Unless you’ve been living on the International Space Station for the past few months (and maybe not even then), it can’t have escaped your attention that we are living in very interesting times. Even in our corner of the cultural ecosystem, Marketing Automation, there are some far reaching implications. Offices are being emptied, hatches are being battened down, online conference facilities are being stretched to their very limit. One thing for sure, I wish I’d bought some shares in Slack & Zoom.
The news sites and channels are a fascinating study in feat and hysteria at the moment. Are we in fact on the brink of a civilisational change? Frankly, despite what the new sites would have you think, I strongly suspect that in due course organisations will emerge blinking into the light like the Punxsutawney Groundhog, at about the same time as their customers I rather think.
Are we going to see a change though in travel priorities and more remote working going forwards? Absolutely. A silver lining of all this fear driven hysteria is going to be a dramatic drop in our collective carbon footprint. Score one for Swedish teenage activists looking for the world to be a better place. A colleague remarked to me yesterday that remote working has come along more in the past two weeks than it has in the past 10 years.
The phrase being used most often in our world now is “business continuity”. If we can’t be in the office, can we still deliver on our business objectives? If people are unable to work, can marketing requirements still be satisfied? And make no mistake, there are still requirements that are needed. A sudden silence in your messaging at a time when customers are being force fed fear from 24-hour news could potentially be considered counter-productive for your brand. Speaking from personal experience, what customers need right now is assured and calm messaging. The tone needs to convey that we are here for them, we can provide what they need, when they need it. Just like we always have, right?
In addition to that, the apocryphal Chinese story that the word ‘crisis’ being a mix of the words for ‘danger‘ and ‘opportunity’ springs to mind. If you are indeed scaling back your customer comms, then there has never been a better time to focus on your strategic goals unencumbered by the day to day. Under normal circumstances, many clients find it difficult to arrange downtime of customer communication systems for essential maintenance such as software version updates, customer journey or process & data acquisition reviews.
Other clients I’ve been speaking to are taking the approach that this is actually a good time to contact customers. While in lockdown one thing that you can pick up loud and clear on social media is that people have more time on their hands. More time to consider their future purchases, even if they may wait some time now in order to be able to make them. More time means more attention, more attention means increased engagement.
Whatever your approach though, it all boils down to a simple question. In a world that’s gone just a little bit crazy, do you have the courage to be sane? Your customers may well thank you for it.
If there’s anything Purple Square can do to help you make it successfully through these interesting times with your brand intact, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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