Getting Back To The Basics To Win In The Future Of Digital Marketing

So, what does it look like to come out of the cave into a tentative, yet brave new world?  To many it will look overwhelmingly challenging, frightening, and wrought with uncertainties. Though there are dangers that must be evaluated and planned for, fear is an irrational hallucination. Knowing that we are entering a new age in an abrupt nature as we are experiencing today means that we have to reevaluate our priorities, take account of where we have been, where we are, and where we would like to be in the near future, a future that seems to be coming at us at warp speed.

That said, we have to pay special attention to who we were.  We know this only in the context of who we have previously known ourselves to be.  Until now, this may have existed in the back of our minds in some nebulous timeline. However, today we are all beginning to look backward, comparing, lamenting, and questioning. This is true for the identification of our individuality as well as for the collective consciousness of any group or class (ie. national, cultural, and societal) that we may identify with.

Let’s start there and work our way forward.  We were communal people with the need for—if not total physical touch, then at the very least, close proximal interaction.  We are still very much—for most of us—those same touchy, feely creatures that do much better in environments that foster closeness and inclusion than we do in isolation.  However, we are forced to adapt to a much more sterile, nearly stoic existence.  

Think about it.  The world can no longer read the emotions on our faces because they are covered up by physical masks.  We don’t dare enter within the 6-foot bubble of another, let alone offer a pat on the back or shoulder in agreement or encouragement.  Social interactions no longer include welcomes but instead, raise questions; no longer engage but truncate exchange in as perceivably brusk a manner as could be assumed.  Even the happiest of eyes can seem accusing and fearful when they are the only feature or facial element in view.

Yet, there seems to be a longing for the warmth and trade of reading expressions, and the reward of smiles and high fives with perfect strangers.  And this pining, this thirst, this desire no matter how well covered, is where we exit the cave.

The same physical masks that we abhor are being sported via rainbow-colored representations in the virtual world of the internet. Social media allows and encourages us to paint ourselves in a cartoon-like perfection that would have others believe that we live altruist lives in utopian bliss. But this veil is a veritable gainsay to the searches and clicks that we execute as humans beneath the rainbow-candy coated shells that we present. Knowing that this dichotomy exists requires that as marketers we enhance our ability to drill down and speak to the pain points that contradict the rainbow.

One way to do this is to utilize surveys, polls, questionnaires, and interactive videos to get to the heart of things. You will often find that the statuses and activities that are embellished in social profiles and on timelines can in more cases than not, be pinned down as desired outcomes. This recognition allows the making of short work in the process of establishing an emotional tie-in to product and brand messaging.

I knew this was the new normal when I no longer felt silly wearing my mask in public.

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Before entering the cave, we took social comforts and freedoms for granted.  Now, though we are growing ever more comfortable in our online lives, we hunger for what we have lost.  Acknowledging this strand of humanity that we all share and treating it as the basic need and integral pain point to the overarching human condition, we as marketers, can bring desired outcomes to the masses in an atmosphere of warmth, and what will prove to be a relief. That is, if we respect, nurture, and curate the sensitivities and needs that have been amplified by this new condition.  Utilizing this human-based approach to digital marketing will allow your client and their product to be received with sincere interest and much welcoming.