ANA Newsstand: September Highlights

October 14, 2020

By Andrew Eitelbach

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Each month, Andrew Eitelbach, senior editor for ANA Newsstand, rounds up the latest can’t-miss content from the ANA’s four online publications: ANA magazine, B2B Marketer, Forward, and Greater Good. Yee-haw.

Nothing captivates an audience like a good story. And with decision-makers dealing with COVID-related disruptions, business travel stalled on the runway, and professionals learning how to work together while working apart, many B2B marketers are coming to realize the value a good story can have.

In the midst of the pandemic, "the margin for error on getting attention and relevance has shrunk dramatically,” Marc Johnson, CMO at Bombora, tells B2B Marketer magazine. That’s why content has become so important. In fact, views of unique content assets have gone up 40 percent since the start of the pandemic, our story reports, which is why 43 percent of business marketers are reallocating portions of their budgets intended for live events to content creation.

One study found marketers have ramped up production dramatically, with a 124 percent increase in new assets created between March and May, according to our reporting.

So how is the trend developing, and what do experts suggest in terms of strategy and approach? Read “Now Is the Time for B2B Content,” in B2B Marketer.

More September highlights from ANA Newsstand:

  • Navigating B2B Buyer Sentiment During a Time of Uncertainty. Having a good story to tell can get your foot in the door (see above), but it’s personability that gets you across the threshold, argues this B2B Marketer story. For marketers (B2B and B2C alike), knowing how to connect to people is what makes a difference. “In this time of COVID,” says Philip Black, SVP of strategy at gyro, “businesses need to be about advancing humanity and driving change. That resonates with buyers 100 percent.”
  • Why It’s Time to Humanize the Brand — for Real This Time. The pandemic is changing the fundamentals of marketing, says Brian Solis, global innovation evangelist at Salesforce, in this interview with ANA magazine. “Digital isn't just a mechanism for engagement, it isn't just a channel for your message. There's a human being on the other side of the screen, and this pandemic has shown that human beings don't respond well to marketing messages. Human beings want genuine engagement.” Here, Solis discusses why consumer behaviors are now shaped exclusively by the pandemic, rather than demographics, and why it’s time for brands to get more human.
  • Airlines Keep Marketing Efforts Afloat Amid Pandemic. Travel and hospitality, two of the industries hit hardest by the economic fallout caused by COVID-19, may not see a full recovery until 2022, ANA magazine reports. As brands look to navigate the uncertainty, many have cut their advertising budgets, not seeing a reason to promote to customers who aren’t buying. But that might not be the right move. As our story reports, a survey of hotel properties found that while engagement dropped across the board, those who continued to engage customers saw a 55 percent drop in engagement — those that didn’t saw a drop of 84 percent. Keeping the brand top of mind among consumers until they are ready to travel again may help in the long run. Here’s how marketers at MGM Resorts International and United Airlines are developing programs to reassure consumers their brands will be ready to great them.
  • Pebbles Cereal Rocks User-Generated Content in New Branded Series. A video how-to series from Pebbles cereal with the best name in the universe, "Daily Yabba Dabba Doo," taps artists to teach kids crafts and activities they can do at home while under stay-at-home orders. In this interview with ANA magazine, Amy Brothers, brand manager for Pebbles cereal, and Brian Hurley, creative director at Public Works, which helped to create the programming, discuss how the series came about, the series’ goals, and their work with user-generated content.
  • Sports Have Become a Jump Ball for Marketers. Bad joke: If a foul ball smacks into a brand’s billboard but no one is there to see it, does it make an impression? In the absence of live audiences at sporting events, brands that rely on sports marketing are looking for new ways to engage fans. COVID-19 has helped to create a $14 billion value gap for sports and event sponsorships, ANA magazine reports. “We could either sit back and hope that things would get better or we could be a part of the effort of reemergence,” Bridget Sponsky, senior director of enterprise marketing at Ally Financial, tells ANA magazine. Here’s how brands and sports leagues are rewriting the sponsorship playbook.

Also, be sure to catch up on the latest industry trends contributed by ANA partners in Forward magazine. September’s contributions include:

See highlights from August or explore the very latest industry coverage on ANA Newsstand.

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