With COVID-19, all businesses felt levels of disruption. Innovation companies were forced to make rapid-fire, adaptive changes and shifts to respond to the new state of normal and unknowns. Data marketers at innovation companies planned and pivoted as conferences, customer events and in-person deal closes ceased for the foreseeable future. For some technologies and platforms, demand surged – for others, markets abruptly paused.  While some innovation companies rapidly brought new products to market or shifted to focus on their most responsive verticals, other companies held steadfast in their markets. During these months of change and turmoil, innovation marketers have been both adapting and keeping focused on when and how they can get back to the future.

Innovation companies are making decisions in Q3 for the anticipation of Q4, and the race toward 2021. Speaking with marketing executives through the summer of the pandemic, clear trend lines have emerged of different types of companies and strategies. Here’s a snapshot of a few of those categories:

Launch hard and fast – There are innovation companies launching new products to respond to the various stages of the pandemic, including technologies that correlate to full return-to-work and life. For these companies, time is of the essence. They have critical windows of opportunity. PR is being leveraged to rapidly increase market awareness of their solutions within a window that is expected to be its most opportune between the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021.

Reviving markets – Some verticals are destined to rebound quickly as a result of their absolute necessity. Innovation companies with important solutions for these markets are returning to full steam in their marketing as the show is set to go on at increasing speeds. For these companies, the remainder of 2020 is about re-igniting their full marketing and sales operations to, once again, pursue key business objectives.

Growth capital put to work – For other companies, they may have received their next round of funding immediately prior to the pandemic or during. Their platforms are highly innovative, and, for them, it’s time to set the stage for robust growth and market disruption. PR is now key to getting in front of their market and executing the longer-term strategies they slowed down in response to the pandemic.

Time for expansion – Still, other innovation companies see a longer-term adverse impact on some of their core markets. Their response is to now expand into markets that are more resilient in the aftermath of the pandemic. They are using PR to help them expedite their marketing strategies – leveraging experts at PR to craft messages and drive visibility in verticals where they may have less experience.

It’s time to start living in the future – Innovation companies are at a fork in the road. Does the company launch a robust strategy to get in front of 2021 OR do they wait until 2021 to kick off anew? For innovation companies, it depends on where they were strategically prior to the panic of the pandemic. Are their cupboards stocked with capital and products for a hungry market? Or do they have some necessary shifts that need to be made before they go out strong?

Our Advice

anthonyBarnum has worked with marketers navigating this disruptive and difficult time since the pandemic commenced. What we’re seeing is more focus on getting back to the future—and solid optimism that we are just a few more months away from strong and deep rebounds. For innovation marketers, we recommend working well in advance on their new marketing stack. From a PR perspective, moderately paced campaigns that commence earlier produce higher ROIs over time. Take the vision and put it to work to lead – markets are poised to make big gains in a pandemic recovery we’ve never before experienced.