Can helpful marketing help marketers outlast the pandemic?

Email marketing techniques have undergone drastic transformation due to the global pandemic. Marketers, who have shifted their marketing tactics and strategies away from the constant series of “buy this” brand-centric and transactional messages, were the ones who thrived in this pandemic. Most of them deployed the “Helpful Marketing” strategy, i.e., a customer-centric philosophy. It’s based on the practice that when organizations help customers achieve their goals, they, in turn, help the organizations to achieve their goals.

This new vision in email marketing helps combine educational and helpful content with promotions to boost customer engagement, retention, and revenue growth. This philosophy is based on empathy. When leaders share their humanity with customers, they are likely to see higher engagement with content.

Helpful marketing is better marketing

CMOs say that while the shift to a customer-centric approach tactic from a brand-centric strategy may be due to the sudden obstacles of 2020, it is a technique that we must strive to continue. Choosing to see and understand the customers as people first and buyers can help leaders make improved choices on how to address them.

Does this idea sound revolutionary to you? Actually, it shouldn’t. Perhaps we should have practised marketing this way all this time along. Email marketing has been over-utilized to push sales over long-term engagement when marketers realized they could leverage it to easily convey their messages.

Helpful marketing considers every mail sent from a server as a customer-service-oriented message that serves on the original transaction when the customer came in. Each mail recognizes and endorses the value exchange. What services the organization promised to provide in exchange for the customer’s personal data.

Are we observing essentially a marketing revolution?

Many marketers have noticed the transition over the last year, especially among prominent brands. Organizations have talked about adopting intent-based marketing in 2021 as they learnt in the previous year that greater empathy-based communication with customers resonated well with them. Pull back on the selling and throw more light on the messaging- “we recognize we’re in this together, help us to help you”.

Some marketers may put forward the argument that in early 2020, email open rates went up significantly. However, we know that the trend performed only slightly better than 2019, as the pandemic situation refused to resolve.

Helpful marketing means that brands need to help customers to achieve their goals. Of course, customer goals don’t always refer to sales. This is the main reason why many emails that force “buy now” get ignored. Helpful marketing strategy helps customers view your brand as more helpful and thus choose you when it’s time to purchase. Effectively it functions as both short-term and long-term strategy.

Leveraging helpful marketing

Farsighted brands modified their message strategy from blatant selling to a more subdued approach during the pandemic and subsequent economic and social upheavals. As a sales focused domain, we definitely have to make the numbers but with a more humanized touch.

Use technology! Precise helpful marketing combines all of the technology your organization possess to subdivide, customize and automate the messaging. The best way to help your customers is to provide them with a relevant message. The message that your customers receive is “You are visible, I empathize with you”. A cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all mail cannot convey the same level of personalization.

Let us come together and practice humanity

As leaders, we need to introspect where our email help customers to reach their own objectives and goals and be successful in the stages of their lives where our services are used. We need to analyze the number of times “us”, “our”, and “we” is present in our automated emails and previous campaigns compared to “yours/your/you”. This will guide us on how to modify our content for helpfulness.

Yes, parts of the world have begun to reopen, but we are yet to reach complete recovery. It’s high time that brands reach out and convey their humanity.

Sr. Content Writer TSL Marketing