Is humanity the new KPI for marketers?
Is humanity the new KPI for marketers?
Keeping the difficult times in mind we can see a drastic downfall in the economy of our country. Be it agriculture, manufacturing, e-commerce, stock market, supply chains, labour force, industries, you name it and there it is facing a downward slope. Every sector seems to be affected due to the pandemic followed by the lockdown. People are losing their jobs, there’s a cut in salary for many. There are families who are happy about spending quality time with their peers but let’s not forget thousands who are not having a gala time as for them it's a hand to mouth situation, they earn daily and meet their needs.
Needless to say, the marketing sector is paying its dues too in the given situation. It's devastating, what is happening around the world.
What seems to be a short supply in today's world is being an authentic human, without which it is nearly impossible to cater to the cause.
The culture and mindset that we need to market to today is humanity. That mindset, and many along the same lines.
The approach of thoughtfulness is what is needed right now to respond to news across various geographic regions and market to each with empathy.
Almost immediately after a new reporter ends, commercials start to pop up from different advertisers and it looks like none of them watch the same TV channels of news as I do. These ads seem to cover more screen time that the news itself.
Is it a wake up call for the companies?
How do you sell a message that will resonate with Mumbai, the virus epicenter in India or in Delhi, where the streets are empty under a lockdown order. The marketers are living an unusual time worldwide.
Marketing is a highly predictable sector and it succeeds because one can build up a model to foresee the results. Given the current scenario, it is difficult to do that. We are all part of a new reality, with the death rates going up each day and virus spreading, it goes without saying that we need work towards being human first and practicing marketing second.
As marketers we’ve been trained to sell, to promote, to advertise and it's not easy but it is extremely important that we get in touch with each one of our team members to find out how they are dealing with the pandemic and how it's affecting their lives.
How can we solve this problem?
By simply showing some empathy and recapturing humanity, being so densely populated, India is left with various different experiences.
Differentiate messaging by tracking news and responding accordingly
As we can see, different cities across the country have been affected differently. The infection rate is rising with every passing day. Mumbai being at the top of the list and Goa being the least affected. It is understood that differentiating your message is appropriate.
The email industry has been constantly bringing to everyone's notice how it is important to differentiate strategies based on customer cohorts i.e geographic and socio-economic trends for nearly 2 decades now.
Not only is it important to know your company stance but it is also important to rise to the occasion and become a media connoisseur who watches the news closely enough to understand what’s happening across the country and market effectively.
It is important to keep the following in mind:
Re-strategize sending campaigns across. There seems to be a massive decrease in email campaigns over the past few weeks as companies are making calculative decisions to either not email campaigns at all or to at least reduce the volume. This leaves me feeling that maybe sometimes emails don’t work.
The idea is to not pull back completely. According to the Katar Covid-19 Barometer, 8% of the consumers in a global survey feel companies should stop advertising for a while whereas 74% feel companies should not exploit the situation.
It's confusing as we have been trained for years in making strategies on how not to send email to inactivity and now we are pushing them to stop because of the news across the world.
We need to ask ourselves, “Why people across the country would care about the product we are selling in the current scenario with people dying and infection spreading like a wildfire”, if you don't have an answer, it is important that you don't send out the email. This is humanity- plain and simple.
Another aspect that creates a disconnect in the eyes of your customer is automation programs. Given the current dynamics of pandemic, it doesn't make any sense to receive a message that talks about an in-store experience or a travel plan in the coming month.
Technology. It is important to identify regions that carry medium risks due to the virus and areas where the impact of the virus is out of hands. On the basis of your identification you can pick regions where it is safe to send email.
Apart from https://www.covid19india.org/, The World Health Organisation (WHO) is also tracking coronavirus around the world in real-time. The WHO COVID-19 situation map shows the rise in novel coronavirus infections from January to now. The zoomable blue and white map provides a search option to look for country-specific COVID-19 cases, including the number of infected, mortality and recovered.
We might need to switch to softer campaign messages now that we are starting to see signs in increasing rates of infection.
We are all looking for solutions that help us get the campaigns out of the doors with minimum changes without pulling the whole campaign down. We need to drive our attention to real-time messaging companies that lets you automatically change your email according to the location and IP address depending on where your customer opens their messages.
Choose your side wisely. We have all come across stories on how to deal with PR and legal departments. We definitely do not like being told how to run our business. The idea here is to make people understand why you disagree with certain campaigns because you don’t like the tone of it, it is not the best practice and it goes against all of your ideations in the way you want to run a marketing campaign.
Since it is not easy to work around it, you can respectfully come up with solutions on how to work the campaign better. If you win, fantastic. If you don’t, gracefully move on to the next.
To wrap up:
Like every other industry, in marketing too we learn more from our competitors.
You might feel like you're in the middle of nowhere and you may get stuck thinking if what you're doing is the right thing to do. The silver lining is, nobody else does either. We are all still working around it and navigating new paths.
The best way to overcome the situation is to communicate. Share all that you know and seek out for suggestions. Reach out to friends and trade ideas. Something might just click.
It's heartbreaking to see what's happening around the world with coronavirus and how we’re responding to it. The only thing comforting is that we are in it together and we will get through it.