Jul 08, 2022

How Marketers Can Help Brands And Customers Thrive Post-Pandemic

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The post-pandemic era presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for marketers to live up to our higher mission to help brands use their power and influence to improve people’s well-being and quality of life.

Covid-19 brought wellness front and center on a global stage. It became a hot topic with people helping each other manage their lives during the pandemic. We saw many brands rapidly monetize wellness across a wide range of product and service areas. Among our clients’ research and development departments, we saw a demand to help them better understand the pain points customers were experiencing, as well as the integration of well-being education into product development and marketing.

Some of the lessons we learned include:

• Lead with the brand. It’s important to build a strong brand around people. People want to interact with people, and your brand represents the people, values and vision that stand behind your company. When your company has a strong brand, people understand what you are about without you having to provide too much explanation. Tell your story with empathy and authenticity. Map out detailed customer experience guidelines to provide relevant messaging and ensure that your messaging remains relevant every step of the way. This helps drive impactful interactions between people and your brand.

• Partnerships are powerful. Together, brands can generate more visibility and offer programs to their followers that are diverse and more interesting. Look for opportunities to pair with other brands on social media for giveaways and online events — these are great ways to explore partnerships. Focus on low-risk and high-reward initiatives.
• Represent brands you believe in. Step up and support brands that you think can fundamentally make a difference in people’s lives. Like everything in life, if you don’t believe in what you do, you’re not going to make a difference. Behind every project and brand stand people who should really believe in what they are doing. Your belief can be contagious; you can inspire your followers and your team to believe in the brand too. When you really believe in a brand and you’re really passionate about it, you’re more likely to come up with interesting ideas and new opportunities. For example, we represent a broth brand that uses organic ingredients and ingredients from a regenerative farm, and I and my family are in love with this product. I cook with the broth myself every day and share new ideas with my team about how we can represent the product, what new opportunities we can explore and what influencers would be great, etc.

• Returning to in-person: As the pandemic wanes, people will be looking for face-to-face interaction. That said, we now know that many experiences can now be delivered online, which can save a lot of time and energy. Think of compelling reasons to convince people to show up in person. This may require you to step up and find ways to make experiential marketing more creative. With so many in-person concerts and other events being canceled during the pandemic, marketers have lots of opportunities to bring them back through brand partnerships with musicians and artists.
• Democratization of content: Brands will need to adjust to the proliferation of free online content that occurred during the pandemic. Museums provided free virtual tours, fitness studios offered free live-streamed workout classes and professional chefs taught free online cooking classes. People have grown accustomed to enjoying this kind of content for free, and I believe it would be a mistake if brands take that away. Instead, aim to help clients form partnerships with content providers to ensure that brands continue providing quality content for all.
• Impact: Post-pandemic, we see brands focusing more attention and resources on driving measurable impact when it comes to solving local and global problems. The pandemic created a tremendous opportunity for marketing professionals to help brands facilitate healing and nourishment for communities while directing their resources to where they matter most — the well-being of their customers.
It is important to remember that as marketers, we are responsible for what gets channeled out there, and we should work closely with brands to identify and address customer pain points. I recommend that food brands partner with dieticians who can educate them about the impact their food can have on consumers’ well-being. They should also be prepared to take on the role of food connoisseur as more and more people cook from home and want to try new recipes.

Marketing professionals must lead by example, and fortunately, there are plenty of nonprofits looking to benefit from their expertise. This year, my team has been supporting organizations that are focused on serving underprivileged communities, the food as medicine movement, nutritional education in schools, empowering women in the workplace and sustainable mining.
The role of marketers today should be to work with brands to develop a strategy for how they can create measurable impact to improve people’s lives.
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