Traditional marketing makes people feel incomplete. Like they need a product to fill a hole.
Conscious marketing works by making people feel better about themselves, or their position in the world – better than they felt before reading your tweet or blog or email.
Marketers ARE the message.
We’re on your screens. On your shampoo bottles. In your kitchen. In your car. On the side of buses. In the instruction manual of your kid’s new annoying toy.
As heavy as it sounds, we play a huge role in greasing the wheels of social conditioning. So when you understand marketing & copywriting, you also understand that you harness a great deal of power.
The question is – are you a Conscious Marketer or a Doom Merchant?
You have a choice.
You can be a conscious marketer: intentional with your messaging, using every word you send out as an opportunity to inspire humanity to step into its full potential
You can be a doom merchant: raising the stress levels of humanity through fear-based marketing.
Good luck selling anything by making someone feel shit about themselves, or by exaggerating potential consequences to stimulate anxiety. And if you do sell anything, good luck sleeping at night.
Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we need responsible marketing more than ever. Next time you go to hit the send button, comb through your words and ask yourself:
1) Is my copy appropriate and relevant to this new reality?
2) Does what I’m saying at the very least, do no harm, and, at best, empower the people I serve?
As life and business shifts wildly, we should constantly be reassessing our copy – even if it’s something we gave the green light a fortnight ago.
My free guide to conscious marketing during a crisis shares more on this but basically, right now:
- Content surrounding mental health and physical health helps,
- Content that keeps us calm (or cracks a smile) helps,
- Content that keeps us busy helps.
Joshua Spanier, VP of Global Media at Google, talks about how his teams are reassessing appropriateness of content during the pandemic:
“We’re asking ourselves every day, “Is this creative or ad placement right for this moment and in this context?” And when the answer is no, we pivot. For instance, we’ve had an Android campaign running that referenced being “out and about.” Was that OK in the U.S. market a few weeks ago? Sure. Today? Not so much.”
The Google teams are reevaluating any content that shows hugs, handshakes and high-fives, since social distancing is an important tactic for slowing the spread of illness.
Search ad copy such as ‘virus checks’ take on a whole new meaning, too – so the team are reviewing anything that feels uncomfortable.
“As business professionals, we recognise that we have a responsibility to navigate uncertainty,” Spanier continues. “Through it all, we’re evaluating our media budgets through the lens of what’s most relevant to our consumers. Our guiding principle as a brand, particularly in this moment, is to be helpful.”
I salute those last words. The least we can do, whether we’re a small personal brand or a gigantic corporation, is help each other.
I know all of our budgets are slashed, but offering red-hot deals (70% off with the code #CORVID2020!) isn’t helping. Slashing prices will do nothing to help a customer base that’s home alone and worried.
Think long-term instead – make sure you come out the other end of this having played a small part in helping your people.
From aerial yoga teachers to airlines, now is the time for brands to walk their talk, take care of their people and their clients, and stick to their values through a time it matters most.
It goes way beyond marketing – this is about caring.