COVID-19 has brought the spotlight on virtual marketing and business development, which have risen to prominence as COVID-19 became a household term and people started placing orders for protection in their homes. Thousands of professional services businesses rushed to figure out what would take the place of the only marketing strategy they’d ever used: face-to-face networking and recommendations.
Virtual marketing, in reality, is a trend with a long history and many well-developed methods and procedures. Hinge, for example, has been employing this strategy for over 10 years and has assisted numerous professional services firms in making the transition.
What Is Virtual Marketing?
Digital marketing is the use of the internet or digital methods to reach marketing and sales goals without the need for conventional in-person promotion tactics such as networking at live events, face-to-face meetings, seminars, or trade shows. In their place, online substitutes such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media, webinars, and video conference calls are used to attract, engage, and close new clients.
The process of bringing together a new business operation with an established company is called commercial development. Commercial development is the aspect of the whole new business acquisition procedure that involves qualifying fresh business possibilities, preparing bids, and converting prospects into clients. In other B2B situations, these tasks are often referred to as sales. Business development, on the other hand, is the conventional sales function in professional services.
For the sake of simplicity, we’ll use virtual marketing as a catchall term that includes all elements of discovering, nurturing, and closing new clients. When we’re talking about the old sales function, we’ll say business development.
The Importance of Virtual Marketing in Business
Since the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a greater push toward virtual marketing for professional services. However, the movement toward virtual marketing for professional services began long before this extraordinary event. There are a few important reasons why it is more essential today than in previous years.
The first thing to consider is where your prospects are looking. According to our previous research, buyers of professional services are increasingly turning to digital approaches in their study of business issues and selection of expert services providers.
At the same time, asking for a referral from a friend or colleague has been declining in popularity. According to our study, over 70% of pre-engagement activity takes place online.
The second reason is that a virtual or digital approach has significant economic benefits. Companies with good digital tactics outperform their peers that do not use them. But it doesn’t end there. They are also far more likely to be extremely lucrative.
Let’s be honest: traveling across the country and attending live events is time-consuming and costly. While these conventional methods are successful, they are not particularly efficient.
Virtual marketing has a number of significant benefits, as you might expect.