Whether you are new to marketing or have been in the field for years, there’s always room to expand your skills and improve your marketing abilities. While you’ll have to figure out the right balance and approach to achieve your definition of success, these are the key characteristics that #TeamMoonsail leans on regularly to navigate our marketing projects.
Great marketing is rooted in empathy — showing your audience that you understand their needs and what they value — and expressed in a way that your target audience enjoys and engages with. Customers don’t want to be ‘sold’ to; they want to develop trust with a brand — and you earn that trust by creating content that speaks to them.
Take Delta, for example — the multinational airline company empathized with customers’ fears about flying during the pandemic and instilled confidence in flying safely with them through this “Thinking Small” video that shows all the safety protocols they’ve implemented.
Using empathy results in companies being more personable and approachable, leading to higher engagement and brand loyalty.
Tips: Be curious about your customers! Ask yourself: “Who is my consumer? What do they really want? What do they value?” To dig in deeper, conduct market research to answer these questions. The results will present potentially the most detailed and accurate information on your consumers, which will align your empathetic mindset with your audience’s desires.
Staying on top of and responding to rapidly changing trends, current events, shifting consumer needs, and budgets requires flexibility. While it’s a best practice to plan for several scenarios, finishing a marketing project will likely require some adaptability.
Peloton recently showed great agility when a “Sex and the City” reboot character passed away from a heart attack while riding a Peleton. The exercise equipment company jumped on the buzz and protected their reputation by quickly releasing a commercial featuring the actor with a tongue-and-cheek, “He’s alive!” voiceover at the end, but then days later pulled the viral ad due to sexual misconduct allegations against the actor.
Don’t let your marketing be held back by the inability to adapt — embrace changes since obstacles can arise at any phase in your marketing work.
Tips: Think about the big and small ways your company has adjusted during problematic situations and reflect on what you can improve upon next time any obstacle arises. Make an active list of resources and contacts. If one channel closes, you’ll be able to quickly jump to the next option without losing time researching or building rapport.
The push for brands to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in marketing remains strong: 61% of Americans report that diversity is crucial in marketing, and 38% are more likely to trust brands that promote DEI in their advertising initiatives. Customers want to know that you care about their values, not just their money. As a result of creating content that reflects and celebrates underrepresented groups, you’ll form more meaningful connections and deeper relationships with your audience.
In 2021, many brands successfully lit the diversity torch and paved the way to DEI communication campaigns, including PepsiCo’s “Dig In” initiative to support small businesses and Sephora’s “The Best of Black-Owned Beauty for Everyone.” Not only did they report an increase in revenue, but these companies were also praised for authentically aligning with their audience.
Still not clear on diversity versus inclusion? Keep this distinction coined by Verna Myers in mind: “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”
Tips: Build a diverse and inclusive team to help check the assumptions you make about your audience. Listen to their needs. Do your research on DEI news and initiatives. Make DEI the forefront of your company’s work and not a separate add-on.
Creativity is a core pillar of marketing — the success of one product over another is often not determined by its quality or innovation, but how creative its marketing is. Nike sells an idea. Apple sells a lifestyle.
Human creativity is required to balance today’s information overload and the overwhelming amount of data powering marketing.
Creativity is the power behind transformation — and combining intelligence with creativity allows you to connect with your audiences through unique, impactful, and meaningful customer experiences.
Last year, Tide partnered with the NFL on a #TurnToCold initiative, which encouraged the use of cold water washes to cut down greenhouse gas emissions. Tide released #TurnToCold giveaways and a series of commercials featuring football players, rappers, and wrestlers, blending humor and credibility to convince viewers to take personal environmentally-friendly action.
Tips: While it may be challenging to come up with creative ideas regularly, try consistently brainstorming and writing down ideas, collaborating with other team members, or researching for inspiration. Don’t forget that sometimes, the simplest ideas are the best.
Marketing is a broad and ever-changing field that requires a multitude of skills to succeed, but employing empathy, adaptability, creativity, and a DEI mindset can propel your work. What strengths do you find to be most essential in your work?