I sit here typing away because I want to contribute something to you that will help you do your job better. Something that will help you feel better. Something, anything that will create a little piece of value. Do you feel the same way?
I’m in the mom with two young kids at home camp. I barely have time to scroll through my inbox, keep up with the news, and feed my family. Forget about keeping the littles entertained. (Thank you Minecraft and paint, but mostly Minecraft.)
And yet I can’t help but let my mind work on the question, “What do those of us who are asked to make content in this current environment need to know?”
I have four thoughts. Some are my own. Some I’ve borrowed.
1. In a world where we idolize marketing technology and its power to scale, it’s becoming more and more apparent that what people miss most is NOT the low touch, dime-a-dozen messages. They miss the high touch, personalized experiences. (Thanks for the thought, Bernadette Jiwa.) Personalization matters more than ever right now. If you are lucky enough to have a killer MarTech stack at your content making disposal, use it to its fullest right now. Don’t be shy. Maybe you have more time to work with your marketing ops team to figure out what personalization looks like? Ask questions like, what personalization options are available to us? How can you help me learn which messages work best with our audience? What elements of our emails and landing pages can/should we be testing? What does a highly personalized, digital experience look like?
2. The marketing theme of COVID? You know what I’m going to say, don’t you? As a content creator, I get sick over this word. The word already? Are you feeling impatient? Like I’m moving too slooooow? The word is speed. Speed. Speed. Speed. And, I don’t disagree. We do need speed in our marketing right now. And what we also need is to define what speed means to our business. It certainly isn’t speed for the sake of speed. Maybe speed is urgent to you because you have something that will help others right now and you need to let them know. Then, say that. Maybe speed is about letting your ecosystem know that you are here, committed to keeping everyone healthy and safe. Maybe speed is a message of normalcy or even (lucky you) keeping up with demand. Whatever you do, don’t let speed be a message that stems from panic or a sense of urgency without purpose. If it’s the latter, you are going to drive every content creator (and your audience) mad. We still need clear direction, a purpose, a unifying goal, a coherent thought.
3. Maybe your content and demand generation teams are flat out during this time? Maybe you’re so busy you don’t know which way is up? And that’s just you managing your workload. So the question could be: what do I outsource? And what do we double down and produce in-house? I realize for most of us the budget is tight and costs are being scrutinized. This is no easy decision. If you’re pondering this question, ask yourself: what do I expect from this effort? Is it something that I have the full skill set to create and achieve in-house? Or is it time to consider something new? Don’t think of outsourcing as simply getting something off your plate. I know it may have been that way before. But it doesn’t have to be that way now. Think of outsourcing as an extension of your team. You are simply extending the talent and skill set of your team to achieve the results you know you need right now but may not be able to achieve at this time. Do you feel this way about the current partners you have? Is it time to re-evaluate? Ask partners to consider your current budget and circumstances. You might be surprised at what agreements you can come to when you make decisions with a little empathy and long-term thinking.
4. And lastly, DIG IN. I have repeatedly felt my happiest at work when I am deep in a project. If your world is anything like my husband’s world (having to shift from a corporate office to a remote office), you may have more meetings and less work than ever before. It’s a hot topic over this way…If you can prioritize a project that lets you escape and think deeply, do it. Get lost for a little while. I know there’s a lot of talk about not bringing up those rainy day projects just yet. And I think that’s smart. Rather dig into something current. Something that takes a little time to develop. Maybe it’s the campaign you’ll launch in two months? Maybe it’s the asset you need right now but can not find anywhere? Maybe you need to start an email newsletter as Ann says? Maybe it’s a collaboration that will make people smile, like this one?
If you’re at this point, I truly hope you’ve found something useful in these words. If you still feel like you’re drowning and need something more pragmatic, you can check out these offers. Now, back to the crazy…