Marketing is a constantly changing landscape. Marketers must be ready to adapt to unforeseen changes in the blink of an eye.
During a time when the future seems uncertain and purchasing habits have changed rapidly, it is especially important for marketers to consider thoughtful changes to their strategies. In this article, Helium Scribe examines mindful marketing and offers five tips to mindfully market your business during this pandemic.
What is Mindful Marketing?
Mindful marketing is genuine communication that puts your consumers first. It seeks to build honest and intentional relationships with consumers. By aligning your messages with your brand values and opting for a relatable, human voice, your marketing will resonate with your audiences.
Mindful marketing goes hand-in-hand with larger commitments to social responsibility and consumer well-being. Plus, the research shows that consumers care. Three out of four consumers said they would pay more for products or services from a socially responsible company. Mindful marketing seeks win-win situations for both the entrepreneur and the consumer, especially in uncertain circumstances.
How to Mindfully Market?
1. Put the person first
Put the interests and values of your consumers at the forefront of your marketing strategy. To do this effectively, it’s important to understand the psychographics– personalities, values, opinions, interests— of your customers. Get started on getting to know them. You can do research, ask questions, and actively listen when they respond.
It’s also important to pay attention to social and economic trends that impact your consumers. With social distancing measures in place, consumers are increasingly seeking out meaningful connections online and elsewhere.
Using all the information you have gathered, you can begin to create high-value content. Create blog posts or infographics about topics that your audience is interested in. Share information about COVID-19 to keep your consumers up to date about the situation. This COVID-19 Business Trends infographic by Calgary marketing firm JYZ Design is an example of high-value content that keeps the concerns of their customers in mind.
2. Be honest & open
Honesty is the best policy in marketing, according to Forbes Council Member Jonathan Laberge. The opposite is bad for business; 90% of consumers would stop purchasing from a business that engaged in deceptive or irresponsible practices. Building honest relationships with your customers is an investment for the future. It can positively impact your reputation and encourage repeat business.
Honest marketing means setting realistic expectations. Customers are far more likely to be satisfied if they get exactly what they were promised. Be forthright about shortcomings and ways you plan to improve. You can explain how COVID-19 has impacted your business and your plans to address it.
Honest marketing also means proudly declaring your strengths and celebrating your successes with the community. Barre Body Studio has adapted to the pandemic-related closure of their studio by offering online fitness classes to their members, and Sweet Jolie Boutique is offering virtual styling sessions. Sharing these updates on their social media lets their audience know what to expect and continue to be engaged. It’s two sides of the same coin.
3. Avoid empty gesture marketing
It is one thing to say you are here for your customers, and another to follow through. To mindfully market, there should be intention behind the sentiment.
Using your imagination, the possibilities are endless. Working to raise funds or build awareness about pressing issues is one way that offers of good-will and support become tangible. Volunteering with your team, vocalizing your support for local businesses, or shining a light on important causes are all ways to align your business and your marketing with your values.
Many entrepreneurs and small businesses are getting involved in the relief effort for COVID-19. Canadian shoe company Vessi Footwear, for example, has committed to donating shoes and masks whenever someone purchases a pair of their shoes. This highly successful initiative demonstrates their commitment to giving back, and also results in positive marketing for their brand.
Marketing that is done well helps consumers imagine their ideal life and how they can achieve it. This approach, paired with engaging visuals, can help build loyal brand followers.
Creating content that inspires or entertains, especially during stressful times like these, can go a long way. Restaurants can post recipes to try, music stores can offer tips on how to play an instrument, and gyms can offer fitness routines. Shenative is an Indigenous owned handbag and apparel store that posts ideas on how to stay busy and active while staying at home on their Instagram.
5. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer
During this pandemic, it’s important to remember that all business is h2h (human to human). Consider the changing needs of your customers and how your business is uniquely positioned to solve them. Putting yourself in the shoes of the customer will help you create timely, relevant communication that addresses their needs, benefiting you and your customers.