentage point increase from the 26% who had done so a fortnight ago.

More than half of global enterprises (52%) report changing customer policies regarding things like cancellation terms, or by waiving fees; just under half (48%) also report having changed their policies for vendors, by extending timelines or terms of payment. This is up from 24% and 22%, respectively, two weeks ago.

With 95% of large organisations globally having changed their policies around things like remote work and travel, what impact has this had on employee productivity? Encouragingly, the percentage of large enterprises reporting that their productivity has been affected by travel restrictions and new processes has gone down slightly, from 60% two weeks ago to 58%, as teams settle into the new way of working. Respondents from large enterprises also reported a drop in absenteeism, from 21% two weeks ago to 13%.

The majority of respondents from large enterprises also report being at least as efficient (34%) as they were before the crisis, if not more so (22%), with 44% of respondents reporting that they are “less efficient than normal”.

It seems that these ways of working may well be maintained even after the outbreak has passed, with 73% of large enterprises saying that over the last several weeks, they have observed new ways of working in their organisation that they might use post-outbreak. Forty-four percent have also observed new processes that they might use post-outbreak.

More than three quarters (76%) also reported some kind of innovation in response to the outbreak that they might use afterwards, whether it be in marketing messaging or branding (30%), customer communications (24%) or product or service innovations (22%).

Under the circumstances, it appears that marketers are doing what they can to adapt and even innovate in response to the unfolding global crisis, and many of the results are encouraging, particularly in terms of teams changing their approach to work, maintaining efficiency, and even managing to find new ways of delivering their product, messaging or branding.

The main point of concern is just how much marketing budgets seem to have dwindled amidst the crisis – even among large, well-resourced organisations. And while it’s unsurprising that cuts are being made to spending, now more than ever companies need to focus on building their brands, putting out positive and worthwhile messages into the world, and finding ways to reach customers with the new innovations they’ve developed.

The post Marketing in the coronavirus crisis: how are enterprise organisations adapting to the “new normal”? appeared first on Econsultancy.

What’s the most intriguing email strategy you’ve shared this week?

Want an effective way to promote limited-time offers or events? Have you considered a temporary Facebook group? In this article, you’ll discover how to run a pop-up Facebook group for business. When to Use a Pop-Up Facebook Group Unlike regular groups, a pop-up Facebook group is a limited-time experience. Members have the opportunity to learn […]

The post How to Use a Pop-Up Facebook Group for Business appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

What’s the most interesting list website you’ve recognized this month?

B2B Influencer Marketing Survey

B2B Influencer Marketing Survey

Influencer Marketing is positioned to address some of the key B2B marketing challenges of our time: declining buyer trust, improving content quality, reach and effectiveness.

On top of that, business marketers are now faced with the additional challenge of in-person marketing being taken out of the mix with many shifting to pure digital and and purpose driven programs.

Influencer Marketing presents an even greater opportunity for B2B brands in an all-digital environment to attract and engage customers with authentic content that builds trust.

While there’s plenty of momentum and recent attention towards influencer marketing for B2B companies, the majority of research on the topic has been covered broadly or focused on B2C influencer marketing. Many blogs and publications including this one have cited B2C statistics and examples in the hopes of a correlation to B2B. But it’s just not the same thing.

Fyre Festival references and comparisons to Kardashians when understanding the possibilities with B2B influencer marketing isn’t helping anyone.

To give the B2B world some clarity, TopRank Marketing has launched the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Study. Our goal is to help demystify the top challenges, best practices of top performers, operations, software and future directions of influence for business to business marketers.

Survey respondents can get early access to the report PLUS they can also enter to win a $500 Amazon gift card.

We’ve been capturing responses for several weeks and despite all that is going on right now, the survey has been well received. Marketers from B2B companies of all sizes including many of the top B2B brands in the world have taken the survey and the insights so far are compelling to say the least.

If you work in B2B marketing and have tested influencer projects, implemented campaigns or are currently running ongoing influencer marketing programs, I invite you to take the survey today.

With the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Study, we’ll finally have valid statistics based on actual B2B practitioners sharing their successes, challenges, strategies, tactics, measurement, operations, software and trends insights. Now, more than ever, we need clarity on what influencer marketing means for the B2B world as we navigate these challenging times and beyond.

Big thanks to MarketingProfs, Content Marketing Institute and B2B Ignite USA for their media partnerships to get the word out on the survey. We’ll be sharing multiple additional media sponsors soon. I would also like to thank Mantis Research for their research services.


The post Take the 2020 B2B Influencer Marketing Survey appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

What’s the most useful email tool you’ve recognized today?

I’ve seen reports that someone is asserting that utm=COVID19 in URLs results in all mail going to bulk at multiple ISPs. This is the type of thing that someone says is true and dozens of folks believe it and thus a “deliverability phact” is born. For a plethora of reasons, this doesn’t pass the sniff test. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

It’s very tempting to identify this One Simple Trick to get your email into the inbox. Change this font. Take out this UTM. Change this hostname. And, in some cases it may even work for a time.

