Opinion: Forget B2B or B2C, advertisers need to focus on H2H (human to human) advertising

When the consumer is looking for more emotional comfort, marketers need to value and focus on personal experience, explains the author

Oct 05, 2020 04:58:00 AM | Article | Rahul Tekwani Share - Share to Facebook

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” - Maya Angelou. The last few months have been different for the media industry. We all have been forced to adapt to meet the challenges of what will hopefully be a once-in-a-lifetime crisis. Brand purpose is under a magnifying scope like never before and this has increased pressure of the C-19 crisis to allow us to see the true character of the advertising industry and the brand. Our screens are filled every day with an array of adverts tempting us to spend, spend, spend – but when the consumer is looking for more emotional comfort, marketers need to value and focus on personal experience.
Don’t be against using emotions
Even though wearing your heart on your sleeve wasn’t the brief to any client servicing department from the clients six months back, emotions have been overpowered and now play a critical role in communicating with your audience. During the pandemic, there is more media consumption than at any other time in history and with consumers having easy access to a variety of information this is the time when brands should work on how they can communicate better. 
Our brains are designed to connect the most with compelling stories.
As people feel unguarded, empathy and bond are two ways that will connect them to the product or service through trust. The messages sent to customers should be, and include elements and insights to showcase reassurance and relevance. Other than this brands should also facilitate community engagement and be informative about the crisis, how should people react and protect themselves during the changing time, inform about the betterment of the situation.
Revisit the marketing decks you planned on 1 Jan 2020, for your brand
We are now in the moment of adapting to the new normal and the media industry needs to adapt quickly as it is being looked at by businesses to help guide them through this change. Marketers and brands will have to reduce the research planning and execution cycle from annual, quarterly, monthly to weekly or even daily.The new normal won’t allow anyone to fall in love with planned strategy, rather be ready to evolve daily.
It’s all about 'TRUST'
“Trust can be a fragile thing, but it is the foundation on which all relationships are built”. A key takeaway from this pandemic is that trust is not just declining but is shifting. Consumers have gone into their shell and in a way, they are more trusting than they have ever been and it has laid down a big opportunity for marketers during this shift.
The digital medium has created some trust issues among the audience with fake news and data privacy issues but brands need to find new ways to build data trust, whether it is through influencers, referrals, reviews, or ratings.
Being creative again
Even though pre-covid it felt like all the brands and agencies were running after the conversion of the marketing spends and had lost the ability to evoke emotion, entertain and ultimately persuade consumers recent months have forced all of us to take stock and this will hopefully lead to a flourish in creativity and expression as we collectively emerge from the coronavirus cocoon.
This outbreak presents marketers with tough decisions about what is the best message to have in the market, and when and where is it appropriate to deliver. For many, this may be the most crucial time in their company’s history to stay connected to audiences. It’s no secret that more audiences are turning to digital media for critical content and information, and this itself is presenting a unique opportunity for brands to share how they are being helpful and attentive to daily human needs. The best insight the media industry has got from the pandemic is how to help brands to meet these unexpected challenges, especially in consideration of how the sentiment of consumer behavior and content is changing every second.
Brands need to go big on grabbing a share of mind and heart and keep the wallet transaction as a secondary approach. In the current scenario having an approach that appeals to changing values and focus on the emotional side will result in a profitable, and amelioration of businesses.
(The author is group brand manager, planning at Enormous Brands)


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