Join together. Learn how the #advertising community can join behind common needs, interests and opportunities to overcome #Covid19 obstacles to growth. Waych Now: @JackMyersBiz @BobLiodice Marla Kaplowitz @meknyc @4As @ANACMOMasters Watch it now.
Monday at 1pm ET, ANA President Bob Liodice and 4As President Marla Kaplowitz joined together for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic to share an important message about the role and responsibilities of brand marketers, agencies and media companies. Jack Myers Leadership Conversation with Marla and Bob will focus on the advertising economy, client/agency relationships, brand loyalty, media partnerships, procurement, in housing, agency organizations, inclusion and equality, and more. In our pre-conversation call, they spoke passionately about "consumer empathy marketing" and purposeful marketing.
"Right now, what is what's prominent in the minds of clients," observed Liodice, "is how do we recover? What is the messaging that's important and relevant going forward? This seems to be the billion-dollar question. How do we transition from the initial, as I call it, consumer empathy focus? How do we emerge in logical stages so that that messaging retains the degrees of empathy but also starts to address the AC: the after-Corona messaging plans that are foundational for continuing what is seemingly strengthening relationships between brands and consumers? This is an important time to be addressing that. I think there's a little bit of consumer wear out on 'Wash your hands and stay indoors', etc. We know that by now and it is important to still retain that messaging, but also figure out how each brand transitions to this next period, which is delicate. I think that's where there's a lot of time and attention among brand marketers. That is essentially the embodiment of what clients and agencies are currently working on."
Kaplowitz, who joined the 4As three years ago, believes "this is a moment in time when a brand's purpose is really being put to the test. They've either had to commit to purpose messaging even more or reconnect with it. And the brands that don't have [clear purpose] are really in trouble right now. I'm particularly fond of the most recent Trust Barometer survey from Edelman that looked at where consumers are focused and we know they trust business more than government, but they're also more than ever going to hold companies accountable for what they do during this crisis. Every day agencies and companies have to think 'what do I want to be remembered for during this pandemic.' And if you have a core purpose and a core focus you will have no issues. I know we use the word authenticity a lot but it truly will be tested during this time because consumers are being incredibly vocal about companies and how they take care of their people, how they've taken care of their customers. And the way that they've supported, not just the economy and the business, but also [customers' and employees'] personal needs. Bob, you said it's very delicate. I think delicate is the right word because it's so easy to get it wrong."
Liodice adds, It goes back to [P&G's] Marc Pritchard, who said 'Let's be a force for good and a force for growth.' You can do both simultaneously. And that really focuses in on consumers' desires for authenticity and sincerity, which are the foundation for creating loyal brand relationships. Consumers are being very fickle as to where to place their economic bets on brands. Purpose seems to be the galvanizing strategic focus that is keeping more consumers loyal to their respective brands and I think that's only going to continue. The question is to what degree do you really continue to push that message and how it's done. I fundamentally believe that purpose driven marketing is going to be part of the fabric of brand marketing. There's a common thread to purposeful marketing. It's very, very people focused. And if you think about strategically where this is all going, as Marla said, this is all about how you treat your people in your own organizations, who are your consumers and how you demonstrate that you're more than this Goliath enterprise. We actually may see a pullback in performance marketing in favor of purposeful marketing. How long is that going to last? We're not going to know until next year. But right now, that just seems to be the way we need to go as an entire industry.