2020 was a year we will all remember, without question. It was scary and boring. Long and short. Exhausting and relaxing. What a roller coaster. So what did we learn from all the ups and downs from said roller coaster? Well, at BlueByrd, we learned a lot about business and marketing in the “new normal.” Here’s a quick rundown of our lessons learned in 2020.
It’s not often that you hear a marketing company talk about marketing tactics that didn’t work, but you can’t hit a home run at every at bat, particularly during a global pandemic. A lot of tried and true tactics that worked pre-pandemic stopped working amid the pandemic. When a tactic didn’t work, we stopped to analyze it, adjust it and roll out a better version of it. And there were some tactics that we just had to give up on all together.
One example is webinars. Boy, were they hot in March. People were at home and trying to work. They had time and their phones in hand. Webinar attendance was really high for our clients in Q2, but by July, we couldn’t get quality attendance. Why? Zoom fatigue. Everyone was tired of Zoom meetings. They had so many mandatory meetings on Zoom and other conference platforms that people felt like they were always on Zoom, and the last thing they wanted to do was jump on a non-mandatory Zoom meeting. Plus, there was no good time to schedule a webinar when prospects were in back-to-back-to-back meetings. We found that pre-recording the content and posting it for on-demand viewing worked well for engaging distracted, busy and tired prospects, but the content had to be very appealing and well executed.
Remember how hard it was to find good people in 2019? Well, there were a lot of layoffs in 2020, which meant there were good people on the street. We hired a star mid-year, and it made a big difference for our business. Hiring always has a certain degree of risk for small businesses. “Will I be able to keep these people fed” was the big question in uncertain times like 2020, but if you find the right person that you wouldn’t have access to in the good times, it can pay to roll the dice. It certainly worked out for BlueByrd.
In a tough market, competitors often get quiet from a sales and marketing perspective. We certainly saw it in 2020 both with our competitors and with our clients’ competitors. When your competitors are quiet, that’s the time for you to get aggressive. No matter how bad the market gets, there is still some market out there, so go get it. There were deals to be had in the way of sponsorships, advertising, PPC and SEO in 2020, but only the bold were able to take advantage of them.
Instead of going into survival mode, we helped our clients go into thriveal mode. In 2020, we commercialized 12 products for varying clients during the year. Despite a tough environment, it didn’t stop our clients from launching new products that were able to start gaining brand awareness, attention and most importantly, revenue.
One of our clients in the life sciences industry felt a steep decline in its business with the onset of the shutdowns. We had just launched some new offerings and pivoted to a distributor sales model. It seemed like our timing was pretty bad for the launch. Our target audience refused to go to their office, and their patients were not willing to come into the office. But, the new product we launched was critical for patients, so we repositioned the messaging, and our distributors were able to use this messaging to penetrate the market. The result: an increase in sales, so much so that our client had the best April in the company’s history. Had our client not been aggressive, the story would have turned out way differently.
We are thankful for our clients, partners, friends and family who believed in us, supported us and let us serve them in 2020. We are blessed to have you in our lives, and we couldn’t have made it through a challenging, stressful and unpredictable year without you. No matter what 2021 holds, BlueByrd is here to support our clients and friends. So, here’s to a prosperous, safe and healthy 2021.
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We recently worked with a client that was undergoing a management change with a new CEO, COO, and CIO. The company had been incredibly successful, but the new CEO wanted to take the firm to even greater heights.
Everyone who’s been around the block a time or two in the business world has a good understanding of how consultants of any kind spend their days, right? They’re the ones who charge into companies with a metaphorical baseball bat, break strategies apart only to scatter the pieces, and care less about their bad reputation than Joan Jett. Or in the words of author Martin Kiln when writing about management consultants in particular, they “steal your watch and then tell you the time.” Ouch.
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