The world through my eyes- A Marketer’s Perspective
Presently, all of us are in the midst of a situation that no one had ever thought of. What earlier existed only as the theme for a science fiction movie or we viewed in shows like Chernobyl, has now become a reality.
As a marketing professional, I can see business houses across the globe have reached a dead-end, without any marketing strategy designed to tackle such an unprecedented situation. But does this imply that organizations need to sit idly, with both their hands folded? No. I feel the crisis demands a new marketing strategy that works across industries and prepares everyone for such future eventualities.
Some quick questions you must answer-
- Which industry are you working in?
- Do you have any ongoing marketing strategy to tackle current situation?
- How can you retain customers even without selling products?
- Are your strategies client-centric or product-centric?
What inspired this strategy?
Today, I am basing my explanation on a straightforward concept proposed by Professor of Psychiatry, John Ratey. He conveyed that the brain can function smoothly when neurons make connections with their neighbors. That is how messages are transmitted from one part of the brain- the social brain- to another, and throughout the body. In case neurons fail in this task, they die. And gradually, the brain stops functioning, meeting a natural end.
It is exactly how I see organizations need to work by engaging with their customers. My experience says that an industry’s existence solely depends on how connected the buyers feel to the brand.
My new marketing strategy in 2020
I propose the EQ process, also fondly referred to as the Emotional Quotient Process. Necessarily, brands must make customers feel secure and extend solidarity. In times of crisis, the buyers must think that the brand understands their problems, supports them, and will go to any extent to help them. I see it as the perfect formula for a stable and lasting relationship.
Speaking statistically, 70% of the users who feel a connection with the brand are likely to spend twice as much time when compared to those who don’t.
Simplifying the EQ Process- 3-tier pyramid
- Tier 1- Prioritization
Companies can sometimes find themselves stuck in stressful situations. This is the step to stop impulsive actions and study the reason behind any particular trend in customer behavior. It is an excellent idea to look for cues and engage in an in-depth analysis of what is leading to this behavior.
For example- study changes in earning patterns that affect their expenditure capacity or check if customers are getting other essentials to tackle a crisis.
- Tier 2- Checklist creation
Another challenge is to understand what is going on in the customer’s mind. Sometimes, personal emotions and their intensity may influence the strategies that a company designs. The best way to navigate out of this stump is by discussing possible customer problems with the internal team.
Draft a set of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on the current notions of the customers, their insecurities, their needs, worst-hit areas, their expectations, possible mental health status, and likewise.
A pre-set questionnaire works like a checklist that strategy makers can keep ticking off later. It also helps brands to create customer segments and create customized plans.
- Tier 3- Inter-level collaboration
The final step in the pyramid demands ongoing work and collaborative efforts from the company. After looking into the two pointers mentioned above, it gives a clear image of the demography and its needs. Accordingly, you must devise a process and start with its implementation.
Create EQ process teams that are well connected to the business continuity teams so any response is well coordinated with business
Four fundamental components of EQ Communication
- Recognize team efforts and the loyal customers you already have.
Acknowledgment is a broad term that encompasses the recognition of others and the self. Every individual has a role to play in the company’s workflow. Understand and honor everyone’s rights.
Engage in evaluating your team members and understand what they have achieved so far. Their growth graph is a testament to their contribution to the company. Then, move to the customers and analyze the strategies that have helped you retain a loyal base.
- Empathize with your buyers- No one is alone.
Companies function and gain success when they practice empathy. In the simplest sense, a mirror reflects what is put in front of it. Similarly, mirroring, as a brand strategy, implies that brands assure their customers that they are in the same boat.
Brands can organize online live sessions and interactive polls. Using social media to show employees working from home or bored during quarantine look more relatable and natural. Staying together and understanding each other’s plight will help everyone move out of this uncertainty as a close-knit team.
- Be a soothing caregiver.
Accentuation is the soothing assurance a child feels in the company of his caregiver. It is this environment that a brand must create for the customers. Though it is not talked about much, mental well-being is most affected in times of crisis.
What do buyers need? They need someone they can talk to, relate to, and share with. By promoting positivity, brands must create a platform where the buyers feel safe and worry-free. Beginning with the employees, the brand must share tips on how they have helped the team overcome their mental hassles.
- Keep your customers productively engaged.
Think of a situation when the child has had a tough day at school. The caregiver assigns him a painting or drawing task to distract him. In the process, the child forgets his sorrow and focuses on something productive. What can you do as a brand? Some leading names have already started online contests on new taglines, posters, DIY products, and so on.
This uncertain period is bound to be over soon. The world needs a new marketing strategy that works like Alladin’s genie. I propose the most effective marketing strategy of 2020, the Emotional Quotient Process. The three steps involve understanding, in-depth analysis, and execution, all centered around customer’s needs. Additionally, recognize your team’s efforts and ensure to keep your buyers engaged with your name.
You need to provide solutions to your customers. Imagine a situation when you have a fitness goal in mind and all you need to do is put in details into an application that gives you a customised diet and exercise routine. That’s what the masses need. Once the economy strives to regain its former glory, customers will remember how you stood by them when the world was losing hope. It is this bond that will create loyal customers, and successful brands post unprecedented times.