Imagination, trust, collaboration will drive relationship between customers & marketers
Guest Column: Sameer Saxena, Director – Strategy Marketing, Group Legrand India, writes how collaborating with consumers leads to trust, which in turn leads to more value for the brand
With the epidemic situation of COVID-19 outbreak, the ultimate priority of the business is to uphold the protection of the employees and customers. We have executed work from home approach across all our offices for all our employees to curb spreading of the COVID-19 infections. Proactive and preventive measures such as ensuring sanitation, travel restrictions, reorganization of workspaces with a purpose to slow down the spread of this virus by limiting physical contact with colleagues, customers, suppliers, or service providers in-line with the advisory issued by the Government and Health organizations.
As COVID-19 reaches all facets of industries like healthcare, life sciences and the public sector, are finding new ways to defend against the spread of the virus and mitigate the impact that could have long-term effects on businesses and the economy. There is a bombardment of the news on this COVID-19 with regard to global phenomena. Let’s say our political impact, global capitalist norm and its change, crude oil prices, the forex, the governance issues of UN & WHO and a whole lot of opinion or interesting articles written by great people and lot of information been absorbed during this time of Lockdown.
The marketer’s relation with the consumer has evolved during the last decade. Marketers adapted to the change with respect to technology be it AI or emotional connect of the brand to the consumers. Practically, it evolved during the last decade even if there were a few disruptions. The impact is brutal and it is widespread covering each and every country, sector, age group. The area of uncertainty lies in the tradeoffs which consumer is making.
During the last decade, there were tradeoffs with brands on the emotional connect, value proposition, price points, availability, logistics delivery and many more. In this situation, the tradeoffs are wider and no data-points to go back to. During a crisis, the way of thinking and perceiving situations changes people mind.
Imagination will create an opportunity during this crisis on how we understand consumer behaviour. To add to it, we need to understand the mental aspects which a consumer is struggling for the things which do not exist that is where the main dilemma would be for a consumer – how does he anticipate it’s a behavior or how will he behave for something which is unknown. As marketers, here is where we need to be imaginative and create some value proposition or opportunities out of this uncertainty and things which do not exist. To this, we need to collaborate with the consumers and this will be a two-way exercise. This collaboration will lead to a new trust. Post collaboration, the trust value will be more of importance.
Imagination, Trust, Collaboration will drive initially the relationship between the customers and marketers. We need to press pause button. It is important for situation to settle down and take some shape, as the data-points become conclusive for decision making of both consumers as well as marketers.
Companies need to think and act on the following parameters - Resolve, Resilience, Return, Re-imagination & Reform.
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