You should be marketing mindfully in 2021

It's time to approach marketing with purpose and humanity, says Danielle Boyd, senior consultant at Think Communications.

More than ever, audiences expect brands and corporations in 2021 to act with purpose beyond selling them a product or service. If the way your brand communicates in the public eye has no personality or is entirely self-serving, then your messaging will slip through the cracks of a highly saturated marketplace.

This is not an entirely new concept, of course, but it is one that is certainly becoming cemented into online culture. It’s more than taking advantage of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) opportunity, it’s weaving your values into everything you do and ensuring your communications are contributing to a positive and empathetic customer experience with your brand.

Be aware of the changing consumer landscape

Depending on where in the world you are, most of your community will have been in lockdown at some point during 2020 or may still be experiencing this. No one has remained untouched by the pandemic, and this collective experience has resulted in profound shifts in the way we consume both media and material things.

Facebook’s report on Mindful Wellness observes how the desire to thrive during this time has led to the formation of new habits among many people, which focus on maintaining their own wellbeing as well as supporting the community around them. These habits and thought patterns have had a profound effect on approaching both physical and mental self-care and planning for the future, which naturally translate to perceptions of and interactions with media and brands.

Adapting to changing consumer behaviour is, on one level, about knowing what your user base is interested in and using that angle to sell your product or service more effectively. Marketing mindfully takes this one step further and examines the ‘why’ of the behaviour and how your content can benefit your audience.

For example, a key change in consumer behaviour that Facebook observed has been an increased tendency to spend money on ‘pick-me-ups’ and adopting a ‘treat yourself’ mentality when it comes to purchases. The pandemic has awoken a need in many to re-focus on themselves and people are willing to spend money on things and services that equate with self-care, a trend that will remain present beyond a vaccine.

Mindful marketing asks the following questions:

  • How does my product or service relate to this behaviour?
  • How can I frame my product or service to genuinely fit this trend observed in my consumer base?
  • How does my content affect my consumer base?

This trend can be most easily observed in the wellness industry, but this self-care movement goes beyond looking after the body and demands a healthy space for the mind as well. Today’s audience yearns for content that adds something to their lives and becomes part of an online world where they enjoy spending time. Self-care is just one example – the core value of your consumer base could be something else – it’s your job to find out what that is and how you can contribute to that.

Understand community expectations 

Facebook identified two key demands from the modern consumer in their research:

  1. For brands to display altruism
  2. For brands to demonstrate commitment to their communities

To truly practice mindful marketing, we must look into what our communities care about and show them that we genuinely care as well. This is the only way to stand out and truly resonate with consumer sentiments this year and in years to come – brands must become human, and it’s up to us as marketers to bring that to the table.

Make connections 

Empathy is key to the process of mindful marketing, and we have a growing opportunity to connect with people on a real level. Make connections with your community by communicating empathetically and providing experiences and products that address their unique concerns. Speaking at Mumbrella360 in 2020, Snapchat representatives spoke about leading with an empathy imperative and building everything they do around the desires, needs and safety of real people first.

We don’t have to be marketing a multi-million dollar enterprise to take this action for everyday brands. It is our duty as modern marketers to shape our industry for the future.

Danielle Boyd is a senior consultant at Think Communications.


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