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Effective Marketing = Effective Relationships: 101

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You may not have thought about it, but successful marketing during a pandemic relies on many of the same skills needed by a tightrope walker! 

Today’s marketing and branding professionals are in a challenging spot – trying to get from one end of the tightrope to the other, all while balancing in a precarious position. In this instance, while the challenge may not be actually walking across a thin rope stretched a hundred feet off the ground, nonetheless similar challenges remain.  Marketers and tight rope walkers both need to stay focused, remain steady, work hard not to fall, keep moving forward and ultimately achieve their goals.

Right now the key question on every marketers mind is how to promote an organization, a service, or a product, without appearing self-serving and tone deaf at a time of great crisis.

The answer is not as simple as the question! But one approach that makes sense for any organization is to put its traditional approach to marketing on hold in favor of sending a more important message to the community. Instead of trying to introduce new products, expand a foot print, add a new demographic audience, or offer incentives to create loyal customers, I’d suggest sending a message that expresses concern and genuine empathy for all of your colleagues. Everyone is truly in this together and everyone is truly comforted by spontaneous, thoughtful outreach. 

I recently heard a friend say, “I am calling all my firm’s clients, even if I have no new services to offer.”  This is a good idea, but maybe there is an even more effective approach. How different would it be if my friend had said,  “I am calling all my firm’s clients, although I have no new services to offer, not to attract new business or additional engagements, but simply to stay in touch and be recognized as a valuable resource as needed.”

The power of relationships has always been at the forefront of any successful marketing endeavor.

Whether the tools included social media platforms, events, web content, or email blasts, the essential concept has always been to build and maintain meaningful connections. Nothing has changed. Recognizing all of the limits imposed by the current emergency situation, relationships can still be nurtured – in many instances using ‘old fashioned’ approaches such as a phone call or a personal hand written note. Now more than ever people want to feel they matter. If we recognize the unprecedented situation we are in, with so many people are at home all at once, we can use this time to keep in touch, connect frequently, add value, share resources and best practices. Those individuals and organizations that make this type of commitment will probably be more likely to bounce back more efficiently when the immediate danger as passed and the business community returns to some sense of normalcy.

Marketing, in its purest form, creates a connection and an exchange.

It is key to remember that you do not have to sell something to be successful – you can actually give something away and make a lasting impression! Now is the best time to take a minute to focus on your existing and future relationships and demonstrate your sincerity. 

After all, being a kind person may just be the most effective marketing tool you have in your tool box!