The past year and a half have changed the world. The way we communicate, socialise, consume and more has been affected by the global pandemic. Any marketer who thinks that everything will go back to how things were before is delusional. Marketing has changed and will continue to change because of the pandemic.
In this article, we talk about post-pandemic marketing. A no filter, no exaggeration, no lies guide to what post-pandemic marketing will look like.
Anyone in sales or marketing will always have been told that brands should stand behind their products. In a post-pandemic world, that focus will shift to brands standing behind their values.
Consumer activism and awareness are growing. Almost two-thirds (63%) of consumers surveyed by Accenture Strategy said that they reward purpose-driven brands.
Brands need to be focused and consistent in upholding their values. In post-pandemic marketing, your values will matter more than your product.
There is so much competition in many markets. Consumers are not only looking for a great product, and have many options when they are searching. But they are also looking to align themselves with brands that share their values.
A great example of a brand that has been embedding its values in its business, and since before the pandemic, is Ben & Jerry's.
Part of Ben & Jerry's mission statement is “to use the business as a force for good, both through internal programmes and practices and through using our platform and voice to advocate for change.”
As a brand, it works hard to uphold these values. This statement is not simply fluff, or all words and no action. For example, one of their newer ice-cream flavours is called Home Sweet Honeycomb with a message to come together and support refugees.
“We’ve teamed up with the International Rescue Committee, and are urging our fans to join us in asking our European leaders to give vulnerable refugees a safe place to call home, as part of our Together for Refugees campaign.”
Brands like Ben & Jerry's are important to look to for inspiration. Over the past year, brands have seen the value of taking a stance on social issues. But it can blow up in their faces if done wrong. Ben & Jerry's approaches social issues with authenticity. Audiences connect with them because they don’t feel as though the brand is taking a stance to increase sales, but rather to make a real difference.
An Edelman survey found that people are more likely to purchase a brand, both during and after the pandemic, if said brand has spoken out appropriately about the pandemic. A vast majority (84%) of respondents said that they were looking for “brands advertising to focus on how they can help people cope with pandemic-related life challenges.”
By focusing on solutions and not problems, and trying to give your audience hope and insights, rather than trying to make a sale, you will be able to build a long-term relationship with them that will flourish post-pandemic.
Check out this email from Flickr:
One of the reasons that this works so well is that it addresses a clear problem that its audience is experiencing. And it's not beating around the bush – which brands can sometimes be tempted to do when it comes to more sensitive topics like finance.
The email addresses the problem and then presents helpful solutions, without trying to make a sale. Flickr collected a lot of helpful resources that do more than just give advice. Resources ranged from support groups and options for financial assistance.
A few weeks ago, we talked about the battle that will take place for consumer attention in the post-pandemic. According to MADiA research, the average full-time worker gained almost 15% extra free time during the pandemic. This free time may disappear post-pandemic as people go back to work and are allowed to spend time outside, in restaurants and bars etc.
Screen time and time engaging with your brand can be expected to drop. Post-pandemic marketing will need to centre around maintaining engagement from your audience.
A key part of this will involve being flexible with your understanding of your customers and their needs. Many people's lives changed because of the pandemic. Many of your customers may have changed their priorities. You need to adapt to this and continue to create content that your audience wants to see.
This will involve continuously reviewing your marketing strategy and what is performing. You will need to adapt as you learn more about what has changed for your customers because of the pandemic.
See inspirations here:
To succeed with your post-pandemic marketing you will need to be flexible, reactive and stay on top of changing trends. Streams is a tool that helps marketers find top quality and trending content in their niche that can be shared with audiences to help improve engagement. Sign up for a free 14 day trial today.