To achieve this, brands must take a deliberate and respectful approach to communicate with consumers, while at the same time being responsible and accountable to their business. This is conscious marketing.
Start with Empathy
Empathy is the ability to be aware of and understand the feelings of others. In marketing, this means you have to leverage data to understand the spectrum of your customers, and that means having your data house in order. You must own, manage and protect your consumer data, collecting the data you need in a transparent way, and then using it for the purpose it was expressly intended.
You also need to be clear about your business objectives. If you successfully connect with people, what will that look like for your business? Is it new sales, is it greater life-time value, is it loyalty, is it engagement?
Once you have your KPIs defined, and you know who your audience is and what you want to say, be mindful that with every interaction you are essentially invading a person's space. We use our devices more than ever, and that means as marketers we have an even greater responsibility. Our messaging should be appropriate and contextualized. Essentially, you are saying to someone, “I respect you and your time.”
Move to Action
We have to change the way we plan and activate advertising. Rather than planning and activating on a channel-by-channel basis, we must focus on the optimal channel or combination of channels that will deliver great customer experiences and the desired business outcomes.
We should then optimize the entire loop of channels, dynamically reallocating ad spend on the basis of what is working. This approach allows brands to understand performance across their entire media plan, and ultimately achieve greater campaign effectiveness.
No longer are you just reaching a person as frequently as you possibly can because you can. You are doing it in a conscious way, one that is respectful and that delivers -- for people and for your brand.
There is no shortage of change in our industry, and while this can be daunting and stressful, if you will ground your decisions in data, science and facts wrapped in empathy, kindness is inevitable.
Remember to take it one measured step at a time. The more you track how accountable your marketing is to people and to your business, the easier it is do the right thing even when it’s the hard thing.
In a world filled with big tech, big platforms and big data, you can take back ownership of the conversation with people, and connect in ways that are meaningful, that matter and that are kind, while at the same time delivering the business outcomes you need.