If you own any form of a technical device, you'll know that often one gets a message or reminder asking you to upgrade your device's operating system or the software applications that run on it. These products are continuously improved to be more useful, efficient and secure for the end user.
So, much like an operating system, marketers too should upgrade their marketing in order to keep up with the evolving world and its influence on consumer needs and expectations. The world is changing and is constantly evolving and today, consumers want and expect more from brands. It’s no longer enough to serve pretty pictures laced with frivolous messaging with shallow meaning. People want authenticity in brand communication.
They want brands to more accurately represent their consumers and their environments, and they expect brands to share some of their values. They want to know that they are seen, heard and understood and know that their favourite brands are keeping up with their needs.
Here’s how brands can upgrade their marketing:
1. Continuous learning
Have an inquisitive and inquiring mind – encourage yourself and your teams to be continuously curious and obsessed about your consumers. Probe, interrogate, dissect, learn and unlearn and repeat this process, repeatedly. Your consumer is continuously evolving so make sure that you evolve with them. Consumer insight generation should not be a standalone event once every couple of years. It should be an ongoing and agile process.
These insights should be key inputs into all the work you create throughout the year. Learning new things or doing things differently not only opens your brand up to a multitude of opportunities but it also presents innovation prospects that a brand needs to stay ahead of the curve.
2. Diversify your teams and approach it meaningfully
Diversifying your teams goes beyond achieving EE targets. Having a diverse team means you will have diversity of backgrounds, experience and thinking. Thereby creating diversity of creativity.
It also creates a great opportunity for robust engagement within the teams allowing there to be space for learning, understanding and most importantly representation in whatever is created because let’s face it, when trying to reach a particular target audience, you’re going to be more effective in doing so if members of your team are themselves representative of the target audience.
3. No cultural relevance without cultural intelligence
Cultural intelligence is sometimes seen as just a buzzword and a fleeting trend. However, this could not be further from the truth. The reality is that cultural intelligence is here to stay because culturally relevant marketing is no longer a nice to have, but a necessity.
It humanises brands and fosters deeper connections with consumers by meeting them where they are at. Now that I’ve cleared that up, let’s talk a little about the relevance part. Some brands are very quick to jump onto bandwagons to be seen as “culturally relevant” with no understanding of the cultural impact.
Consumers are smart and know when a brand is seeking relevance through them and will quickly shut it down.
Instead work to hire a cultural intelligence expert who specialises in the brand space. Together you can craft a sustainable culturally intelligent strategy that will bring about lasting change to your business’s forms and norms.
Marketing is evolving and if brands want to keep up then they must keep up to date by upgrading their marketing regularly. This means that the most successful brands that are thriving beyond the many challenges that they’re faced with are those that pay close attention the needs of their consumer’s an respond appropriately those needs.