How To Be A B2B Marketer In A Pandemic

Technology doesn’t stop during a pandemic.

Because of that, VMware needs to stay connected to customers and showcase its multi-cloud technology.

But in the B2B industry, which is traditionally driven by in-person events and marketing, building relationships and growing leads virtually poses a challenge.

VMware CMO Carol Carpenter stepped into her role in the middle of the COVID pandemic and had to quickly move to virtual marketing. Although there have been challenges, she says B2B marketing during a pandemic has also had some positive impacts.

The root of Carpenter’s marketing approach is communication and data. She aims to over-communicate, both to her team of more than 700 people and to customers and prospects. Her team also relies heavily on data—especially during the pandemic—to track its progress and tailor experiences and marketing campaigns that resonate with customers. Carpenter says being able to understand a customer’s needs, thoughts and values is crucial.

As marketing shifted online, Carpenter’s team unleashed its creativity. Using communication and data as a foundation, it moved traditionally in-person events to virtual venues. VMware has hosted events like chocolate tastings, whisky tastings and concerts with famous musicians. As a bonus, customers and prospects are able to include their families, which adds to the relationship-building.

Moving online has allowed B2B marketers to better engage their prospects and clients. In the physical world, a company can track who attended a dinner and event. But it can be difficult to know if the person was actually engaged or interested in the product.

When things move online, however, companies can track who participated, what they looked at, who they talked to and what they talked about. It provides a much fuller picture of what each person did at the event and allows marketers to follow up with specific questions and comments.

Although in-person events have paused, Carpenter says B2B marketers still have incredible opportunities to build relationships when they focus on communication, data and creativity.

COVID has brought challenges for all industries, especially B2B, but marketers around the industry and at VMware are finding the positive, pivoting and keeping their companies moving forward.


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Blake Morgan is the bestselling author of The Customer of the Future. Sign up for her new course here.

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