You can tell a lot about what people are thinking about by looking at what they are reading. The top reads on Red Javelin’s blog in 2020 focused on marketing and sales strategies, which is different from previous years, where posts focused on tactics were sprinkled in the top posts. We expect the underlying theme for 2021 to be back-to-basics, but let’s first examine the top topics in 2020.
- The Number One Reason You Need a Marketing Flywheel – In this post, we talk about the marketing flywheel and how it creates a surround-sound effect that generates momentum and attracts customers to you. A marketing flywheel keeps the tactics focused on a single measurable goal and forces you and your organization to keep a single purpose in mind as you execute the tactics. A flywheel approach is also a great way to secure a budget. In this post, How the Marketing Flywheel Gets You A Bigger Budget, we talk about how a series of flywheels give marketers a cohesive way to communicate all of the needed tactics to reach their KPIs. It is not uncommon for the C-suite, sales teams, and other stakeholders to have preconceived ideas and, in many cases, mistaken ideas of what marketing is and what it takes to achieve the goals.
- & 3. Industry 4.0 is a Gamechanger for Marketing, and 5 Ways Industry 4.0 is Changing Marketing and Sales for B2B Manufacturers – These posts tied for second place. 2020 has proven to be the Year of Change. Who would have thought that when budgets were released in January that everything would be turned upside down? Before the pandemic, many manufacturers moved at a snail’s pace to adopt digital marketing and sales. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies and digital sales and marketing. In this post titled How has Manufacturing Marketing has Changed in 2020, we discuss how marketing and sales have changed for our manufacturing clients. Firms have adopted e-commerce, modernized their brand, created online demos, and more.
- 5 PR Strategies to Drive your B2B Marketing Campaigns in 2020 – With industries shut down, we saw a significant decrease in lead generation activities and increased budgets for earned media, thought leadership, educational content, as well as brand building activities.
- & 6. 8 Reasons Why Product Launches Fail and Should You Delay Your Product Launch? – Spring and Fall are the two most popular seasons for product launches. With the pandemic in full swing, it was clear that most markets could have cared less new products unless they helped to alleviate the challenges related to the pandemic. One of the hallmarks of a successful product launch is a market ready to hear your story. If the market isn’t ready or willing to listen, then you are wasting valuable resources.
What’s Hot in 2021?
We expect the theme in 2021 to be back to basics.
Shutdowns lasted longer than expected, and budgets were slashed. Markets became more fragmented, which means that underdogs that survived have a shot at moving into leadership positions with the right thought leadership programs. Check out our post on why we love fragmented markets and why you should too! We expect companies to continue to invest in effective public relations programs.
Company and product messaging will be reviewed to see if it still resonates in the "new normal." Organizations that know why they exist and understand who they are built to serve are uniquely positioned to navigate unprecedented change. When it comes to brands, companies often limit why a brand sells its products and services. However, a purpose-driven company articulates why the organization exists and puts the why at the center of everything it does. Messaging has always been important but it has now become critical for survival and growth.
According to these digital benchmarks from August, sales found that email outreach was less effective last year, while marketing email became more effective. This means marketing needs to refill top-of-funnel and nurture those leads to help shorten the sales cycle. Sales and marketing alignment will be critical for success.