I was scared, very scared when this pandemic started. I was scared for my own health – I’m Type 1 diabetic.
I was scared for my family: my Mother is 93 with a heart condition and living in a care home in Nottinghamshire. And I was scared for my new and small creative business. But I’ve adjusted. I’ve made changes to my lifestyle in lockdown, which can probably be best summed up as a kind of back to basics approach, focusing on the things that really matter. I’m confident this will have a long-term positive impact on me. I’m already less stressed, I’m fitter, and I’m more productive.
And I wondered if that kind of thinking might help some businesses who are struggling to find a way through this.
There has been too much focus on encouraging brands to advertise their way out of lockdown. I agree passionately that brands must continue to have a voice, and be relevant and helpful, but that doesn’t always mean advertising. We have an opportunity for marketing departments to reconsider their role inside an organisation and to prove just how important they are.
Instead of focusing solely on communications there are many other areas that marketers should be working on to effectively and sustainably evolve from the crisis. My own back to basics lockdown lifestyle brought to mind marketing’s simple seven Ps, only one of which is about advertising.
Marketing teams should be collaborating with their colleagues across the organisation and applying creativity and innovation wherever they can to build a better business and a better employee and customer experience.
And they should start with the other six Ps, such as product and pricing, as we expect to be in a value-based economy for some time, - while supporting and innovating in other vital areas like supply chain, logistics and internal communications.
Our marketing smarts really must be applied to health-centric and customer-centric Distance By Design, as all physical experiences like retail and hospitality are transformed in the medium term. It’s our job to make them safe and enjoyable, not just bearable.
This is a chance for marketing leaders to prove to CEOs that putting your faith in marketing doesn’t just mean more ads, it means increased customer and shareholder value, and they are things that every business needs right now.