With hybrid and remote work here to stay and digital-first marketing on the rise, how can B2B marketers make the most of these important shifts?
Although I’ve written about remote work before, in pieces including “Remote Communication Opportunities For B2B Marketers,” “Day 4,777: Remote Work Tips From 13+ Years As A Distance Marketer,” and “Hybrid & Remote Work Trends That Will Alter The Future Of B2B Marketing,” the permanent changes to where and how we work have significant implications that will affect B2B marketers forever, so it’s time to reassess.
Let’s take a close look at five ways B2B marketers can make the most from remote and hybrid work and digital-first brand interactions, from the perspective of someone who’s been working entirely remotely for 15 years, and from several top voices on the future of work.
1 — Adjust To The Permanent Shift In How We Work
As I enter my thirty-eighth year working online, I’ve worked remotely for 5,409 days, and spent close to 40 percent of my career as a remote worker.
What’s changed for us all since the pandemic has reminded me of the shifts in how we communicate that I saw when I first began operating a computer bulletin board system (BBS) on a Commodore 64 computer and a 300-baud modem.
Back in 1984, relatively few people owned a home computer — and even fewer also knew what a modem or online communications were. The personal computer revolution that began in the 1970s took off like wildfire in the 1980s. Online communication was a bit slower to evolve into the mainstream, however it surely did, especially once Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented and activated his World Wide Web technology, as I explored in “Classic Marketing Insights to Celebrate the Internet’s 50th Birthday.”
Just as there was frustration, backlash, and confusion back then adjusting to interacting online, so too has the pandemic’s forced shift to remote and hybrid work caused global upheaval and uncertainty.
2 — Make Digital-First The New Norm
Remote and hybrid workers have not only had to adjust to the significant changes in where they work, but they’re also facing the fact of ever-more digital interactions when it comes to B2B marketing.
For better or worse, the world has become a digital-first environment for most of us, which means that B2B marketers are looking to make the most of every social media, email, and mobile messaging interaction with their audiences.
Each generation of B2B marketers, as well as their clients and the customers of their brands, will have had the advantage of coming of age with greater technological opportunities and ever-greater digital immersion. Our own senior content marketing manager Joshua Nite recently took a look at “Who Is the New B2B Buyer and How Do You Connect with Them?” — an article that offers five helpful ways to better understand and connect with the Millennials and Gen Zs entering the B2B workforce.“If someone can interact with the brand across multiple channels with a single seamless experience, they are more likely to choose your brand at decision-making time.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites Click To Tweet
3 — Elevate With Handy Remote & Hybrid Work Tips
Here are some of the tips I’ve gathered from 15 years as a remote worker, in no particular order.
- Use Powerful & Abundant Remote Collaboration Tools. Powerful online collaboration platforms such as those offered by Slack, our client monday.com, and many others provide the type of robust remote communication that has seen dramatically-increased use since the pandemic began.
- Create your own physical workspace. Whether it’s a dedicated room in your home where you’ll be doing the bulk of your work, a co-working space in another location, or a full-on private spot in an office building as I’ve chosen, having a physical place that you can leave at the end of the workday is an ideal way to separate your personal and professional life.
- Build a regular schedule into your remote workday — one that pulls some of the best elements from your previous office location — in order to bring a similar sense of organization to your remote work.
- Learn to savor the advantages of working remotely, especially those from working at home. Especially if your remote work situation isn’t a permanent one, take time to appreciate the little things that working remotely provides, whether it’s eating lunch with your partner or children, listening to music as loud as you want to, taking a lunchtime walk in a new area, or enjoying extra time saved from not having a lengthy work commute.
- Minimize distractions as much as possible, so that you can use remote work to find newfound focus on your projects. If working from home, let the people in your home know when you’ll be working, and encourage them to connect with you only during set times such as over lunch or breaks.
- If your remote work situation is more long-term, learn to make your laptop your office. If you have freedom in the locations you work from, expand your work world to include working in different spots in your city, state, country, or even internationally. A second external monitor can also be very helpful for many remote marketers, and some also will use high-definition TVs as a second or third laptop monitor.
- Implement Remote-Friendly Tech Gadgets. As with a traditional business office, remote workers should set up the technology hardware necessary for doing your best work, whether it’s a second, third, or fourth monitor, a WiFi signal extender, or Zoom-friendly cameras, microphones, and ring lights.
- Get Closer To Your Projects Than Ever Through Remote Work. A properly set up remote work environment can provide a positive and distraction-free place to focus intensely on your projects, and research continues to emerge showing that this is a very real advantage of working outside of a traditional office environment.
4 — Excel With Always-On Digital Engagement
Going hand-in-hand with digital-first marketing is another shift B2B marketers have seen — the growing popularity of always-on marketing, which allows brands to be everywhere their audiences are anytime.
In a digital world that’s never all sleeping at once, brands have turned to always-on marketing programs to never miss an opportunity to answer the questions their customers are asking, whether it’s in the form of social media monitoring and interaction, artificial intelligence (AI)-infused chatbots, the rising realm of so-called metaverse content, or more traditional methods.
You can learn more about how always-on digital engagement can play a key role in your B2B marketing efforts in the following articles we’ve published:
- How to Elevate Post Pandemic B2B Marketing with Always-On Influence
- Inside Influence 2: Garnor Morantes from LinkedIn on the Power of Always-On Influence
- How To Move From A Pilot B2B Influencer Marketing Program to Always-On Success
5 — Prepare For The Future of Marketing Work
What will hybrid and remote work look like in ten years, 100 years, or a millennium from 2022?
While there’s no way to predict with certainty, there are some technologies that will form the framework of what lies on the far distance horizon, including:
- Ever-faster computing power
- Ever-greater information storage capabilities
- Ever-speedier transfer of data between devices
- Ever-smarter computer programs and derivative algorithms
B2B marketers that are mindful of these digital backbone elements in their efforts, and who take the time to look ahead and carefully examine how to best incorporate advances in each of these areas, are likely to be the ones that will see the greatest long-term success.
One subject matter expert on the future of remote and hybrid work is Liam McIvor Martin, co-founder of Time Doctor and Staff.com. Our own senior content marketing manager Nick Nelson spoke with Liam about the future of work, in “Break Free B2B Marketing: Liam McIvor Martin of Time Doctor on The Revolutionary Power of Remote Work.”“It’s a very interesting time for the history of work, not even just the history of remote work. I think fundamentally work is going to change, and it’s never going back to the way it was before.” — Liam McIvor Martin @liamremote Click To Tweet
Caffeinate Your 2022 B2B Marketing Efforts
Excelling in B2B marketing given all these changes can be a daunting proposition. However, if we adjust to the permanent shifts in how we work, make digital-first our new norm, implement our remote and hybrid work tips, and elevate with always-on digital engagement, we’ll be well-prepared for the future of marketing work, hot coffee or not.
We hope you’ve found our look at timely marketing tips for remote and hybrid work helpful, and that you’ll incorporate some of the suggestions we’ve explored into your own 2022 B2B marketing efforts.
No matter how well you’re able to caffeinate and create digital content in 2022, crafting award-winning B2B marketing takes considerable time and effort, which is why an increasing number of firms are choosing to work with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help, as we’ve done for over 20 years for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and others.