The New Golden Rule in Marketing (Spoiler: It’s Not About You)

Article by Craig Greiwe, Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer, R&CPMK
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If brands try to answer one simple question—what does my audience need?—business and profits will follow

In his latest Ad Age opinion piece Craig Greiwe shares his thoughts and three step process on how marketers and brands should shift perspective and focus on understanding consumers and their needs, during the hypersensitive environment we are currently in.

“Today is not about intention. And it’s not about who can outbid the other person for the most aid, or pull the most tears with an ad. It’s no longer about contextual targeting, or intention. It’s about one thing, and one thing only: Caring. Truly caring about people.

It’s a simple three-step process:

1. What do my consumers need right now? Be aware, it may not even relate to your products or services just yet. That’s ok.

2. How do I provide what my consumers need, even if it’s not my usual line of business? Verizon, for example, is feeding emergency responders with meals from small-business restaurants; LVMH is making hand sanitizer; Hermes is sewing personal protection equipment.

3. Finally, if you’ve truly solved a need, and made a difference, do you have a message or product that connects authentically to that activity? Put the consumer need first and then if you have a message, product, or service that relates, create a journey that allows consumers to draw those connections on their own, in their own vocabulary. There’s no need to shout from the rooftop if you’ve paved the right road.

There are a lot of businesses composing presentation after presentation; fretting in board rooms about the latest brief to their ad agency; and putting out hastily announced aid programs without proper explanation.  But what they need to be doing first is asking one simple question: who is my audience, and what do they need? The new golden rule is putting consumers absolutely first. Business, and profits, will follow.”

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