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There will always be forces throwing your plans on the line and recalibrating them – be it in the form of political change, a natural disaster, a cultural change or a one-off pandemic. So for marketers the question is not "How can we plan the new normal?" But instead, "Why are you expecting one?"
While the phrase "new normal" generally only represents a desire to return to times when we were not all constantly stressed and life did not depend on being socially and politically very conscious, in reality it represents a desire for standstill. To be able to breathe deeply. But no matter what is going on in the world, marketing has never been about taking a breather.
Our customers don't ask us to create a “new normal”. They want to be leaders in their industry and position themselves as doers and doers. But with more competition and increasing media circulation, it's getting harder and harder to be at the top of the curve.
There are a few techniques marketers should either employ or dust off that can help put their customers at the top of the pack.
1. A stronger focus on social listening
In fact, social listening is just an expanded version of the research you are already doing in your industry. It's a bit of a competitive analysis, but from your audience instead of industry peers. What do customers say about your brands compared to the others? What terms do they use when they search for you? How many mentions do you get compared to your closest competition? These and many more reasons why social listening is my most recommended technique marketers should use if they want to be on the cutting edge.
But think ahead: if you've been actively social listening for a month and have gathered a lot of data, what should you do with it? Data is worthless if you collect it and leave it there. Start by including it in your strategy discussions to guide your campaign. If you've listened carefully enough, you should be able to identify at least one important wish or pain point from your audience that your competitors are not addressing.
Related: 10 Marketing Strategies To Promote Your Business Growth
2. Reputation is everything
The world is more connected than ever and people have more opportunities to make their voices heard. While this is a net gain for global communications, it means brands are becoming less and less armed with online outrage and bad reviews. Because of this, reputation and review management will be vital services for marketers to expand their repertoire.
Again, strong competitive analysis and social listening techniques will do marketers a great favor. The ability to know what successes or failures your competitors are having will be the best navigator of your campaign. Emulate what similar companies are good at, but don't be afraid to highlight the differences between you and your competition if one of them is accidentally at the mercy of an online mob.
Marketing is a full contact sport. If you have the resources to knock other players off the field – ethically, of course – then you should take them.
Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing
3. Build a community, then a campaign
A loyal fan base can help a brand weather almost any storm unscathed. So redirect a large part of your marketing effort into building a community around your customers. Play for the audience for the first few weeks of your campaign.
You don't have to tease engagement from your customer's audience – you just need to make more effort to ask questions. Audiences will find liking and sharing a Herculean task if you don't give them anything to chew on, but they will be more than happy to write you a novel in the comments of a Facebook post if they get the right prompt.
Make sure they feel like they are part of a semi-exclusive club. If you don't have a newsletter, start one. When you have one, start another one that is only for the most loyal members of the brand. Hire influencers that your audience will connect with and let them start creating content for you.
Marketers should realize that there will be no new normal. Instead, advertisers should use this time to fully experiment with campaigns and see what kind of content hits the bull's eye in the ever-evolving content cycle. With more competition and more content, the chance that the tried and tested methods of digital success will continue to exist decreases. In this way, even if it feels like constant chaos, we are given a chance: The world clears the board and says: "Impress me".
Related: 3 Reasons Marketing Is The New Revenue