Commentators are calling whatever we emerge from lockdown into is the “new normal” as a world we try and live with an immediate future with COVID-19. So, in this Green Room, we turned to our Rockstar CMOs for advice on marketing in this changing world.
Depending on where you are reading this, you are deep into the second month of lockdown and even if things are opening up, we are emerging into a world that has changed.
As marketers, to this point, the watchword has been “empathy”. That we must pause and move sensitively forward. But, as commercial leaders in our organizations move forward we must, so what advice would our Rockstar CMOs give on what this new normal means?
So, this month we gathered our Rockstar CMOs into a virtual Green Room and asked:
What does the post Coronavirus new normal mean for you, your organization, and marketing in general?
The world is going through a lot all at once. Businesses big and small are feeling pressure like never before and trying to find new ways to convert from brick and mortar to online and e-commerce, there’s a whole new world of marketing they are facing in the online and digital realms.
I’ve been seeing and also guilty of saying a lot of “as marketers, we need to” lately, but I think we should change the mindset to “as people”, as people we need to take a step back for a moment, take a breath and look at the world around us.
What can we change to better help our fellow people?
There’s a great pool of knowledge we have being marketers that can help others that are new to our world right now get back on their feet. If you have the bandwidth or ability that my recommendation is to take the time to find, reach out, and help a few small businesses in your area in areas of marketing they might need help with.
From a little seed can grow a great tree.
- Innovation – some incredible innovation has come from the situation. People have changed their business models pretty much overnight. Bestival running a festival online during Easter, drive-in football games in Germany, virtual draft parties in the NFL and that is before you take your hat off to people like Crosstown Doughnuts, Leon and Deliveroo who have taken something that could have potentially crushed their business and created new opportunities to cut through – from supporting the NHS, delivering food boxes on-demand or striking new strategic partnerships with local shops. I’d be interested to know how they got from day 1 of the outbreak through to these incredible moments for their business – whether they had a culture of innovation and agility ahead of the pandemic – and/or whether this is has come from great leadership and instinct.
- Mental health has only been considered quite recently by the mainstream as a hugely important factor in people’s lives. Lockdown has really raised awareness of the importance of this and how best to keep not just your physical health maintained, but your mental health too. This conversation and approach are really vital and I hope that everyone bears this in mind once this is over.
- For our business: Tappit is fortunate to work with events and entertainment. In the short term, the event and sports industry have taken a major body blow. We are gutted that the events industry has suffered so much and a huge part of people’s lives has been put on hold (personally gutted about the football) – people are readjusting and finding new ways to create events. We are proud that our services are considered part of the solution for the resurgence of the industry. What we see now is the accelerated move to cashless – who wants to touch cash, a pin terminal, or even share a credit card at this point? Whilst this move was considered inevitable, the pace at which attitudes are changing in the last month has been incredible. We are in talks every day with major global entertainment and sports organizations about how to reassure their fans, keep staff and fans safe, and support a new, safer, environment – with cash being considered a real risk and downside to the live experience.
- For marketing – as a consumer, I’ve been impressed and somewhat overwhelmed by the volume and quality of content that is currently flooding my inbox. So many things to read, listen to, watch and so little time. Whilst outreach has been of premium quality – I can’t be the only person thinking (whilst homeschooling and working full time) that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Particular credit to Mango, Allbright, Getthegloss and Secondhome for their content in terms of targeting, creativity, and ability to innovate. I think marketeers have shown how amazingly rich and engaging content can be – but at the same time – timing and which medium you use to engage your audience is vital.
During a crisis such as this, marketing has never had such an important role to play with their customers and their organization. You will find a shift in what marketing is doing but our role is critical to help the companies we serve and our customers during this extreme time period.
What has impacted our team is internal and external communications – we have ramped these up like never before. Also, moving quickly to create products and services for our members during COVID and getting that message out fast has been something we have adapted to. Like all marketing teams, we’re accustomed to the occasional rapid fire exercise but this is different. I think that rapid fire mentality may stay with many organizations.
The other area I see as a current and lasting effect is advertising. Regardless of your industry, branding and purpose-driven marketing has never been more important. Many organizations may struggle with this – it’s critical to operating now and in the future.
Wendy Bryant-Beswick is an award-winning marketer with 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry. She is currently VP of Marketing at Service Credit Union.
Ted Rubin shares some straight talking advice in his regular columns in this issue.
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