This is an excerpt from the eighteenth edition of The Write Fit, a fortnightly newsletter about writing, editing and proofreading, content marketing and good editorial practices for business, from Sarah Mitchell and Dan Hatch at Typeset.
My folks’ wedding anniversary is today. (That’s them on their wedding day in 1962 in front of the Congregational Church in Leslie, Michigan.)
They’re both gone now but I always think of them on this day that didn’t mean much to me as a kid. I didn’t have any appreciation for how much work it took to keep a marriage together, or raise four kids, or make ends meet on a policeman’s salary. They always celebrated their anniversary with a night out, leaving the mayhem of family life behind for an evening of sophisticated dining.
It’s not lost on me the way most of us have been forced to live during the coronavirus pandemic isn’t much different than how my folks lived when I was little. We stayed home; my mom cooked all our meals; my dad worked in the garden after his shift was over. Our family activities consisted of long walks and bike rides. In the summer we went swimming in the lake; in the winter we went ice skating or ice fishing.
It was a happy childhood, but there wasn’t anything extravagant about it.
From conversations I’m having with other marketers as things begin to reopen, a lot of us have come to enjoy the government-imposed isolation. In every instance, the reason has been down to an appreciation for a slower pace, along with a more practical and economical way of living.
While self-isolation has been imposed upon us, now we’ve adjusted to the ‘new normal’ it’s hard to get excited about going back to life as it was before everything came to a screeching halt.
What does this have to do with marketing? Quite a lot, actually. It’s become apparent the world is longing for a less complicated existence. As the noise of the marketplace has literally been shut off, we need to recalibrate how we go to market. We have an excellent opportunity to rethink our messaging, our delivery, and our frequency.
In my opinion, the new normal for marketing is going to require a lot more finesse. We’re dealing with high unemployment and a worldwide recession with no quick end in sight.
We need to be more thoughtful and more creative in our marketing efforts. Part of it means better writing and a focus on quality control. We also need to be more respectful of our audience, who is likely to have smaller budgets or less disposable income to spend. We need to meet them where they’re at, not where we want them to be.
Many businesses muted their marketing at the beginning of the outbreak. As we emerge, picking up where we left off isn’t going to work. I know this from experience. The day after my folks’ wedding anniversary was always fraught with trouble for us kids. My mom, especially, found it difficult dealing with squabbling siblings and unnecessary messes after her evening reprieve. Can you imagine the adjustment required if she’d had two months of peace and quiet, instead of one night?
19 May 2020
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