By Bryan Kramer | Business, Commentary, Featured

How to Move Forward with the Human Element

We are living through some interesting times. Messages that were on-point in February are no longer relevant or even appropriate as we move forward.

In the “great pause” to retain market share, profitability, and customer interest, it’s important not to lose track of the human element of your business.

As your marketing shifts and the core of your message pivots away from your previous goals and advertising efforts, it pays to employ a human-to-human approach to marketing as you try to navigate these rough and ever-changing waters.

Here are five ways to help your company create more personalized, human messaging. 

Focus on being involved rather than selling a product

The single most important thing you can do to build a human-based brand that resonates with people during a crisis is to focus on being there for your customer rather than selling your product.

That might seem counter-intuitive, but trust me, it is important for longevity as you move forward with your business. People have extra time on their hands right now.

They are looking long and hard at corporate cultures, attitudes, and practices, searching for businesses that stand side-by-side with their customers versus companies that are just trying to cash in on customers’ vulnerability.

People need a community partner who is interested in helping them pick up the pieces when all this is over, not one who will take advantage of them when the chips are down.  

move forward

Give back and build goodwill

Now is the time to take your free demo products to the next level. Internet marketing guru Neil Patel calls it, “giving selflessly.” That’s why companies all over the globe have used this opportunity to open up their services, giving people more of their premium features at no additional cost.

Harvard has opened up free classes, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has started free, virtual tours of some of its exhibits. Bands, musical acts, and theater productions have begun streaming free concerts and performances

Patel put his money where his mouth is at the beginning of COVID-19: he opened up many premium features moving forward of his Ubersuggest tool and watched as more people than ever before bought the paid subscription because of his simple act of goodwill. 

Be educational and provide resources

Along the same lines as giving back to your community, a crisis represents the perfect time to demonstrate your brand’s value. Instead of a “salesy” tone, it is more appropriate to adopt an advisory persona, providing your customers with important information and useful resources.

Companies and people that look to keep customers in the loop with a human-to-human approach, giving them useful updates and factual information about everything from the state of the world, to how the company is managing their business operations and preserving their supply chains, build a brand that people will trust and do business with long after a crisis has passed.   

Use empathy and inspiration

Adopting the appropriate marketing tone doesn’t necessarily mean eliminating your marketing efforts altogether.

If you do find yourself in a position to continue advertising your service as you move forward, make sure that your messaging is empathetic and inspiring.

According to the Harvard Business Review, people respond more positively to human messaging that “alleviates their anxiety” during a time of crisis and uncertainty.  

Develop a personalized message

Never underestimate the power and importance of speaking directly to your client base. Personalized messages can be an impactful part of human-to-human marketing.

If you and your firm take the time to put the wealth of customer information that’s at your disposal to good use, you can craft personalized marketing messages aimed at specific demographic subsets.

Personalized messaging can help further alleviate anxiety as it provides an appropriately reassuring tone in which to reach out to your customers during a crisis point.

If you speak directly to a community about its unique concerns, long-term customer relationships will follow.  

Adopting a human-to-human business model

Now is the time to reevaluate your brand’s tone and approach. It’s time to demonstrate your value and give back to the community.

A successful marketing shift at this time requires an empathetic approach and a human-to-human business model.

The future longevity of your company will depend on your ability to deliver personalized, human messaging at a time when people need it the most.

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