It comes to no shock that marketers and business owners across the world are starting to feel the financial effects of the coronavirus. With no other choice, many have been forced to cut entire departments that are deemed non-essential to the lifeblood of their business. A recent article from Forbes revealed an exhaustive list of relevant companies by industry that have disclosed their financial and staff losses. In short, the Federal Reserve of St. Louis estimated that 47 million jobs could be lost due to the coronavirus crisis. These losses will result in shifting the responsibility of a company’s marketing efforts to staff members, who perhaps, are inexperienced HubSpot users. This is a critical time to stay relevant for consumers and be reliable thought leaders. Knowing how to utilize HubSpot’s essential components will keep your company in motion.
This is a guide for newly assigned HubSpot users and managers on how to get the most out of HubSpot during the coronavirus pandemic. Within this guide, we will cover:
The risks we take as business owners if we simply choose to wait this out.
Industry best practices on utilizing the free tools HubSpot offers
New pricing rollout from HubSpot - limitations that are being lifted for 90 days.
As history shows, during an economic downturn, marketing budgets are often the first to get cut. But is this still the appropriate knee-jerk response in an era where the vast portion of the marketplace is linked through the Internet? On April 9th, 2020, HubSpot gathered insights based on aggregated data from over 70,000 of its customers globally and found that the average monthly website traffic increased by 13% in March, compared to February. Additionally, customer-initiated conversations (onsite chat and Facebook Messenger) have increased each week since March 9th; two days before the World Health Organization's declaration of a global pandemic. There is a real opportunity to stand out amongst competition by understanding the evolving consumption patterns and fine-tuning marketing strategies accordingly.
If your marketing campaigns have remained stagnant or unchanged over the course of the last few weeks, consider that the risk of remaining idle during this pandemic is substantial. Recalling one year after the most recent financial crisis in 2008, an article from the Harvard Business Review discusses the successes and failures of companies in a recession. The pattern shows a higher success rate of companies who shifted from their traditional market segments (i.e. women over 40, median income of 40,000, etc.) to psychographics like “slam-on-the-brakes consumers”, “pained-but-patient consumers”, “comfortably well-off consumes”, or the “live for today segment”. Companies that matched their marketing efforts towards these groups after the economic crisis saw higher returns than traditional marketers. It’s time to formulate new COVID-19 Buyer Personas. Your consumer’s purchasing habits and needs have changed, you buyer personas have changed, and therefore, your marketing should change.
As the HBR article advises, perform a triage on your brand and its products or services. Determine which have poor survival prospects, which may suffer declining sales but can be stabilized, and which are likely to flourish during the recession and afterward.
Develop COVID-19 buyer personas to reflect your consumer’s current jobs to be done.
List out solutions or value-adds your brand can provide each new buyer persona to establish you as a forward-thinking responder even in stressful times.
Create a simple 90-day content strategy/plan that speaks to each of your new buyer personas. It’s a race to the bottom to begin competing on price and now more than ever are consumers concerned with brands providing authentic, valuable solutions.
Lastly, stop ad campaigns that simply don’t provide a return and double down on the campaigns that do. Ad spend is about to get highly competitive with big brands out-bidding smaller businesses, so unless you have an unlimited budget you need to know where the ROI is coming from.
Automation: Using HubSpot workflows can help you automate sales, marketing, and service to ensure your CRM is clean, your customers are being tended to, and deals are moving forward. Your marketing and sales teams likely have set up automation based on a number of criteria. For example, automated emails could be sent to laid off sales reps to follow up once a contact fills out a form. It’s important to make sure these automated actions aren’t causing opportunities to slip through the cracks.
Conversations inbox: If you have a way for contacts to get a hold of your company on your website from a chat bot, it’s likely that communication flows through the conversations inbox. Check this regularly.
Ads and Social Media: Audit the scheduled social media posts and active ads. Audience engagement could fall flat or even damage your brand based on the pre-written content that’s not relevant in today’s COVID world.
Tickets: This is where customers will share any issues they’re having with your products or services. This is an important time to remain active with your customers and display a sense of care and gratitude for their business.
Payments: Make sure you're still collecting payments. It may seem obvious, but if your HubSpot account is utilizing a payment integration, run an audit to ensure all payments and information are coming through accurately into HubSpot.
New pricing rollout from HubSpot: Connect with your HubSpot account rep to explore potential discounts or opportunities to augment your pricing structure. Your assigned HubSpot rep is able to walk you through the ins and out of the new HubSpot payment options. Whether you’re a new user, already taking advantage of HubSpot’s free platform, or you’ve decided to cut costs and downgrade your pricing tier, HubSpot has unlocked a number of their tools for free over the next 90-days in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. These tools include; Meetings, Quotes/E-sign, and 1:1 video creation. The link above also mentions other adjustments in HubSpot’s pricing structures as well as removing limits on calling minutes and email sends for certain pricing tiers. A noteworthy change is the special on the starter growth suite ($50 for all three) and a 25% discount that is applied when you buy the professional or enterprise growth suite. Sales and Service tools are more important than ever now that we are working remote.
HubSpot Remote Tools To Consider:
Conversations Inbox, Live Chat to enable remote support
Knowledge Base to enable you/your clients to self serve
"@" mentioning to facilitate better collaboration across their teams
Workflows to make sure no lead slips through the cracks. Also, workflows to reduce the manual labor required in many sales/marketing/service orgs.
Meetings Link so each rep can customize their availability based on their working situation
Mobile App so each user can access what they need wherever they are
Integration with key communication tools, like Slack, to better enable remote workers
The current climate presents a unique opportunity for marketers and business owners to take advantage. If taking on your company's marketing strategy yourself seems too daunting, consider working with a HubSpot Administrator to put action to your strategy during these times. The coronavirus and subsequent buying habits may not be changing soon and the companies that do not invest in themselves and embrace a new way of doing business will be left behind by the companies that see opportunity and make that change/investment.