Life post-COVID, what's next for marketers?

When it comes to 2020, this year has been a rollercoaster of emotions. The only constant is the curveballs that keep coming.

In early January, I recall a stream of excitable posts crowning 2020 as ‘the best year yet!’ – A few short months later, this premature declaration was followed by an onslaught of memes apologising to 2019 for all that we said about it.

As marketers, usually, we have a well-rounded understanding of what makes customers tick. There are certain channels we consider staples and traditional tools and tactics we hold-dear. This year, however, pretty much everything we thought we knew changed.

For better or worse?

Across this volatile and economically turbulent time, there is a flipside to the pandemic – and it’s not just the use of fancy new words or hashtags like ‘social distancing’ or ‘#ISO’.

This unprecedented period has driven us forward in new ways such as long-overdue reform in healthcare, environmental policies and the criminal justice system. It has opened up real conversations and laid bare our longing to be part of a global community like never before.

COVID has taught us the value of authenticity, equality and connection.

What does this mean for marketers?

Businesses can no longer bubble along with a me-first mentality. Those that do are in danger of being upstaged and upscaled by companies leading with brand purpose.

To survive and even thrive, organisations must understand there are new demands. Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to their personal actions and relationship with brands.

This monumental shift in the decision-making process means consumers are no longer just buying products or services, they are investing in making positive change in the world.

Cause and effect have blurred the lines of the purchasing process. In the past, shoppers reached for their favourite brand of soap powder or shampoo without a second thought. Today, simple choices are now more complex.

When it comes to picking products, consumers are diving deeper. Does the brand have a purpose? Is the bottle made from recycled and recyclable material? Is a percentage of proceeds going directly to a foundation or non-profit project? Is the formula biodegradable? Does the brand connect with personal beliefs?

More than ever, brands must move in a way that puts people and the planet first. Forging strong emotional connections, prioritising customers and building a happy and productive workforce is the new baseline.

Taking a people-centric approach and following purpose-driven principles will guide businesses towards a new normal.

Since COVID-19, the marketer’s role is more important than ever. Helping businesses connect to the hearts of consumers and stakeholders while creating a positive impact in the world, is the new frontier.

As a purpose-driven marketing agency, Outsourced imagination is a company motivated by the prospect of sculpting a new view of how the world should be.

By focusing on purpose-driven marketing strategies, cause consultancy and creative campaigns, the boutique agency helps small businesses and big brands put purpose at the heart of their brand architecture.

Naturally, sales and profits are still critical to survival but when you tie profit to purpose, businesses are more likely to rise up and prosper, despite challenging times.

Successful strategies to get you through COVID-19!