How Marketing Operations Can Use This Crisis Time Effectively

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” - Winston Churchill

With the recent challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are changing their practices to reflect the new reality. You might be wondering, how can I use this time effectively? 

It’s become ever so critical to start examining ways that your company can reduce its marketing costs without impacting your customer experience. Now is the time to focus on house cleaning and improvements, not take a break.

What can you learn? How can you keep your team focused and engaged?  Here are 6 ways you can leverage this time effectively to ensure business success and continuity. 

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1. Re-Prioritze Your Weekly Learning
2. Switch Your Event Budgets to Virtual Events
3. Clean Up Your Marketing Database
4. Review Your Martech Stack
5. Build Relationships & Alliances with Sales
6. Improve Your Process, Productivity, & Virtual Culture

1. Re-Prioritize Your Weekly Learning 

Many marketing operations leaders are not only changing the way they work, but when and how they work. Activities that would normally take place annually or quarterly have now become a weekly practice. 

Caption: This handy graph from McKinsey & Company illustrates how some activities are being prioritized over others - changing from quarterly to weekly practices. 

McKinsey & Company recommends moving some activities which which were done on quarterly and monthly basis previoously to a weekly habit, such as:

  • Dedicating time to learn about your MarTech Stack
  • Sharing test-and-learn discoveries across the organization
  • Reallocating digital talent across business units or functions

2. Switch Your Event Budgets To Virtual Events 

According to AdAge, hosting, attending, and exibing events take up a solid 21% of overall marketing budgets. With lockdown orders and social distancing regulations cancelling most events, marketing operations leaders can reallocate event budget to digital events like webinars and podcasts. 

If you lack the infrastructure to create, edit, and publish videos from an at home office, now would be the perfect time to invest. This works to your advantage in two ways: it’s never a bad idea to invest in a proven virtual channel to communicate with your audience, and it is also another skill set for your modern digital marketing team.

Webinar Best Practices Checklist:

Get More People to Register

Send a combination of text-only and HTML email virtual eventsImplement A/B testingResend non-open emails a week later using a different subject lineAdd an exciting trailer for your webinarSend reminders and day-of the eventRequest questions and topics in advance

Promote Events Across Multiple Channels

Email to existing marketing databaseWeb content for acquisition of new recordsPromote on Social Media & Paid Media

Trigger Curiosity with Your Useful and Practical Content

Create engaging copy to compel your leads to easily sign upMake sure that it’s content they need, not fluffThink about value: does this event benefit the prospect in any way?

Don’t Forget Your OnDemand Strategy

Make your content available on demand post the live dateUse the content in nurture streamsGate for lead generation

ProTip: The budget for physical events can be split into multiple programs of virtual events. Do more with less.

3. Clean Up Your Marketing Database 

Examining your data, maintaining, and optimizing your database is an important task, with or without the existence of a pandemic. Since we’re on the topic of using your time during this crisis effectively, now’s the time to roll up your sleeves and take a good hard look at the marketing data your business has been accumulating. 

Start by analyzing your lists - is your email bounce rate high? Are you getting poor engagement data from your campaigns? This could mean that you have a fair amount of bad data in your database. Data decays with time, so this includes anything from old, deactivated emails to spam bots. 

This is a good time to:

  • Clean up your bad data
  • Prevent High Bounce Rates
  • Stay Compliant
  • Segment Your Database 
  • Manage Test Records
  • Complete Missing Data Points
  • Remove any Purchased Lists

4. Review Your MarTech Stack 

Has it been a while since you’ve revisited what tools are in your MarTech stack? Have you lost track of your subscriptions and who owns what tool and system? Do you know all the executive sponsors for why tools are needed? 

If you answered no to any of the above, take a few moments with all your stakeholders to review what tools you’re currently subscribed to. Some of your pre-existing contracts may expire soon. While doing this, you may realize that some tools in your MarTech stack might not be as useful as you once thought. Some criteria you can use to make this determination is: 

  • Who is the executive sponsor of this tool and what are the business objectives?
  • What administration is required?
  • Has this tool made my life or the life of my team members easier in any way? 
  • Does it remove additional process steps and save me time? 
  • How often the company is using this tool and the features it provides?
  • Do we know the contract end date?

If you answered no to any of these criteria, it’s time to re-think your MarTech Stack. Getting rid of tools you seldom use can reduce some clutter, not to mention critical business costs. Optimizing your MarTech Stack can reduce the complications and noise of having to deal with different systems and tools overlapping in functionality. 

ProTip: Examine if one tool can do the work of two. You will be surprised what you find! 

5. Build Relationships & Alliances with Sales 

Coordinate with your Sales Leadership to align on common objectives. Many topics can be on the agenda: Use this time to better understand what your sales team needs from marketing  to better focus your marketing activities.  

Help your sales team:

  • Better understand the marketing activity reporting available 
  • Identify new audiences and messages in your marketing database
  • Utilize different one-on-one communication capabilities directly out of CRM

Look into any underutilized tools in your MarTech & SalesTech Arsenal and what they could do. Don’t stop reaching out to former clients or new prospects; however do it with empathy. Examine ways you can shift in person outreach meetings to the virtual arena. 

Make sure you’re  setting appropriate expectations and reporting accurately to ensure  effective campaign performance. In addition to this, here are some other things you can do to improve your relationships: 

  • Review business and revenue objectives
  • Finetune your MQL criteria
  • Establish expectations, SLAs and fine tune the process
  • Streamline the lead management process


6. Improve Your Process, Productivity, & Virtual Culture 

Depending on what industry you’re in, you may have transitioned the majority of your workforce to a remote working environment. This means that holding your team members accountable while ensuring they have what they need to keep their tasks organized and on track may be a new challenge. 

Now would be an excellent time to review and optimize your work management process and boost productivity. Examine if there are any work management improvements you can make. There are a variety of work management tools at your disposal that you can deploy to help your team be better organized:

  • Trello, part of the Atlassian family, is a friendly easy to use kanban board with lots of free functionality
  • Workfront, a feature rich work management platform.  It’s features include issue tracking, document management time tracking and portfolio management.
  • Asana is an easy to use project management tool created by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz
  • Basecamp, an easy to use project management tool with a long history of innovation
  • Bynder, can be used for more than just project management, it has tons of digital asset management capabilities helping teams streamline their workflow and content creation. 
  • Clarizen, a full on suite of work management for large companies

How Can You Maintain Your Service to Your Clients?

Review your Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with the rest of the company and other partner organizations. Can any realistic improvements be made to the current expectations you have? Look into seeing if the scope of your agreement can be expended to include more ways you can be of service to your organization.

Don’t Forget Your Culture

Just because everyone is working from home, doesn’t mean that social get-togethers and beer Friday’s should be forgotten. Macro finds creative ways to maintain the same awesome culture while everyone works in self isolation:

Use Interim Services

If your company is in a hiring freeze due to COVID-19  putting a halt to onboarding that enthusiastic digital marketer or CRM expert, you interviewed earlier this year, can be very frustrating. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.

This is where Macro stands ready to provide extra hands and brains to fill in that gap. We offer flexible resources on a per-project basis or on-going basis to best meet your needs. Our skilled specialists are ready to help you ensure business continuity.

If you feel you need to take some time for yourself for health reasons, please do so. When you’ve taken the time you need, get out there and start leveraging  this situation to your advantage!  Speak to one of our  advisors today. 

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