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December 3rd, 2020

HOW TO GET PAST 2020 AND TAKE YOUR MARKETING INTO 2021

Dana Pulis Owner and Principal

We all are ready to close the door to this hell-seized-and-shaken 2020 year and usher in a 2021 that is more predictable, peaceful and stable. Like you, I hope this is the case.

I’m a marketing strategist and consult with clients to develop goals that grow their companies and revenue. I do not recommend, repeat, do not recommend going into 2021 like it’s a new year, new leaf. Here’s why.

The pandemic has made a lot of brands change course, and it has taken some out of the game entirely. I was reading some surveys that say CEOs and CMOs are far less confident in their knowledge of what is needed for their company/brand to be successful since the pandemic started.

They say they don’t know how to connect with consumers now because we are different and we expect a different experience than before the pandemic. I’ve read several reports that say business and consumer preferences will never go back to how it was.

At the same time, the spending is happening at high levels and the economy is actually flourishing in many areas. This tells us that

  1. a) People are still spending money, and the future looks promising
  2. b) Brands aren’t sure what consumers are thinking and needing right now
  3. c) Brands don’t know how to connect to this new mindset with messages, business delivery, etc.

I suspect this will only continue. We have some road ahead of use to traverse, and brands will need to continue to change to stay in business. They are asking themselves how they break out of entrenchment and defensive mindset to a more holistic and authentic way to meet peoples’ new needs.

With this in mind, here is where I initially think want our company, Kinetic, to help your company focus your 2021 efforts.

1) Help you find your purpose and know why you exist

This will mean that you need to do some soul searching to determine your authentic reason for existing in this world as it stands today.

An example of this is a client we have who is in the healthcare benefits space. Since the pandemic, they have figured out that they exist to create the best possible healthcare plan for the least possible price by using all the tools available, and inventing some if needed, to pull out the stops and make those two goals happen for their clients.

Pretty clear, isn’t it?

2) Help you create human connectivity

We are craving real interactions now and it is only going to get more prominent as this pandemic drags out. We don’t have the same tolerance for business hype versus business real. I believe people are already moving toward brands that can connect better and meet us where we are at, not ask us to come to them (symbolic of the quarantined situation we are seeing). Trust is a huge issue right now. We are seeing companies bobble or die as pandemic reveals that they weren’t what they say they were, so consumers will need to see and experience a company they can trust. Your company needs to think less about demographic connection and more about value connection.

3) Help you develop marketing agility

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that overnight we can find the rug pulled out from underneath us, and we have to change quickly to survive. Many companies stalled when this pandemic first started and were only able to pull through (if they actually did) because of government financial support. I suspect a company that stalls a second time is a dead one.

You need to invest in agile marketing strategies and recognize entrenchment quickly before it takes hold. Good companies like Kinetic can help you be imaginative and innovative.

4) Help you build brand loyalty by delivering right on every touchpoint

This means that a brand has to get rid of the functions that aren’t moving the needle and put effort into the ones that count. For example, consider getting rid of the ambassador program and get the brand out there to join the conversation on social media in behalf of your brand.

Engage with the customer in a two-way relationship more often and dial back the brand leadership content. Brands will need to get more human.

5) Help you do the basics done right and well

No more excuses for things a brand “should be doing” but isn’t. It’s time for companies to clean up their messes and get vital marketing functions under control. Wasting time making excuses isn’t going to work anymore. Indecision and waffling is actually a decision and an action—no longer a default.

There it is: your 2021 marketing plan. Use this as a guide to get your planning in place and call us if you want profession help. Go forward soldiers. It’s time to leave 2020 behind for something better.

Dana Pulis

Owner and Principal

Since launching Kinetic in 2007 from her heart and the living room of her Billings home, Dana Pulis has focused on moving businesses forward through creative marketing communications. Her intense focus has produced amazing results for a long list of local, regional and national clients. That focus has allowed her to dramatically grow her company, which has doubled in size since 2016.

Dana is a nationally-known marketing expert. She’s an award-winning writer, accomplished public speaker and respected business leader. She recruits top pros – account directors and project managers looking for the next challenge, and designers and writers looking to push their creative boundaries.

Read more about Dana