Normalizing the New

FLM Harvest

Worldwide pandemics have a way of becoming learning moments that generate new language. First, it was “social distancing.” Lately “the new normal” and the countless hypotheticals that ambiguous phrase represents are becoming regular topics of important conversations. Turn on the TV news or open a newspaper and there it is: Nobody can say for sure what will happen next, but we all suspect things won’t be like they were before.

What does that mean for marketers? Relevance and relief will define successful communications.  This isn’t exactly new news. But what you choose to do with it will determine the trust customers put in you going forward.

Goodbye, business as usual.

Covid-19 proved one thing many of us already knew: Agriculture and food production are essential.  Our nation’s farmers and food providers are our true superheroes.

Now it’s up to marketers to show respect and honor this incredible responsibility with strategies and tactics relevant to those new and enduring challenges these audiences are up against.

Growers may be out in their fields, but that doesn’t mean a successful season is any more certain. More of us have discovered our kitchens, but home cooks often don’t know what we don’t know.

Relevant marketing communications address what matters most to their audiences. That’s especially important when everyone is looking for answers.

Hello, taking care of business.

Many of the ads we’ve seen during the pandemic feel the same. Our nation’s somber advertisers want us to know they share our priorities during this uncertain time.

Many consumers are ready for a bit more certainty. They could use the boost in confidence that would come with it. At the very least, they’d love a reason to smile.

Relief of any kind from the reality of the virus would be an appreciated sign of normalcy.

This is where your brand or product comes in. Effective marketing communications often entertain as they educate. Choosing a fresh, friendly way to present your features and benefits is the fundamental first step to successful brand or product differentiation. Even at times like this.

Timing is everything. Especially right now.

Weeks into social distancing measures, the talk became about how and when businesses might reopen so America could get back to work as we used to know it. There seemed to be no single correct answer.

Likewise, how and when it’s time to reach out with new brand or product communications will differ based on how you serve your customers and help them meet the challenges they face.

Did their challenges result from the pandemic? How has the virus changed things for your customers?  Answering questions like these will help you determine the tone and timing of your communications.

Leverage new tactics and technologies.

Tradeshows and industry events may be months down the road, at best, and traditional marketing tactics like a promotional postcard won’t rise to all occasions. What can you do when the handshake seems to have gone the way of the mule plow?

Digital technologies kept many people connected during this crisis. Digital communication strategies and virtual events are your surest bets for reaching your customers until the new normal becomes the old, or at least somewhat familiar, normal.

At FLM Harvest we’ve been helping clients capture and share plot tours via real-time digital video. Websites and digitally delivered content will be doing more heavy lifting for a while as well.

The future is now.

The good news is that agricultural and food production industries have always embraced innovation. Now should be no different.

The future has always been uncertain. However you define “the new normal,” relevance and relief should always be marketing priorities. Timing, tactics and the technology you rely on going forward will demonstrate to stakeholders you understand how much the world we all live in has changed.

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