Kelly McCarthy brought a wealth of information to her Spark Lab livestream and we’ve distilled down some of the great bites. With her marketing career beginning at the cusp of the online era, she brought an intrinsic understanding of how technology has evolved and how to communicate it simply. But her talk elevates above the nuts and bolts, exploring principles that can be applied to any business, regardless of scale.
Marketing is communications, and we’re bringing people together, and doing that relies on translation: Helping one group understand and empathise with another. The real secret to making that work begins with listening, and listening is a skill we need to embrace more. Listening to our consumers, and developing a deeper understanding of what drives them, then delivering what they’re actually asking for.
There’s been a big shift in consumer perspectives and it’ll continue. They’re trading down on cost and up on value. But value is defined in more ways than just monetary. They’ll also look at brand values that align with their world view, and that show an understanding of their situation.
These times demand that we take a step back and look at what we’re offering. Have a point of view and don’t be afraid of stating it clearly. That’s the authenticity people want, and it generates a real connection in a time of stress and crisis. It also lays the platform for the brand’s next evolution.
We’ve learnt quite quickly that our supply chains are vulnerable. Securing those and investigating local solutions is common sense, even if just as a contingency in the future.
Be part of culture in a time of crisis, look for new places to show up, be flexible in your communications. As the bigger, slower brands are hamstrung by process, being a small, nimble local brand gives opportunities with a supply chain to deliver. It lets people know you’re there in the channels they’re using and supporting, alongside the selling.
You can’t underestimate the power of an amazing case study inside the business. That might be looking at something a competitor has done that’s worth emulating. But even better is to create your own best in class example that shows how it should be done. That could be done in a smaller segment, creating proof of a theory, and then using that as an education piece for the wider business.
It might not feel like a time for building, but it’s a really good time to think like that. The status quo is in the crosshairs, so what are the opportunities? The doors are open amid the chaos, people want solutions and being the person, or the business that provides those things is the value-add the times need.
Learn what drives a community. Take off the corporate pants and when you’re asked “Would you do that? - the answer shouldn’t be “No I’m not the consumer.” Remember that you have to be part of the equation. Dive deep into the communities and find what the true drivers are. Refocus, and from there you can build something awesome.
Watch the full talk from Kelly McCarthy above
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