I hope you find time to bask in Summer’s fleeting rays.
Many famous writers experience a sense of loss as summer ends.
For me, Sylvia Plath’s words say it best:
“August rain: the best of the summer gone,
and the new fall not yet born.
The odd uneven time.”
Despite this bittersweet period as summer fades into fall, you can find the inner strength to re-energize your life and your marketing.
This year the end of summer signals more than the loss of the sun’s bright light and warmth. We face uncertainty.
Even in locations like New York, once the epicenter of COVID in the US where the health risk decreased due to strong state leadership and action, we feel uncertain about the future.
Postponed school openings and extended WFH have fueled uncertainty with a lack of information. Worse, it leaves people dependent on these services and businesses for necessary resources and/or business opportunities. As a result, their days fill with anxiety.
While the slow opening of the economy has added some jobs in the US. The number of people who have lost their jobs remains high according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further it hits Gen Z, minorities and women worst.
Against this reality, nature has filled this month with historic fury across the US. Like COVID, these events don’t discriminate based on race, country of origin, economic level, gender, age, sexual orientation and/or political affiliation.
Its left a broad scars across the country including:
- Tropical Storms and hurricanes have arrived earlier and stretched further across the southern states from Florida to Texas.
- A derecho, a rare weather event like an inland hurricane, swept across the Midwestern US. Unlike a hurricane, its winds cross land in a line at speeds of up to 100 mph. So they leave more damage like downed power lines and flattened crops across larger areas.
- Literally northern California fires continue to burn out of control due to the lack of trained and available resources. Further, the Governor’s request for federal help has received little support.
These natural disasters have taken and disrupted the lives of innocent people leaving them without the means to start over.
Yet, the harsh reality is that these people deserve better.
But unfortunately we live in a period where the federal government doesn’t work for the American people. It lacks central leadership, appropriately distributed resources and infrastructure.
What’s worse is that this problem isn’t new!
After Hurricane Katrina, people turned to businesses to fill the gap left by the federal and local governments. It was Walmart with their deep operational strength and well rehearsed emergency plans that provided the necessary relief.
So it’s no surprise that people look to businesses to lead according to Edelman’s Trust Report.
So what does this mean for you and your marketing?
Consumer buying behavior has changed due to the combination of accelerated technology use, quarantines around the world requiring digital purchasing, and reduced income.
Follow Peter Drucker’s approach and make marketing must be part of every department.
To ensure consistent brand, content and communications regardless of where, when or how your audience encounters your business. Even more important you must take advantage of every opportunity to engage visitors and provide an optimal experience so that they return in the future.
BTW—Here’s the slide that I used to prove this at MarketingProfs B2B 2019.
Regardless of your situation, you can move forward. I’m not just saying this. I lived through it.
After getting laid off due to 9/11 and the dotcom bust, no one wanted to talk to a marketer. It was my scarlet M.
The 2 key factors helped me were:
- My parents. My dad called me every morning before 10 am. His goal: To make sure that I got up, dressed and went to the gym. (BTW—My one indulgence I kept.)
- A group of unemployed marketers from outplacement. Instead of focusing on being unemployed, we helped and supported each other through this confusing and difficult period. Within the group, we had a buddy system to keep us accountable and to get peer input and practice.
So what can you do during these challenging times?
- Build structure into your life regardless of who you live with. It’ll give you a sense of control and accomplishment.
- Develop your network. Due to COVID and the lack of live events, people are more open to making new connections. BUT don’t avoid spammy outreach. Instead, follow Rand Fishkin’s tips.
- Make a small change to make you feel good and happy. It can be as small as a plant to brighten your work area or a new set of clothes that make you feel good.
Shout out to new readers: Elizabeth, Mario, Kiki, German, Eseni, Juan, Jess, Ceren, Ilona, Jay and Carole.
Thank you and welcome to the Actionable Marketing Community!
P.S.: Want Heidi Cohen to contribute a quote or other commentary to your next article, presentation, video, research and/or book?
Then hit reply to this email and ask.
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FEATURED ARTICLE: Summer Reading
Most people think summer reading equals light reads.
Look around you and you’ll see beach disposable mysteries, love and escapist stories on many blankets (or smartphones!)
Like vacations, this type of book feels necessary to get out of your current reality and clear your mind.
FEATURED ARTICLE: Storytelling and Content Marketing
Then tell your stories better.
AND, continue to transform them into other formats to expand your audience.
Did you know that Hamilton, the play, can show you how to do this?
FEATURED ARTICLE: Influencer Marketing
How do you define influencers and how do they related to:
- Your prospect’s buying process
- Your marketing
This article provides some of the theory behind the power of influencers. Including Malcolm Gladwell, Jonah Berger, Kevin Kelly and Li Jin (Andrressen Horowitz).
As well as 10 steps to guide you to create an influencer program.
The fine print:
- Unless noted otherwise, all photos are ©2020 by Heidi Cohen
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