But, look, if filters really were that simple they’d be wholly ineffective. Not just slightly ineffective but wholly ineffective. Anything that is easy to test can be defeated, and spammers test as much or even more than marketers do.

Don’t believe me? Over a decade ago I was invited to a meeting with a “marketing company” based out of San Francisco. After I got there and signed the NDA, they explained their strategy to get mail into Hotmail. Starting at 5pm they would have their content staff start writing emails and sending them to Hotmail. They’d test and test and test until one of them got into the inbox. Once they found content that would get through the filters, they’d turn on the floodgates and send as much mail as they could until the filters caught up. They’d do this all night, every night. (They were shut down by the FTC not long after I declined to work with them.)

It’s naive to believe that filters would be so transparent and think they’d still work. Anything so simple is going to be discovered and exploited by the spammers. Don’t fall prey to this kind of deliverability nonsense. Think about what the bad guys would do if this were true. And then remember that the bad guys have a lot of practice exploiting naive filters.

When is the Right Time to Hire a Book Editor?

First-time authors sometimes make a grave mistake when seeking a book editor for their first manuscript.

When I started as a freelance editor, I couldn’t put my finger on the problem. But, as my client list grew, I realized why I was secretly getting frustrated with a few of their books.

Highly experienced editor Shawn Coyne expresses the problem succinctly and memorably: “A lot of people just want to dump their goo on an editor and have the editor form that into something for them.”

When weary writers submit their premature manuscripts to editors too soon, both parties will inevitably become frustrated.

For the most part, I don’t believe first-time authors do this knowingly. They just don’t know any better. They’ve written what they believe is a workable first draft, and because they want to do the process right, they begin looking for editors for hire.

But a first draft should never be sent to an editor, unless you’re working with — and willing to pay — a developmental editor to help you create a workable draft.

Why premature manuscript submissions happen

Authors who submit under-cooked books are subconsciously motivated by the twin specters that haunt every writer, every day: fear and resistance.

They may fear they don’t have what it takes to be “a serious writer,” so they send their “goo” to an editor in the hopes that the editor can affirm their work and make it monumentally better.

Unwittingly, these authors place the burden of failure (or success) onto their editors’ shoulders.

Or, maybe the writer has been working on their book for three months, or a year, or many years, and they’re so tired of looking at the thing that they send it off because they just want to be done with the process. In Steven Pressfield’s parlance from The War of Art, that’s Resistance.

In fact, Pressfield writes, “Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.”

How much does a first-time author’s first book mean to them? The world.

So how much Resistance can they expect? Planet-sized.

When you’re up against a foe like that, I don’t blame authors who’d rather have the editor fight that battle.

But that’s not our job. As the writer, this is your fight.

When should I start reviewing editors for hire?

The question that arises then is: When is the right time to hire an editor?

Consider these questions, and be brutally honest with yourself in answering them before figuring out how to find an editor:

  • Have I done as much as I can to make my manuscript the best I can?
  • Am I looking for an editor because I’m tired of looking at my manuscript?
  • Have I attempted any book editing on my own?
  • Has any experienced writer read my work-in-progress or early drafts? (Tip: find a local writing group or critique group.)
  • Do I need to learn more about the craft of writing before proceeding with further work on my book?
  • Do I have the nagging feeling that something undefinable isn’t quite working in my manuscript?
  • Do I understand the cost, both in time and money (freelance editing rates), of hiring a professional editor, and have I budgeted for both?
  • Do I know the difference between developmental editing and copyediting? And if I’m tired of working on my book but want to get it done, do I have the budget to hire a developmental editor to help me cross the finish line?
  • If you’re self-publishing: Am I rushing the process simply to crank out another book?
  • Am I sending my book to an editor because I’m afraid I don’t have what it takes to be a writer? In other words, am I hoping that a professional editor can shape my goo into the masterpiece I have in my mind?

The real question before looking for editors for hire

I hear the fear that sits within every writer’s heart when a first-time author and client asks me that one question I dread: What do you think of my book?

What they’re actually asking is: Is it any good?

If an editor answers that question — they often won’t unless they’ve been hired for a manuscript critique — they’re likely going to be bluntly honest. Why?

If they’re experienced and good at what they do, they’ve read a ton of books. They know the industry. They know what’s considered publishable. And they will stack that knowledge against your book, and your book may not come out looking so well.

Every writer suffers from doubt that their book will be good or even acceptable.

When John Steinbeck wrote East of Eden — a phenomenal book — he recorded this in his journal, which was later published in Journal of a Novel: “I know it is the best book I have ever done. I don’t know whether it is good enough.”

To me, that’s one of the more astounding admissions of self-doubt from a writer who had experienced both critical and commercial success. In other words, even Steinbeck feared that the “goo” of his manuscript wasn’t ready.

Steinbeck needed at least six years to write East of Eden based on notes he’d taken about the Salinas Valley for most of his life. Arguably, he needed his lifetime to write what he considered his masterpiece. He wrote, “I think everything else I have written has been, in a sense, practice for this.”

