We’re right smack in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic, politics, and unrest. And in these last few months, marketing has changed drastically, and will continue to do so.
So where is it all going? That’s unknown, but I am seeing a few trends that I predict will take hold:
Sincerity and Honesty Will Matter More
Today’s consumer is very aware, and very informed. They also sniff out BS faster than ever.
Right now, people are calling out companies who send a “we condemn racism” message that doesn’t also say what the company will do specifically. Many companies were caught off guard by this. A statement isn’t enough.
This will mature into a populace that wants more details in general. You can’t say “we offer dynamic solutions” anymore. What do you do, and why do I need you? Tell me.
Better still, tell stories. Tell stories about your company. About your products and services. About your employees. About your customers.
Engage people. Be real. Make them feel good about you and what you offer.
Nice people don’t finish last; they last to the finish. And this goes for companies too.
Consider Your Audience More Than Ever
It’s not about you and what you want. It’s about your customer and what they want.
I know… “duh”.
But really, that simple little marketing 101 thought often gets lost. Here’s an example that happened during COVID-19:
I know a company who counts restaurants as their main customer. Like everyone else, this company closed down for most of April and May, and when they re-opened, their first message acted as if very little had happened. It essentially said “we’re open again, we’re in this together and CHECK OUT THIS COOL RESTAURANT STUFF JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER!” to an audience who was A) Completely devastated, and B) About to have their worst summer ever. That didn’t help.
Things have changed drastically, and will continue to change and evolve. Your customer base might have a different mindset and outlook than they did last month / last year. You need to consider that more than ever. A new message may be in order.
Note: for the company above, I changed their message to an empathetic “how can we help you?” It was received much better.
I alluded to this earlier, but let’s put a Patrick-Swayze-in-Roadhouse stamp on it.
People are tired of in-your-face everything. They are tired of endless aggressive sales messages. They are plain old tired of everything.
Make them smile, or laugh, or think. Tell them you understand, then prove it. Give them a good deal.
People like that. Especially now.
Salespeople know the truth – people buy from people they like. That will happen more and more with companies.