Purchasing behavior, an explosion of online orders, massive stock shortages: in the face of the crisis, consumers are abandoning brands to continue to give some normality to a daily life that is now uncertain. If the return to business as usual is fading as the weeks go by, so too is the return to soulless marketing messages. After the hour of crisis management challenges, tomorrow's issues are revealed: changing paradigm and generating the unexpected.
Getting out of the marketing campaign system
Long before the Covid-19 crisis, something was already wrong with the marketing campaigns. Only, like the spread of the virus, the questioning of this otherwise immutable model has accelerated.
As proof, brands that had planned campaigns for the first two quarters were condemned to... not speaking for several days or even weeks, unable to really know what to say to their recipients.
Because one thing is certain. Despite the paralysis in which much of the world is now immersed, consumers are losing much more patience when faced with messages deemed inadequate. Overly commercial, without taking into account the context and expectations of each individual, the content prepared in advance irritates nerves already under strain.
Probably because they still know very little about their customers and prospects, despite a plethora of personalization solutions and the promise of better customer knowledge through data, too many brands have relied on marketing campaign standards to create content, not on individuals.
This leads to several problems that have been highlighted by the crisis. Content developed for a campaign meets targeting and segmentation criteria. Executives with executives, singles with singles: what about a person's personality, their aspirations of the moment, their needs of tomorrow? Today more than yesterday, nobody wants to be treated as a target anymore.
Generating the Unexpected
Another salient fact emerges from this unprecedented situation, not totally uncorrelated to the elements outlined above: the standardization of the messages communicated, all industries combined, with an equally common consequence, boring.
If recipients have been too busy or a little exasperated by the over-solicitation of brands without any real boundaries, the crisis is exacerbating feelings, frustrations and even annoyance with messages that are already outdated before being read, especially on the channel most used and appreciated by consumers, email.
If the context and the consideration of individual expectations must be part of a rethought content strategy, so too must the emotion driver, content. For example, 83% of consumers expect brands to connect people and help them stay "emotionally close" during the crisis. This illustrates the imperative need for brands to renew their discourse by adopting a new way of thinking about content-based marketing messages through email. Only content can make the difference, trigger interaction and commit to go further. In a way, act as the conductor of our emotions.
It's about time brands reserved for their recipients the unexpected with new messages by stopping thinking of them as simple data points. On the contrary, each brand must understand the power that comes from the messages it creates. From the world it inspires. The entertainment it generates. The experience it provides. From the boredom that disappears.