COVID 19, the Coronavirus, will eventually go away. But consumer behavior would have changed forever. And all B2B opportunities will change for all B2B exists because consumers (B2C) does. If you are a B2B marketer there is a consumer down the line who pays. This applies to B2B marketers of aircrafts to small hardware.When consumers change behavior and preferences change B2B offerings need to change. The best old B2B product becomes irrelevant when there is no consumer at the other end. See our Derived Demand in Marketing post to understand why B2B depends on B2C.
States like New York have started to reopen after reaching low COVID infection rates. Here are some thoughts about opportunities for B2B marketer:
Helps Covid Coping
Does your product/service Help Covid Coping?
Then you have great demand for the next year or so. These include manufacturers of masks and sanitizers. Our friends in the facilities maintenance industry are very busy as different organizations try to re-open. Cleaning and sanitizing buildings seems to be an unending cycle. Similarly, COVID testing services have booming demand as have the COVID vaccine makers and manufacturers who can scale the vaccine.
There are also a multitude of technological solutions and apps that try to keep track of individual Covid exposure, testing (Update December 2020 Vaccination )results. These give comfort to all kinds of organization from healthcare to education that are trying to minimize risk for all. Then there are numerous process changes which will endure after COVID. As an example, if you buy auto insurance you are encouraged to get your own printout of the insurance card that must be kept in your vehicle.
If you filed tax returns through tax software like Turbo Tax you would be used to uploading scanned documents. However, if you used an accountant- the chances are that you needed to provide scanned copies this year and also 2021. Why? because everyone was working from home. And it’s too hard to open the office and access the high speed scanner. By and large individuals got used to scanning and printing at home. The phone apps for scanning work surprisingly well. It’ll be interesting to watch if printing and copying reduces within organizations as everyone becomes more comfortable with digital documents.
Some parts of the economy that were given up for millennials are seeing an upsurge. Uber/Lyft is being partly replaced by car buying-just for perceived Covid safety. Similarly, millennials realize that working from home needs a decent home so home buying is up. Surprisingly manufactured food like cereal is up and cooking at home has picked up. Fintech and apps like Robinhood has given a boost to the younger investor.All these changes give hope to B2B suppliers who were experiencing negative sentiment from younger folks pre-Covid.
Hurts Covid Coping
Does your product/service hurt Covid coping in the short run? Then read on…
The Coronavirus pandemic has affected all activities that depend on people getting together for any purpose. All forms of travel and tourism, sports and musical events, schools and colleges, churches and places of worship, malls and retail are hard hit. Within each category- establishments that have no space for social distancing are hardest hit like bars and pubs in crowded cities. B2B opportunities and upstream supply chains are completely disrupted. Thus, the beer that goes into beer kegs for bars had to be thrown away, just as school milk .
If you are a supplier to anything that involves low social distance you can expect things to get better only in 2021. It’s a good time though to look at new ways of working digitally. Restaurant owners are still not allowed to have indoor dining in large parts of the US. Food delivery services (like GrubHub and Uber Eats) demand a large commission from what is only a take-out business. Local restaurants take direct phone orders and if you pick-up yourself they are grateful. Direct restaurant order and payment software would see an uptick, going forward. Just as, grocery chains have accelerated online order and delivery.
In both teaching and medicine, online processes have accelerated during the pandemic. After COVID we can expect online learning to remain as an important pillar of teaching and learning. Telemedicine is likely to augment doctor/s visits and provide for a better overall patient experience.
In retail, Amazon is looking to convert malls to distribution warehouses. Since closed malls will reduce local employment Amazon is offering local logistical partner opportunities. In other words, brick mall retail seems to be nearing its day of reckoning much faster after COVID.
The Coronavirus misery will continue for a year or more, but it has speeded up digitization in a big way. Changes that might have taken 10-20 years anyway, will happen in a year or two. All businesses and their supply chains will be able to decide what parts of their business model can be moved online.
And it is in digitization that every B2B Marketer will find new opportunity.