War in Ukraine: What marketers should do now

April 26, 2022 11:28 am

The War In Ukraine: Four Ways Portfolio Marketers Can Respond

We share the recommendations of Forrester chief analyst Paul Ferron on the actions to be taken by marketers who manage a variety of products around the world. A set of recommendations has been formulated for professionals around the world, but starting points are also relevant for product marketing in Ukraine. The original article is posted here

Businesses are feeling the impact of the war in Ukraine. Risk managers are updating their risk profiles as a result of supply chain disruptions, economic sanctions, and even displaced workforce. These issues are complicating go-to-market strategies for thousands of companies in Europe and worldwide. Multiple customers have informed us that their scheduled product launches have been postponed due to the war and the subsequent displacement of tens of thousands of Ukrainian developers. Portfolio marketers need to act now to revise their go-to-market strategies and have consistent, up-to-date, and empathetic messaging across their entire portfolio, as they have been doing during the pandemic.

Four Actions Portfolio Marketers Must Take

1. Revisit your go-to-market architecture to reprioritize market segments.

Withdrawing from a market segment fundamentally changes the organization’s go-to-market strategy and target buyers. If activity is disrupted when targeting other markets, target segments need to be adjusted. Buyer personas are unlikely to change, but their needs may have undergone a shift that you should address. For example, they may now have critical questions about cybersecurity, product or service delays, or supply chain shortages that providers should address.

2. Add a campaign to explain changes to prospective buyers. 

Whether you need to explain the organization’s stance on trading with the aggressor-country or support for Ukraine or to inform buyers currently engaged in a buying cycle about delays or shortages, providers need to communicate clearly. Work with campaign teams and brand and corporate communications to ensure the tone and messaging frequency is appropriate to the crisis. Whatever action you take, it should be authentic and rooted in the organization’s brand purpose.

3. Review current messaging in light of the war in Ukraine

Ensure messaging and content is sensitive to the conflict and authentic to your brand. Messaging that resonates with buyers should fundamentally address their needs. Your buyers’ context may have changed, creating additional buyer needs. Assess if offerings need to be repositioned to reflect these shifts. As new buyer needs emerge that could present potential opportunities, work with brand and corporate communications to explore if this is the time to market to those needs.

4. Enable buyer-facing reps across the organization to ensure consistency. 

The entire organization should be aligned to the new go-to-market strategy and its response to supply chain or service delivery issues. Equip sellers with updates, and ensure that they understand why the changes are occurring as well as how to explain them to buyers. Provide updated messaging to demand, campaign, and content teams so they can quickly audit materials, revise where needed, and pull content and/or pause campaigns that market to different countries.

Understanding markets and buyers is the responsibility of portfolio marketers. Any disruption that impacts their targeted audiences needs to be understood and acted upon with diligence.

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