COVID-19 has changed more than just where we work. The pandemic is pushing marketers to do more with less money, develop new campaigns overnight, and attempt virtual events for the first time. CMOs have always been under constant pressure as leaders, but no one could have anticipated these new challenges.

In part 1 of this blog series, we discuss the technical challenges CMOs face amid the pandemic, such as proving your team’s ROI, getting actionable analytics, and integrating your MarTech. Here in part 2, we focus on the human challenges CMOs will need to overcome to succeed in the “New Normal” as well as the “Next Normal.” In part 3, we’ll discuss how you can solve these issues with Wrike’s latest release announced at Collaborate 2020.

Bringing technology and people together

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has made life more stressful, but recent research has actually quantified the effect of the pandemic on workers and their performance. 47% of workers say they’re not engaged with work at all, and past research shows that low employee engagement can negatively impact business success and decrease earnings per share. 

One way to alleviate stress and increase employee engagement is to develop flexible schedules and balance workloads using a resource management tool. Give your managers better visibility of their team’s capacity, so they can reallocate assignments and prevent burnout. Let your project managers customize work hours to accommodate any changes in a working parent’s availability. Designate a priority level to every campaign, project, and task, so if an employee is struggling mentally or needs to step away from their desk, they understand what can and can’t shift. View project milestones and campaign calendars to forecast work requirements and ensure your team has the support and resources they need to execute.

Delivering a better, meaningful customer experience

In addition to supporting your marketers, CMOs need to focus their team’s efforts on developing assets and experiences that can support customers during and beyond the pandemic. Over the next year, marketers predict that customers will place the highest priority on trusting relationships. In response, many marketing departments are investing about 10% more in customer experience and retention.

The key to doing this successfully is bringing your customer relationship management tool (CRM) into the same system as your other marketing tools — for a complete view of what customers are engaging with, how you can drive more engagement, and how that engagement contributes to pipeline and bookings. Bringing audience and performance data into the same space where your team develops content and campaigns lets them use engagement metrics to inform creation, target personas with key messaging, and optimize your overall performance. Using information about customer interests and demographics can help your marketing strategists develop campaigns in customers’ preferred channels, nurture their relationship with your brand, and deliver a more valuable, memorable experience.

Cutting through content 

One question on many CMOs’ minds: How can your brand cut through all the COVID-19 content that’s out there? It seems like every company is “here to support you through these unprecedented times.” So how do you interact and communicate with your customers in a genuine and authentic way? How do you express empathy and encourage brand loyalty while still driving revenue?

Creative marketers can finesse and deliver the right language and imagery in a way that’s meaningful to the customer and impactful on the business, but they’ll need the right digital workspace to develop the winning ideas. Find a tool to help you bring all communication and collaboration into a central digital workspace with real-time chat and mentions, so employees aren’t fumbling through inboxes or toggling between tabs. Instead, they can focus on creating assets that generate demand and collaborating more with less tools.

Providing a cohesive, multi-channel experience

Finding the messaging, channels, and experiences that resonate best with your specific audience is difficult enough, but with everyone shifting online your audience may be spending more time in different channels. In response, marketing spend has spiked for mobile (74%) and social media (70%) since marketers anticipate that these digital channels will increase customer retention, customer acquisition, and brand awareness in 2021.

Centralizing customer information and integrating it into one digital workspace can help your analytics team pinpoint and confirm which campaigns and channels resonate most with your customers and prospects. With everything your analytics team needs in one location, they can quickly decipher which channels are most cost-effective so you can adapt to any COVID-related budget cuts while still delivering an impactful experience to your customers and meaningful results for your executive team.

Increase output while being more agile

If your current processes or tools are deficient, rest assured remote work will expose and amplify the issues (if it hasn’t already). In a remote world, it’s crucial to find a versatile work management platform that enhances your processes and increases your team’s agility. Let creatives design assets, proof and comment on works in progress, receive edits, and publish finished pieces within the task itself. Empower teams with tools like dynamic request forms, custom dashboards, and automated approval workflows. The right tool can help you finetune your processes, reduce fire drills, and keep the marketing engine running no matter what else 2020 throws at you.

Leading during a crisis isn’t easy. It takes patience and perseverance. As COVID-19 continues to turn the world upside down, your marketing team relies on you to steer them straight, your customers need your understanding and support, and your fellow executives expect you to hit your targets. 

Implementing the right platform and best practices can help you rise to these challenges by improving work-life balance to increase employee engagement, delivering targeted customer experiences to boost brand loyalty, and streamlining processes to drive remote productivity. In part 3, learn more about how Wrike can help you overcome these challenges with Wrike for Marketers Performance.