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B2B marketers, your attitude might be the key to navigating this COVID crisis

I live in a really nice apartment that looks over the Manhattan skyline. I am lucky to have such a great view. But there was a guest in my home that once looked out the window and said, “You have to look at that dumpster every day?” I looked straight down and saw, for the first time, a dumpster. 

I realized that there are a lot of things to look at and you must decide which ones to focus on. I could look at the dumpster, but I would rather look at the Empire State Building. Or the Freedom Tower. Or the ferries on the Hudson.
In this crazy COVID-19 world, it’s easy to look out there and see nothing but the dumpster.

Your trade shows are all canceled, so you don’t know where your leads are coming from. Your face-to-face sales team can’t see anyone face to face, so even if you get a lead, you can’t close it. That’s not a dumpster. That’s a dumpster fire. And how do you avoid looking at it?

So, I get it. Everything was going fine until–it wasn’t. And it’s easy to focus on all of the things that are going wrong. Because so many of the things that we depend on to execute our marketing and sales are not working right now. The dumpster fire is eye-catching. It’s surprising. It’s news. It can dominate everything–if you let it.

But that’s likely not going to get you out of the crisis. You need to look past the dumpster fire and see what else is out there. If face-to-face has become shelter-in-place, it’s time to double down on digital. And that starts with changing your attitude from “Who moved my cheese?” to “What can I do now that might work?”

Your answer to that question might not be the same as for someone else. What’s important is that you spend the time looking for what is right for you. For some, it’s online events to replace trade shows. Or maybe it is a better email. Or website personalization. Or improved site search. Something to replace those leads you are missing. 

Maybe it’s something you’ve been meaning to do for a while but never got around to it. You have time now.

Maybe it’s something you never had the budget to do. Well, that trade show budget could be better spent on almost anything now, right? Try something.

So, you decide to look at the Empire State Building or the Freedom Tower or the ferries. But stop looking at the dumpster fire. That isn’t where your future lies.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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