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October 09, 2020

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4 min read

Who is tired of trying to pivot, pivot and pivot again...

We’re now into the last quarter of 2020. Time seems like a bit of a paradox: the year has felt both quick and impossibly long. That’s because the year has been so challenging, so full of uncertainty—and it seems like we’re not done yet based on Ford’s announcement just now.

If you think back to March, we were all hopeful this would be a few weeks. Then we’d get back to “normal.” Now, as we keep hearing news about rising caseloads, it would appear there will be no quick finish.

In this environment, it’s difficult for people to stay hopeful. And it’s going to be even more challenging for us as Marketers to sustain a message that resonates with our customers. So, how do we sustain the message?

Staying Agile

The first step to maintaining our messages is staying agile. We had to change our plans in the spring, and we’ve been adjusting ever since. It looks like we are now potentially entering a second wave and with government requirements, we’re going to have to keep adjusting too.

We have to stay attuned to our customers. Everyone is consuming the message in their own way with different degrees emotion ranging from indifference to fear or feeling anxious. Summer seemed to offer fhope. Now fear and anxiety are back—mixed with a sense of weariness.

We probably feel it too, even in our own marketing messages. In the spring, we were all sending hopeful messages of solidarity—“we’re all in this together!”—and keeping people updated. At this point, we might be feeling a little tired of that kind of sentiment ourselves.

We also have to know that, in this moment, we could seem out of step if we send messages about getting back to routine or reopening or great to be back…when things are changing daily.

Offering More Than Platitudes

What’s more is that we’re going to need to acknowledge how our customers are feeling right now. In the spring, messaging around comfort and hope felt right.

Now, more than six months down the road, our customers are already tired of those messages. They’ve worn a bit thin. So even though we’re putting restrictions back in place or people are anxious anew, we can’t push out those same messages. We can’t keep giving people a “we’re all in this together!”

It’s not a matter of saying “stay strong” either. We’re going to have to offer our customers something more than a message this time around. They need reassurance and comfort, yes, but they also need something a bit more real.

Authentic Action in the Moment

People need to feel secure with something that grounds them. They don’t want to think about what they’re going to do when everything’s “normal.” They don’t want to think about everything they’re missing. That’s only going to remind them about how long this has been going on and how uncertain the future seems.

So, I think messaging needs to shift to be confident, real and in the moment. Be that anchor for your customers. Be authentic and in the moment. Focus on little positive moments vs. reflecting back on uncertain times: Here is a coupon to, “treat yourself.” Focus on positive and real moments today. Be in the here and now.

When we engage in “real talk” with them on social media, that is in the here and now. It’s providing for their needs, as well as building deeper connections between our brands and the people who buy from us.

Keep in mind that this isn’t an exercise in selling. There are no ulterior motives here. We are hoping to build relationships and support our customers. And if we do that successfully, they’ll be there for our brands on the other side.

So remember to start with the why—and you’ll find the message your customers need from you right now.

--Margo

Meet Margo…brand visioning & marketing

Margo Jay is a Master Brand Strategist with a career leading globally recognized brands; developing and launching a proven model that maximizes competitive sales potential and consumer appeal. She has built the model to help companies of all sizes. Her Client roster includes entrepreneurs through to Fortune 100 brands: NHL teams, Global QSR brands, CPG brands, Broadcast brands, Agencies, Non Profit brands, Hard goods…this model and process provides competitive advantage in any category.

Complete clarity. Ownable distinct selling proposition. Shared values. Brand Clarity. Brand Focus. Brand Inspiration. Brand Obsession. Unlocking brand potential is what she does.

And it all starts with why!

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