It’s always something
We really don’t know what the “new normal” will be. What we do know is we are communal beings. That’s reaching out to others for insights, directions, and new sparks is always a good idea.
Here’s an example of some powerful words that ring true to me.
“What we need to understand and reaffirm individually and collectively as we face extreme challenges on the health and societal fronts, is that compassion, civility, and basic human kindness are not and cannot be viewed as seasonal or ephemeral qualities.”
T. Garland Stansell, CCO of Children’s Pediatric Health System of Alabama
When we face challenges, we need compassion, civility, and basic human kindness. What we hear in many messages now is, “We are all in this together”, and those three traits will serve us well as we join together to ensure our future.
Whether it’s Covid-19 or BLM—and whatever other vital issues may surface–we need to get our messaging right. Our messages must be clear and consistent, show the compassion we feel, and maintain civility and human kindness throughout. The message of diversity and inclusion are paramount right now. This is the new normal for marketing and hopefully as society evolves, it will stay that way moving forward.
Need some help to jump start your “new” marketing? Here are three areas to address that may work for you as well as others.
Setting the Right Tone
The Covid-19 pandemic inspires a number of emotions in all of us. If you are feeling empathy and compassion, express it in your messages. It’s ok to let your audience know how you feel, in fact these days your clients need your understanding. Now is not the time to tell everyone how great you are, instead prove it with your actions. Just as some landlords have offered grace periods to their renters who lost their jobs and income, find something you can offer your clients to show how much you support them. When local restaurants here in San Diego converted to take-out orders only, many of them also used their facility to offer in-demand items such as toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, diapers, and masks, Tito’s Vodka began making hand sanitizers and disinfectants. Athletic wear companies pivoted to make masks. My pilates studio is leasing “extra” reformers. Flexibility will serve you and your customers too.
At this time, your empathy should extend to your employees as well as your clients/customers/members. Many are worried about their families and their futures. Says psychotherapist and author, Amy Morin, “A leader who can empathize with employees’ personal situations will emerge from this (Covid-19) stronger and better than before …A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t a good leadership strategy now.”
Read the Room
It may not matter to your audience that you are offering a discount on services or products, but it’s sure to matter if you aren’t sensitive to your clients’ and customers’ hopes and fears. Safety is a high priority of any business today. Last year’s safety concerns centered on cybersecurity. Today it’s about health. Clients want to know what you are doing to keep them, your employees, and business safe. Clear messages of your safety procedures should be available on websites, postings, and brick and mortar locations. Clients want to be assured that when they connect with you, their health and welfare will not be compromised.
In the past few weeks, marches and protests all across the country have emphasized the need for much more diversity. A number of issues provoked protests. Most center around social justice issues. Many businesses have been caught in the crossfire. There’s a need for more organizations to step up. More than ever, your customers and employees want to see your corporate culture reflect society, and they want their issues acknowledged and eventually embraced. Getting it right does not occur magically. Look for valuable resources to help implement change.
Does every message need to be about social or political issues and how we relate?
Not every message has to be about social or political issues, but today’s climate and issues should influence our thinking. A good sale or discount, special events and other promotions are fine, but the goal is to develop a permanent empathetic mindset. What we need right now, is an authentic awareness of clients’ and employees’ hopes, fears, and concerns. Your business will improve and grow if you understand the core beliefs of your clients and employees.
How are you addressing today’s current situation? Have you assessed your clients and/or customers views and desires? Have you measured their response with surveys and polls to help create meaningful marketing messages? Have you tried to improve your own professional skill set? Options abound. Especially if your heart and head are in the right place.
Gilda Radner said, “It’s always something.” And it is more so today than what any of us can remember. Of course, there needs to be social change and justice, we need to find a vaccine for the virus, we need to address climate change, sexism, ageism. But first, we must regard each other with care and respect. It’s the only way we can get back to a true community of spirit. Then we’ll really be in this together.