Welcome to the New Era of Marketing

These past months have been filled with change.  For instance, you have probably had to hear the phrases “We’re in this together.” and “Stay at home” more than usual, predominantly in various brands’ ad campaigns. These are a sign of the current shift in companies’ marketing strategies from a profit focused consumer marketing to purpose driven community relations.

This trend makes sense, considering the current public climate: In the midst of a global pandemic, things are uncertain, people are scared. Launching big ad campaigns, with the clear motive to sell products would be, tone-deaf, to say the least. So as brands step back from overt selling, their marketing work has become heavily focused on expressing support for their customers or, as Social Studies CEO Brandon Pearlman puts it: “making people feel comfortable with the new normal”.

To achieve just that, marketing campaigns have to be carefully crafted. Even before this pandemic, the smallest mistake could cause severe damage to a company’s reputation.  Now, that the public conscience is more fragile than ever, timing, sensitivity and a deep cultural understanding are of grave importance. Thankfully, these qualities are second nature to the PR industry, making them the driving force in brand creativity right now.

“Our unique ability to read pop culture, assess the zeitgeist and ideate on the fly make us so well-suited for this kind of immediate creativity.”, says BCW New York brand practice leader Karen Kearns. She is right: As demand grows for creative solutions that sensitively address all stakeholders, that are low-cost, can be delivered quickly and communicate through earned conversations rather than paid messaging, the opportunity for the PR industry should be clear.