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What Do You Do When All Your Tech Conferences Get Canceled?

As a marketer, what do you do when events get canceled? Or more to the point, what do you do when all your events get canceled? After having four five conferences we were participating in get canceled just this week, it’s a question I’ve personally been working on a good answer for.

While the number of coronavirus cases in the US are still low, and (as of today) the World Health Organization (WHO) has yet to declare a global pandemic, the threat worldwide crisis has already had a huge impact here in the US. In just the past week, we’ve seen several of the biggest drops in Wall Street’s history; corporate travel bans and mandatory working-from-home by many of the top tech firms; and photos circulating of empty shelves and Silicon Valley customers climbing racks at Costco to get at whatever is remaining. Yet with all that, the bigger impact to businesses may be the conferences that have been canceled.

In the past week, an unprecedented 440 exhibitions and conferences have been canceled around the world over coronavirus fears, and that doesn’t include all of the smaller user groups and live events that have also been affected. To date, the companies we’ve seen cancel their events include: Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, IBM, Salesforce, Nvidia, HP and HPE, Shopify, Adobe, Okta, Hubspot, Outreach, and SalesLoft. To give you an idea of the magnitude of this, the direct economic loss from just the cancelation of GSMA’s Mobile World Congress is being pegged at $480M, according to PredictIQ!

So how is this going to affect your organization? In the short term, salespeople will double down and focus on what’s in the pipeline, and dig deeper with existing customers. They probably won’t be impacted this week, or even this month. However as their counterparts in marketing, you know they need to refill that pipeline, or there will be hell to pay in about a quarter. Since face-to-face engagements are the problem, doing more of the digital tactics in your marketing plan are probably the next logical step - whether that's sales and marketing campaigns, social and influencer marketing, or online ads. But let’s be brutally honest for a moment: That’s not going to be enough, or you would have just been doing more of it already. What you need to do is more of that stuff, but do it better!

The million-dollar question then is what’s better? Better needs to be more effective than your current tactics. Better needs to drive faster growth. Better needs to automate the steps in your buyer's journey to reduce wasted time.

At Personas, better means being able to target your ideal customer personas (ICPs) more precisely, which will make your solution more relevant. It’s more successfully delivering your message, without worrying about bounce rates or spam trouble because the data in your CRM was out of date. It’s being able to reach your ICP across multiple channels more easily because even though we’re in 2020, it still takes seven to thirteen touches to convert prospects to a closed-won. Finally, better is being able to orchestrate your entire outbound tech stack so your tools are all working together more effectively.

If you haven’t checked out Personas before, we’ve helped hundreds of customers, such as Lyft, Freshbooks, Gusto, Zenput, Import.io and Eden save as much as 90% of the time wasted during prospecting, and scale up to 4x faster. For a limited time, use coupon code DOITBETTER and get your first month for $99.

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