Led by our Co-Founder Chris Mechanic, this week’s virtual roundtable discussion brought together two B2B Chief Marketing Officers to discuss how COVID-19 has changed their businesses. We’ve found that small groups give people more time to talk. This session featured:

  • Amy Rosen, People’s Trust Insurance Company
  • Tali Chen, DSP Group

Here are the highlights of this week’s discussion:

  • We can’t yet see the full impact of COVID-19 on our deals since they have a 12- to 18-month sales cycle. The main concern is whether new leads will continue to join the marketing funnel.
  • One CMO says that, in terms of COVID’s marketing impact, it’s “shockingly business as usual.” Leads and sales are as strong as before COVID.
  • Florida mandated that some companies couldn’t cancel a deal if a customer couldn’t pay. Surprisingly, their missed payments only increased by about 2%.
  • Google has turned off the ability to leave reviews for some businesses. One CMO will keep monitoring this situation to see if things change.
  • They’ve implemented hiring freezes, and they’re encouraging people to take time off now so that employees don’t build paid time off and take it all at once when things return to normal.
  • One CMO knows many friends who have gotten pay cuts without a reduction in their workload.
  • Possibly due to the move to remote work, those who were already good at communicating have become even better at it, and those who weren’t good communicators have gotten worse.
  • Tech Stacks: One CMO’s team uses Slack all day, more than ever before. They also use GoToMeeting. The other CMO uses Zoom.
  • One CMO has “no-meeting Tuesdays,” which means that no one can have internal meetings on Tuesdays. This rule prevents people from spending their entire day in meetings.
  • Communication will continue to flow to employees and customers as much as possible.
  • This time has taught one CMO how to bring everyone together as a team and how to communicate better than before. She doesn’t think things will ever go back to how they were; instead, they’ll continue to grow and use what they’ve learned.
  • One CMO works with teams across the globe, including in India and Israel. Every team operates independently.
  • They’re interested in finding the right reporting tools for digital marketing. They recommended Google Trends and Google Data Studio as useful tools right now.

This roundtable seemed to follow themes of adjusting to change, closely monitoring for changes in the situation, and continuing with business as usual. That’s because neither CMO seemed to be severely impacted by COVID-19. Instead, they have made some updates to their virtual teams, communication style, and workflow.  Moreover, they’re monitoring the situation to see how it affects their deals and business long-term because we don’t know what will happen.

Likely, the biggest issue will be hiring and budget freezes. If companies continue to delay big decisions and limit resources, we could see those actions ripple through to the amount of deals that close and, ultimately, to business growth.

I wonder if now is a good time to return to normal decision-making and resource levels. Most businesses paused their budgets and big decisions when the COVID hysteria started. But now that the situation is a bit more under control and we realize that some industries can continue as usual, it could be a good opportunity to get a head start.

Stay tuned for more roundtable discussions!

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