This is an unprecedented time in the world where humanity has been humbled by our common vulnerabilities, reminded of the bigger picture, forced to strip down our lives to bare minimums and focus on our individual priorities. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from, or who you know, we are all in this together. This leveling of humanity even if only for a brief moment in history will define a generation.
The world is on pause. Every industry, every business, and every person has been affected – for some it is uncomfortable but manageable and for some it will be catastrophic. Some industries will recover quickly, some will regain strength over time and some will never be the same again. As a human race, we will find ways to return and enjoy what we love - travel, sports, entertainment, gatherings of all kinds - but our thought processes will change. There is no doubt in my mind that the other side of this pandemic will show a massive shift in human interaction globally. How we work, how we live, what’s important and why we do things will be challenged because of how we adapted and managed during this current period.
Professionally speaking, I see a future where virtual presence for everything from meetings and small groups to mass gatherings will not only be an option but broadly normalized (finally) and in some cases become a requirement similar to closed captioning. The technology to enable a spectrum of virtual experiences already exists and continues to grow, the hurdles have primarily been rooted in either the investments necessary or the resistance to change by human nature. While there will never be a replacement for the in-person experience and interaction (it’s still my favorite), a post COVID-19 world will bring innovation to the way we interact with one another.
As marketers, this will be an opportunity to change the way we think about how we communicate our messages, how we converse with customers, come up with ways to cast a wider net to new markets, and be more creative with experiences that showcase products and services. I believe having a dynamic mixture of tactics will make the best cocktail because it's one thing to leverage virtual technology, but it's another to blend that with an understanding of social behaviors to get your message to land with impact via new mediums. Talking to someone through a screen brings different challenges to keeping their attention versus a face-to-face interaction.
At my own company, New Moon Ideas remains committed to helping our clients grow fans through fresh, exciting and thoughtful experiences. Our unique approach called ‘soul marketing’ is all about building meaningful relationships between brands and their customers. Creating fans is not about physical presence or marketing spend, the metric boils down to 'likability' and that comes in many forms.
Live events will come back and we are here for it, let’s turn them up to 11 and celebrate when it’s time. Meanwhile, creating compelling stories and marketing strategies through alternative mediums (notice I didn’t say just online or virtual) to nurture customers will be the magic sauce that keeps their attention and coming back for more long term.
It's time to revisit and re-imagine while the world resets. If you’re struggling with how to shift from cancelled live events, stay connected with customers right now, or how to think about your engagement strategy long term – shoot me a note, we’ve got ideas!
Stay safe, be kind – we are all in this together.
Navin Chand, President & Founder