Many aspects of life as we know it have been chaotic over the last few months but there is some sense of certainty that comes from knowing that for the most part, the world is still turning.
As marketers, our goal is to understand audiences and tell stories that resonate. To do this we need to get to know our audience over and over again and this is especially important as we navigate these uncertain times together. The pandemic and international unrest have not only transformed businesses, but it has also changed us as a population and each of us as individuals as well. We have all experienced emotional turmoil through a collective experience and it must be acknowledged. Our responses to the situations may be unique, but as a whole, marketers are speaking to a completely different audience than they might have been a year ago.
The response from corporations has demonstrated that pre-pandemic marketing messages are just not resonating anymore, but there is still plenty of room to make an impact. Carefully strategized marketing plans for the year 2020, must be looked at from this perspective, as the consumer’s palate for materialistic marketing has evolved seemingly overnight. Marketing that is seeing success today is neither about being showstopping or piquing interest aspirationally – it is about the human experience. Not surprisingly, some of the most impactful brand messages we’ve seen lately celebrate just that – honouring the human experience. We have compiled some ideas on how you can humanize your brand to create winning campaigns this during this exceptional year:
Empathy means understanding the feelings of another. For brands, you can start by asking how you would talk to your audience knowing we are facing an economic recession. How might your language change if you were talking to yourself? Are you anxious? Are you fearful? Are you hopeful? What do you need? These are all helpful questions to ask as you start to strategize for the year ahead.
Acknowledging the hard things is an important part of life and an important part of the communication circle. Ignoring your target audiences’ potential problems does not make them better. As an organization, identifying the stressors for your audience can be a key part of your next steps. While marketers have the tendency to be always looking outward, looking inward provides a real-time glimpse into the human response to help create thoughtful messages that make an impact.
What problem are you solving for me and what are you doing to solve the world’s problems? This is an important one as consumers today demand action from corporations when it comes to political and environmental injustices. Whatever you do, make sure you mean it. You are human and the people behind your brand are human too, and all of us are looking for a connection. Brands have an opportunity to create content that serves individuals and the world.
Change was forced upon us thanks to quarantine and it was those who embraced it that likely had an easier time than those who resisted. Keeping an open mind and staying on top of trends is a must for marketers. The tried and true will always be there, but there is always room to try something new, take risks, and learn along the way.
How can BTI help you relate to your audience today?