Toward the end of that years-long journey, as he dove headlong into finishing East of Eden, Steinbeck wrote letters to his friend and editor, Pascal Covici, which were posthumously published in Journal of a Novel in 1968.

When considering whether or not your book is ready for an editor, think about Steinbeck’s challenge to himself: “You can’t train for something all your life and then have it fall short because you are hurrying to get it finished.”

Writer, this is your fight. If it’s your first, prepare for 15 rounds.

This is an updated version of a story that was previously published. We update our posts as often as possible to ensure they’re useful for our readers.

Photo via GuadiLab / Shutterstock 

The post When is the Right Time to Hire a Book Editor? appeared first on The Write Life.

How will you apply the knowledge from this post?

2020 April 3 Social Bakers Chart

2020 April 3 Social Bakers Chart

Influencers see surge in engagement, want to help SMBs
While other forms of marketing have generally seen decreased effectiveness figures during the coronavirus pandemic, influencer marketing has seen surging social media engagements and impressions, with some 70 percent of influencers seeing audiences seeking guidance from them during the crisis, according to recently-released survey data of interest to digital marketers. Influence Central

Forrester: Brands must build trust as coronavirus saps consumer sentiment
Although brands have been facing decreased consumer confidence due to the coronavirus pandemic, some are also achieving new levels of trust by helping consumers regain a sense of control, a shift examined in newly-released consumer energy index survey data from Forrester. Marketing Dive

Forrester Chart

Facebook Added a New ‘Experiments’ Element to Ad Manager to Help Optimize Ad Performance
Facebook has released new online video watching features to meet growing usage demands due to the coronavirus pandemic, including audience targeting campaign test results that are easier to track, and other additions that had previously been available only to partners, the social media giant announced recently. Social Media Today

An Age Gap Emerges in the Streaming Video Ad vs. Costs Debate
52 percent of the 25-34 age group demographic are open to seeing more online advertisements in exchange for lower streaming video service fees, while just 28 percent older than 55 take the same view, two of several findings of interest to digital marketers in new survey data. MarketingCharts

The new contextual ad targeting works, study says
With browser cookie-based tracking on the wane, contextual advertising has been getting a second look from marketers seeking alternative tracking, and recently-released test results found that contextually relevant ads generated some 43 percent greater neural engagement along with 2.2 times better ad recall, among other findings of interest to marketers. Search Engine Land

Trust Barometer Special Report: Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic [Edelman]
Brands can meet the challenges surfaced by COVID-19 by offering solutions and setting aside passion, according to newly-released consumer trust report data from Edelman, which revealed that some 57 percent of consumers want brands to stop all humorous or light-hearted marketing and advertising during the pandemic. Edelman

2020 April 3 Statistic Image

Remote working: B2B brands feeling more resilient than B2C
B2B marketers have a greater sense of resiliency than their B2C counterparts, especially when it comes to remote collaboration, with 51 percent of B2B marketers viewing their organizations as very proficient at conducting remote work, while just 34 percent of B2C marketers took the same view — two of several findings of interest to online marketers contained in new Marketing Week and Econsultancy survey data. Marketing Week

UK B2B marketers split on whether they can overcome coronavirus pandemic
While some 45 percent of B2B marketers in the U.K. said that they were either extremely or fairly confident about finding success during the coronavirus pandemic, just 40 percent felt confident in achieving any return on investment (ROI) from current campaigns, according to recently-released survey data from CogniClick. The Drum

Three Points B2B Sellers Should Consider to Improve Buyers’ Experiences
86 percent of B2B technology buyers have an expectation that they will receive personalized sales material — a rate that is likely responsible for 71 percent of B2B buyers saying that their salesperson relationship directly influenced a recent purchase. These purchasing experience results are along several of interest to digital marketers in newly-released report data. MarketingCharts

How COVID-19 Is Impacting Social Media Ad Rates and Engagement
The coronavirus pandemic has brought lower cost per click (CPC), click-through rate (CTR), and ad spending figures for brands, including social media ad engagement that was down 17.2 percent during the middle of March, according to newly-released report data from Social Bakers of interest to digital marketers. MarketingProfs


2020 April 3 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at decision paralysis by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

MySpace Tells Employee to Stay Home During Pandemic — The Hard Times


  • Lee Odden — What’s Trending: Marketing in Troubled Times — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden — Creando estrategias de contenido B2B – Webinar con Lee Odden (Inglés) [Video – In Spanish] — B2B Marketers
  • Lane R. Ellis — Want to Increase Your Small Business Knowledge? Here are 10 Expert Tips — Small Business Trends
  • Lee Odden — 10 Takeaways from HubSpot’s State of Marketing 2020 Report — Weidert

Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for taking the time to join us, and we hope that you will return again next Friday for a new array of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

The post Digital Marketing News: Influencers See Surging Engagement, COVID-19’s Impact on B2B Marketers, & New Opportunities For Building Brand Trust appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.