But wonderful as this reversal might feel right now, it will not alter the fact that a lot of Americans are still reeling from recent shocks to the nation’s economic system and their own pocket books, bank books, and net worth. So I’d like to pass along some good advice I read last week, when things were looking very scary:
“In light of the recent turmoil in the global financial markets, marketers must step back and assess all of their communications to ensure they are in sync with their customers’ current situation. In this weak economy, marketers must modify their message to respond to customers’ changing perspective.”
I couldn’t agree more. Few things turn consumers off faster than messages that are out of sync with personal circumstances. And right now it’s fairly safe to assume that the circumstances of most consumers include concerns about finances and the future.
Fortunately, marketers today live in an age of immediacy, as in, immediately being able to change messaging across multiple media. Companies that move quickly to personalize their messaging and promotions in tune with the current context will do better than their competitors. Marketers who are slow to act, such as those held back by excess layers of I.T. development between message creation and execution, face a two-fold risk: 1. Alienating consumers with “stale” communications that are out of touch with current conditions; 2. Missing opportunities to embrace new customers and strengthen relationships with existing customers with fresh, empathetic messaging.
Oh, and who came up with the advice I quoted above? Heidi Cohen. She’s someone who knows a thing or two about this stuff, having 20 years’ experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on analytics. Currently president of Riverside Marketing Strategies–clients include New York Times Digital and AccuWeather.com–she is also faculty for NYU’s direct and interactive marketing master’s program. I strongly suggest you read her ClickZ piece “Four Communications Strategies for a Down Market.”
(And may the markets move up another 11% on Tuesday.)