If you are anything like me, your baseline for “normal” is a bit abnormal these days. Last week I said “when things go back to normal…” at least 10 times and in as many different contexts. To my daughter, on shopping: “I’ll buy you new shoes when things go back to normal.” To my friend, in passing: “I’m excited to get back in the gym when things go back to normal.” And to my brand-new colleagues at The Lowe Group, on in-person meetings with clients: “I can’t wait to host lunch and learns and take potential clients to dinner when things go back to normal.” But as the days melt into weeks and weeks stretch into months, perhaps it’s time to stop saying, questioning or even expecting “back to normal” to be a reality. Instead, I’m pledging to adopt this new normal – ever-changing in its’ own right too – as a person and a marketer. Here are my new rules:
1. Keep Communicating
I recently read a data-packed article on LinkedIn–the impetus, in many ways, for this post. We know Covid-19 is impacting all of us, and the way(s) we conduct business is shifting too. But as marketers in the communication space, we must keep on keeping on. Because now more than ever, communication is crucial. Talking – and listening – are where it’s at. While we may not be face-to-face as often as we’d like, the communication stream is abundant and impactful. We can video chat, speak on the phone, email, text, snap; now’s the time to be socially present (from a distance, of course) in order to preserve relationships with our clients, consumers, colleagues.
2. Rethink Our Methods
What worked in a pre-Covid environment may not work today – or tomorrow. Thus, it’s a given that tweaking your strategy is a must. From the mentioned article: To succeed, we must be nimble enough to navigate these. And we must not only take chances when it comes to marketing, messaging and more, but we must be OK with the outcome – good or bad. Perhaps you look forward to hosting that annual fall conference; this year, go virtual and host an even more expansive webinar series. Better yet: make it a monthly event, rather than a yearly one. The outcome and feedback could be greater than before. I’ve decided that it’s better to take a risk without receiving a reward than to sit back and watch.
3. Humanize Messaging
Little known fact: I am a passionate, emotive storyteller who has always – repeat, always – stressed the importance of humanization when it comes to marketing and messaging. Turns out, I was onto something. According to the mentioned poll, only one-fifth of marketers say they haven’t changed their creative approach in response to Covid-19, and 47% say they’ve increased focus on emotional and human-centric content. Why is this so important? Because we – again, as humans and marketers alike – feel a real need to connect right now to something and someone we can trust. I’m lucky to be working with clients that allow us that opportunity: to help them connect with and to those that impact their business the most.
Bottom line: nothing is normal. But perhaps the silver lining is that we have an opportunity to think and behave differently. That’s why we, at The Lowe Group, are going to approach marketing with what we know to be:
- Communication is alive and well; helping clients find the best medium is where we fit in.
- Online has more engagement and opportunity than in person; we will provide savvy ways for our clients to connect.
- Humans win the day; we understand the importance of authentic, humanized messaging.
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