2020, well, what hasn’t been said – a year we didn’t see coming, a year we can’t wait to put in the rearview mirror. Needless to say the pandemic will have a lasting impact on many aspects of our lives and in the year ahead, marketers will need to be especially conscious to approach their messaging with empathy.
That empathy begins with a keen understanding of their internal teams (where the brand first lives and breathes) and then of their consumers. People have experienced this past year differently and it is important to speak to them where they are, across every touchpoint. Rapidly evolving circumstances have required changes in how people live, and digital has become more prevalent as people shop online, spend more time at home and generally engage with more screens in order to remain socially distant. Because of this evolution, online touchpoints have become more critical. While the focus is likely more on your digital content, it is important to remember to maintain your brand messaging both online and offline.
There are many ways to listen to your consumer and respond with empathy. Depending on the type of business you have, when possible, pay close attention to the social channels of your audience to get a pulse on their frame of mind. Look at the language being used and general tone of the content. Then there is always research that can be purchased or done specifically for your use – this data can offer powerful insights in to how your consumer is feeling.
The key to all of this – really LISTEN, determine how your audience is feeling and then AUTHENTICALLY craft your message (or product offering) with empathy. An empathetic message helps your brand cut through the clutter; this is really true of brand messaging even in “normal” times. Talking to your consumer with an awareness of their situation and needs will ultimately foster brand loyalty.
Brand messaging has always been about story. And each of our stories, both our company’s and our customer’s, have changed dramatically in 2020. Be aware of the changes, listen and empathically respond.