This global pandemic has resulted in a major economic disruption. Not to mention about a ton of lost jobs. Yet, workplaces are expecting their teams to adapt to the new normal without missing a beat. Constant video meetings, status updates and all-day team chats are becoming the norm as leaders try to virtually establish an office like control over their employees. But with other demands with now everybody being home – things like this only creates more stress, burnout and distrust. 

Especially when it comes to marketing, teams have found it very difficult to navigate through this pandemic. Marketing leaders have tried to pivot to newer strategies that could keep them resonated with what people are experiencing right now. 

Here are a few challenges that marketing teams around the world have faced while combating this COVID.

  • Managing/Shifting priorities.
  • Managing a remote marketing team.
  • Prioritizing new requests.
  • Re-aligning budgets for new initiatives. 
  • Co-ordinating with the other departments.

We recently conducted a poll on this on the Growth Folks Facebook group, and we saw some amazing responses.

Biggest challenge in Covid 19

Managing/Shifting Priorities:

36% of the respondents believed that managing/shifting priorities was a major concern during this pandemic.

Since pandemic has struck, marketing leaders have found it very difficult to get a hold of customer motivations and behaviours. With circumstances becoming so radically different marketers should be questioning everything they previously believed to be true. In addition to this marketers will also need to adopt an investor mindset to aggressively adjust marketing spend and continually track performance in order to reallocate it quickly.

Managing/Shifting Priorities:

Some of the questions that they should be answering at this point of time:

  • How should we be talking to our customers?
  • Where shouldn’t we be spending marketing dollars?
  • How should we be working with our teams and our colleagues across the business?

Managing a remote marketing team.

20% of the respondents believed that managing remote marketing teams were a major concern during this pandemic.

While managing an office-based marketing team certainly isn’t a walk in the park, a remote marketing team if wrongly managed can lead to a lot of repercussions. Culture and Communication are the two key factors that determine the success of every remotely managed marketing team.

Managing a remote marketing team.

Remote companies should foster a culture of flexibility, freedom and accountability. This allows them to attract employees who naturally fit into the desired organisational structure and share the organisation’s core beliefs and ambitions. Communication, on the other hand, should be very frequent. Usage of certain tools like Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts on a daily basis could help their cause of doing so. 

Prioritizing new requests

Customers’ priorities have changed, so have ours. People are now spending only on essentials and refraining themselves from other unwarranted things. Brands have indeed taken notice of this and have optimized accordingly.

As Durga Naveen rightly says,
“Customers are only spending on essentials. How to make our services look as essential to the customer is a challenge we need to solve to exist.”

Prioritizing new requests

On the other hand, a lot of startups have started rebranding themselves. Marketers and Designers have indeed their tasks cut out and are ideating and implementing strategies that would increase their revenue/runway in the long run. 

Prioritizing new requests

Re-aligning budgets for new initiatives: 

Certainly, with offline events out of the picture for the next 2-3 months, it would be interesting to see where the allocated budget be instead used for. Webinars/Virtual Events are picking up, companies are seeing a regular uptick in participation, coupled with people’s interest to learn and consume more – they are providing to be an ideal go-to strategy for lead generation.

Re-aligning budgets for new initiatives

Companies have also started investing more in lead magnets and are taking an inside sales approach. For more consumer-facing brands short videos and digestible social media content is the way ahead as we see a significant increase in the screen time of people. Clearly, online media is becoming the go-to alternative as the pandemic continues.

Re-aligning budgets for new initiatives

Coordinating with other departments  

With a complete disruption to the normal ways of work, it’s more than important right now for marketing teams to find out newer ways to communicate better with product/sales teams.  

For marketing teams to collaborate effectively with other departments, it is important to establish strong relationships and create a more transparent work environment regardless of the location limitations.

In general, Leaders need to realise the challenges their employees are dealing with and have to put forward their beliefs and vision clearer than before. It is very important from a leader’s perspective to give your employees a sense of belonging by communicating consistently and acknowledging vulnerability.

Coordinating with other departments

The impact of coronavirus rapidly changed priorities for marketing and is shifting budgets. Marketing has become difficult more than ever during this pandemic. Execution has been a major thing, while people are still figuring out allocation of bandwidth and necessary resources.

Compounded with working remotely, market teams’ productivity is declining day by day as there appears to be an increase in “work about work”, such as an increase in online meetings and status updates.

But as we always know, marketers are a resilient bunch of people and would never go down without a fight. With newer ways of collaboration, marketing teams are slowing appearing to adapt to remote work culture and are taking drastic measures to execute their campaigns. 

Thanks, Kritika Kamra, Karan Prasad, Ishraq Shaikh, Abhinav Sankar, Sahil Patni, Prerak Gala, Divy Poddar, Bharath Sanjeev, Jain Shubham, Soumyadip Banerjee, Jay Karia, Gautam Chadha, Gaurav Gururaj, Sharad Jain, Vineet Nandan Gupta, Ayesha Kazi, Praveen Kumar, Ritesh Aggarwal, Shiva SriCharan Sattiraju, Chirag Jani, Jatin Chhabra, Diya Moraes, Karthik Shankar, Eunicia Peret, Uday Dey, Soumyaranjan Sahoo, Vishal S. Tomar, Alban Williams Jerome, Marvin Diaz, Arjit Shukla, Shreya Das, Abhinav Singh Rana, Sachin S Maski, Nitthin Chandran, Prateeka Kamath, Durga Naveen, Karthik B R, Ishraq Shaikh, Siddharth Dwivedi for contributing their thoughts on challenges faced by marketing teams during this COVID.

These were the highlights which summarise the discussion that happened in our Growth Folks group. The folks who have shared their views are themselves the Growth Marketers/Hackers. We would like to thank all of them for sharing this valuable growth learning.

Are we missing anything important? It’s a community-driven blog, if you have anything to add, do put down your thoughts in the comment section and it will be updated here.

Do read what industry experts have to say regarding ‘Marketing in COVID-19‘ in this special roundup blog our online event. Thank us later 😉