Pandemic Pivoting: Four Successful Marketing Strategies from Big Brands

Written by: Betsy Lillian on 11/8/21 10:00 AM


When it comes to business and consumer needs, the pandemic has changed things, in some way or another—whether minimally or significantly—for every brand out there.

Eighteen months ago, we compiled a mixed bag of research of how marketing leaders anticipated navigating the uncertain future, back when nobody was able to truly know the secret recipe for success. (Seriously—we had never, ever experienced a crisis like this in the age of digital marketing.)

During a recent panel discussion hosted by Reuters Events (Strategic Marketing 2021), we got the chance to talk with several marketing leaders to see what specific strategies actually worked for them and their big brands when marketing conditions and expectations were sent into an upheaval. They not only were tasked with figuring things out while being sensitive to customers’ needs, but they also needed to move swiftly while doing so.

The Hive9-led panel, “A Shared Experience: How the Pandemic Changed Planning, Creation and Dissemination,” uncovered a few key marketing strategies—authenticity, listening, creativity and preparedness—that proved successful when marketing success sometimes looked grim.

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Topics: Marketing Planning, Effective Planning, Marketing Insights, Best Practices

Six Reasons Marketers Should Stop Relying on Spreadsheets

Written by: Betsy Lillian on 7/20/21 11:37 AM


Useful but impractical, handy but unwieldy, and trusty but untrustworthy, spreadsheets can be a polarizing tool for marketing management.

On the one hand, most marketing leaders have always used spreadsheets—it’s understandably what they’re accustomed to using, so why rock the boat? Investing in and learning the nuances of an unfamiliar product can be intimidating, especially when there’s a learning curve. It’s also important to note that spreadsheets can, indeed, get the job done just fine if there aren’t a ton of moving parts within the marketing organization.

However, the reality is that spreadsheets aren’t the most useful tool for every marketing organization—particularly the complex ones.

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Topics: Marketing Planning, Effective Planning, Data Visualization, Martech, Marketing Technology, marketing measurement

How Can You Plan for 2021 (When 2020 Isn’t Really a Blueprint You Can Follow)?

Written by: Betsy Lillian on 12/22/20 9:45 AM


If you’re a marketing leader who never wants to hear the word “pivot” again, we apologize in advance.

Unfortunately, although marketing leaders’ ability to successfully pivot their plans has been especially crucial during the past nine months, not much is expected to be different going forward.

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Topics: Marketing Planning, Financial Planning, Budgeting, Marketing Budgeting, Effective Planning

What Are You Forgetting in Your Marketing Plans?

Written by: Betsy Lillian on 12/2/20 10:12 AM

If your marketing plans contain, well, just marketing plans, you might want to consider casting a wider net. Unfortunately, you may be missing other key information that could impact sales and the overall performance of your organization.

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Topics: Marketing Planning, Effective Planning, Integrated Marketing, Marketing Personalization, marketing strategy

Resilience: The New 2020 Marketing Theme?

Written by: Betsy Lillian on 10/28/20 9:45 AM

The year 2020 has demonstrated why clear visibility into plans more than just once a year, half or even quarter is essential for marketing leaders. If you can’t see what’s happening in the first place, you’re not going to be able to adjust accordingly for sudden market changes.

Underscoring just how vital resiliency is when it comes to marketing planning, a recent blog from Forrester SiriusDecisions’ Meta Karagianni puts it this way:

“The ability to manage unplanned events and calibrate and adjust sales and marketing plans quickly is no longer a nice-to-have but a critical muscle B2B sales and marketing leaders must develop.”

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Topics: Effective Planning, Marketing Technology, Marketing performance management, Marketing Performance

Adopting an Agile Approach? Don't Forget a Few Key Things

Written by: Betsy Lillian on 10/6/20 11:24 AM

At the start of the year, we took a deep dive into the concept of agile marketing and what it takes to adopt the approach for your marketing team: proper planning and training and, crucially, a collaborative and centralized planning solution (among other things, of course).

In a newly released Gartner report, the research and advisory firm underscores the importance of centralization, as well as the continued growth of agile practices. According to a survey of more than 400 marketing leaders, almost two-thirds of marketing teams are either “fully or primarily” centralized.

“CMOs are evolving their teams through increased centralization, more functional alignment and continued exploration of agile marketing practices,” Gartner says. “These changes are helping build more scalable, flexible and resilient marketing organizations.”

So, what does it take for marketing leaders to achieve this centralized approach?

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Topics: Marketing Planning, Effective Planning, Marketers, Data Visualization, Marketing Insights, Campaigns

Happy New Year? A Marketing Strategy for 2020.5

Written by: Betsy Lillian on 6/30/20 9:45 AM


If you’re ready to leave the trials and tribulations of 2020 marketing in the dust, you might be excited to learn about a new concept that’s been floating around: 2020.5.

With the end of the first half of 2020 now at our doorstep, why not commemorate the milestone by rethinking your strategy for the second half? (Unless, of course, your year has been a breeze, marketing-wise – in that case, carry on as usual.)

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Topics: Marketing Planning, Effective Planning, Business Intelligence, Data Visualization, Marketing Technology, Marketing Insights, marketing measurement, marketing data, Marketing performance management, marketing strategy

Collaboration and alignment: Keys to a great marketing plan

Written by: Bruce Brien on 5/16/19 9:47 AM

A great marketing plan is one that integrates marketing with other departments such as sales, finance and product development. Departmental collaboration is essential in order to create an in-depth and complete marketing plan. Unfortunately, it’s not as common as it should be. And if you can relate to this lack of collaboration, you’re not the only one; in fact, you’re in the majority.

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Topics: Marketing Planning, Effective Planning, Best Practices

Shine a light on your marketing planning to deliver better performance

Written by: Bruce Brien on 5/3/19 2:00 PM

Planning can be a dirty word in any aspect of business, especially marketing. Planning is difficult. It takes time and resources to be done right. It takes skills, tools and a solid process to execute. And it takes data, data that must be cleaned and aggregated into consumable insights for it to be usable for the planners.

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Topics: Marketing Planning, Financial Planning, Budgeting, Revenue Attribution, Marketing Budgeting, Hive9, Effective Planning, Marketing Insights, ABM, marketing data, Marketing Performance

Marketing teams: Stop using spreadsheets for planning & collaboration

Written by: Bruce Brien on 3/7/19 9:37 AM

Spreadsheets were developed to manipulate numbers, not to juggle marketing campaigns, sales leads, the demand center, teams divided by region or country, or conflicts between digital campaigns and events. In fact, the more information crammed in to a spreadsheet the more unwieldy it becomes. The harder it is to use, the more the data becomes siloed. And when the data is siloed, it might as well not even exist.

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Topics: Marketing Planning, Marketing Analytics, Effective Planning

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