Listen, Learn and Adapt: The Keys to Embracing the #stayathome Lifestyle
Post-COVID, brands will need to continue to adjust their value proposition to meet their audience at the right time per Open Influence’s Eric Dahan.
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Small quakes formed late-February all around the world. The initial shock was dull with growing tremors indicating that something wasn’t right. Come mid-March, a seismic shift was felt by brands across the globe.
Companies have weathered dramatic situations for sure—the bubbles bursting, the regulations, the recessions—but this a novel situation. We’re living in times with unparalleled access to information coupled with unmatched uncertainty.
Eric Dahan, co-founder and CEO of Open Influence, notes that historically, there have been “three options for economic recovery following a crisis: V, U, or L shaped recovery…with L being our most likely scenario.”
L-shaped recoveries are characterized by persistently high unemployment, a slow return of business investment activity, and a sluggish rate of growth. So, with all this in mind, how are brands meant to move forward in a meaningful way that creates a positive impact? During #SMWONE Dahan took a closer look at our new reality and what we can expect on the other side.
Here are the primary insights and takeaways:
- People do not connect with ads, they connect with other people
- Empathy goes a long way in disappointing situations
- Social listening tools work best in conjunction with channel-specific metrics
The #stayathome lifestyle
Extreme economic impact partnered with social media data collection proves the theory that the #stayathome lifestyle is here to stay, so get comfortable in it. While we aren’t in the ‘crisis’ phase anymore (stockpiling toilet paper anyone?), we are settling into the resilience phase quite nicely. Eric says that this resilience phase is marked by a need for consumers to “seek enjoyment from everyday rituals.”
Open Influence understands that people do not connect with ads, they connect with other people. This is what drives them to send the right message through the right messengers to the right audience.
Navigating the resilience phase
There are industry-specific shifts happening in messaging and delivery, and a brand’s job is to recognize what it has to offer right now to its audience and convey that message. Consumer packaged goods have moved from a utilitarian necessity to a lifestyle choice. It’s not about stockpiling canned goods anymore, it’s about selecting the best option for this new homestead-style endeavor we’re all embarking on. Beauty brands have shifted their messaging from being about how we look to focus on how we feel. Fashion is empowering its audience to dress to feel their best (at least from the waist up anyway).
The events space has seen the most interesting shift in the past few weeks, says Eric, with a shift toward attention on live events with a predictable outcome. “Typically, only the types of events with an unknown ending have drawn live crowds, sports events and the like.” Virtual conferences have moved from curiosity to necessity in just a few months’ time.
Moving forward, brands will need to continue to adjust their value proposition to meet their audience at the right time. Instead of asking ‘how can we market to them?’ the question should be ‘what is my audience getting from this?’ A brand’s ability to create value in alignment with this new lifestyle will be the test.
“People are still people and connections last,” Eric says when discussing the future of influencer marketing. Understanding the consumer in today’s context is the most important step in moving forward. Collective anxiety is driving the need for trust and connection, and third-party social validation will go a long way in galvanizing a brand and its place in a buyer’s lifestyle.
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