With all the clicks, impressions, and tech, marketing has lost a little of the humanity that once made it special. But we're bringing a more personal way to reach people, because it's why you got into this business in the first place.

Why it’s time for a marketing reset

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an event without parallel, enveloping the world in a quickly escalating crisis which is still far from over.

While the impacts of the crisis have played out differently for individuals, they have led to shared experiences which will have long-term ramifications. For marketers, this means having to rethink what consumers want from brands, and what brands need to offer them.

The breadth and duration of the crisis and the changed behaviours it has forced means life will not snap back to how it was. Initial fears about human health remain, and these have been compounded by concerns about the state of the economy. Underlying both are deep social changes, especially in relation to the treatment of minorities and women, which have built a momentum of their own.

These factors have combined to trigger a fundamental reset in how people’s minds, in terms of who they trust, what they value, and the actions they take.

And marketers must in turn reset their own offers and messaging if they hope to meet the needs of this reset customer.

The importance of trust

One key outcomes of the pandemic has been the impact it has had on trust.

Firstly, at the personal level, the rapid spread of the virus forced people to think about whether they could trust the people around them to not be putting them in danger.

Secondly, the rapidly changing messages from authority figures and the severity of lockdown measures led many people to question if they could trust what they were being told, and whether the measures they were being asked to take would actually help.

And as businesses adapted, customers began to question whether the actions they were taking were both sufficient to protect them, and were being provided at a fair price.

The result is that consumers now are absorbing all messages with a heightened sense of caution. For brands to succeed in the reset world, they must prove they are worthy of trust.

The new values

The pandemic has also changed what consumers value. Long periods of isolation have given people the opportunity to re-evaluate the things in life that are important to them, and people have quicky come to value those organisations that showed immediate and genuine concern for their wellbeing, such as through the provision of so-called contactless services.

People have also come to question things they used to take for granted, such as how they should dress for work, or whether they should still travel to work once restrictions lift.

But the pandemic has also given people an opportunity to reconsider their relationship with the world at large and accelerated their desire to engage with brands that share their values.

Taking action

The outcome of changes to what people trust and value can be seen in the actions they take in their day to day lives. One of the key outcomes here is that people are avoiding situations that require physical touch, including close contact with others, such as when standing in a crowded lift, or ordering takeaway rather than dining out. It can also be seen in more subtle cues, such as favouring those venues that show they care for people’s safety through providing contactless options and enforcing social distancing.

In the broadest sense, these changed behaviours result in people favouring those brands that have maintained or built trust and share their values. Customers may no longer be as tolerant of past actions, meaning that for brands, new actions are also needed.

Why brands much also reset

The world of 2021 is fundamentally different to that of 2020, and 2022 will be different again. To simply expect things to return to normal is to deny the depth of these changes.

For brands to thrive moving forward, they must accept that customers have reset their trust, values and actions, and think about every engagement they create, from digital to physical, in light of this change.

Success in this new world requires careful planning, deep understanding of customers, and revolutionary thinking in the use of digital marketing tools. That includes rethinking psychographic the personas that marketers rely on when creating audiences to take into account these reset notions of trust, value, and actions.

To simply expect things will snap back to how they were is to fundamentally misread the situation. Those marketers and brands that reset themselves for the new world are the ones that survive and thrive in 2021 and beyond.

Learn more about the Reset here. 

About Acoustic

Acoustic is an independent marketing cloud with the open platform needed for success in a dynamic world. We’re reimagining marketing technology by lessening the burdens of repetitive tasks and equipping marketers with powerful technology that is simple and easy to use. We give marketers more time to do what really matters—to think bigger and put themselves back into the work. We help marketers aim higher, bringing humanity back into marketing. Acoustic serves an international client base of more than 3,500 brands, including Fortune 500 companies, providing digital marketing, marketing analytics, content management, personalization, mobile marketing, and marketing automation solutions. For more information, visit  

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