Planning for the future in an uncertain world

Five marketing leaders share the adjustments and changes their companies underwent in order to adapt to the pandemic. 

Sarah Donnelly, marketing director, Blick Rothenberg

How many of the plans that you had in place before lockdown actually were delivered as expected?

SD: Honestly very few. I say that because whilst our plans remain in place and are being delivered, it is on a different timeline. Lockdown changed everything and the main thing we needed to do was to refocus our marketing to provide our clients with practical guidance and support through the pandemic – the result was our Practical Guidance campaign. Since then however, our plans have progressed as they were initially put in place before lockdown.

What's happened to your approach to innovation in the last four months, and what do you expect will happen to it for the remainder of the year?

SD: We continue to innovate in the marketing we do because I am a firm believer that innovation should never stop. No matter the market situation, B2B marketers have to continually refine what we do, but lockdown really made us up our game and look at things differently. I expect it to carry on for the rest of the year and beyond, and I am keen to hear from other B2B marketing professionals about what they have done differently in lockdown and beyond.

How has your relationship with the rest of the business changed? Has it been an opportunity to reframe things for the better? Have you been able to deliver more and new kinds of value?

SD: The engagement with marketing from the rest of the business has changed significantly. Much quicker than I ever planned they have seen the results of a content-led campaign approach and the benefits it brings and are hungry for more.  They now see that our team is capable of really impacting the business positively and can add huge amounts of value in the right ways. It’s no longer ‘I say, you do’; it’s now a proper plan aligned to the business objectives and a conversation about what needs to be achieved and us advising on the best marketing for success. We have delivered huge value to the business and they are now much more aware of the results financially, as well as brand awareness and market engagement.