hga皇冠 joined IC Summits’ Michigan Virtual Marketing Summit in November 2020 as the moderator with four panelists for a discussion on content differentiation.

Screen-Shot-2021-01-11-at-6.52.03-PM.pngThe lineup included:

  • Jon Lenz, Managing Director, hga皇冠
  • Olivia Ross, Director of Marketing, Halo Burger
  • Kevin Brown, Director of Community Relations & Detroit Red Wings Foundation, Detroit Red Wings
  • Zach Grah, Director of Marketing and Sales Operations, Sound Physicians
  • Caridad Bojorquez, Product Specialist, Sitecore Content Hub, Sitecore

The panelists represented diverse industries in B2C and B2B, resulting in a great discussion that offered a broad perspective around how businesses are communicating through the pandemic.

3 Key Themes for Content Differentiation From IC Summits Panel

The discussion surfaced three key themes:

  1. Transparency in communicating with audiences
  2. Balance between digital and personal experiences
  3. The necessity of quick adjustments to strategies

#1 Every Business Is Doubling Down on Communication and Transparency

B2C companies were greatly affected by the pandemic in the early spring because the bulk of their daily business is done in-person, making a complete halt on events incredibly disruptive. Both panelists representing B2C companies noted an immediate focus on fostering their community and analyzing the value they bring to their audiences.

On the flip side, B2B companies were more affected through quick changes to internal processes. Teams provided as much information as possible on their company’s response to COVID; sales and product teams halted travel in favor of going digital; and customers requested lightning fast digital transformation, putting a strain on internal workloads.

Once the hustle subsided, B2B panelists took a similar route as the B2C group by pausing, looking at their goals through a 30,000 foot lens, and reworking their strategy to align with what matters now.

#2 Companies Have a Balancing Act Between Digital Content and Personalized Experiences

2020 has been the year of going digital for many companies. Panelists relied more on digital communication at the beginning of the pandemic, but as digital fatigue set in, it became more important to bring the human element into daily life.

On the B2C side, content such as handwritten thank you notes and videos of athletes in their own homes broke through digital clutter in ways that created human connection.IC Summits Quote

For B2B companies, panelists embraced empathy with clients, owning the challenges they had, and pivoting messaging quickly to create deeper relationships.

The panel discussion came to a consensus that human interactions and digital content are a balancing act. While not every thank you note or birthday shoutout can be measured, those experiences are what build a brand over time.

#3 Pivot Quickly, Test Often, Adjust the Strategy, and Keep Going Forward

Panelists concluded the discussion by sharing a lesson that 2020 offered.

  • Caridad – Don’t underestimate the power of cross departmental collaboration. It’s powerful to lean into the resources you already have and take collective accountability for the change in strategy.
  • Olivia – Consider your company’s share-of-heart versus the share-of-wallet. Even though not every human interaction has a direct ROI, those share-of-heart activities are still important for brand reputation.
  • Zach – Don’t expect what worked in the past to work now. The annual activities that teams relied on needed to change this year. Some companies were able to rework events to become digital, but other teams needed to completely reimagine their value to the community and create new experiences.
  • Kevin – Digital is here to stay. Before the pandemic forced companies to go virtual, some organizations never would have considered digital options for their audiences. Now teams have created innovative ideas, such as teaching street hockey through online modules, that these digital components will make their way into next year’s planning.

The pandemic has affected every company differently, forcing marketing teams to take a responsive approach that fostered the development of strong ideas. Through all these changes, one constant remained: everyone kept moving forward.

2020 brought monumental challenges to businesses, but teams that reacted quickly, adjusted strategies, and focused on the value their company brings to its audiences were able to make positive changes that will last beyond this wild year.