Well, won’t you return my greeting? Yes, you with those two twinkling eyes, furrowed brows and a quizzical expression. Oh, how rude of me, I started rambling off without any formal introductions. It is nice to make your acquaintance; I am New Reality. I haven’t been here for that long having started my slow journey about a few weeks ago. It was more than 10 weeks ago, to be exact, when the world as you knew it entered into a glorious year of possibilities, 2020. However, what transpired since then, up until now made frogs out of all of you. (sniggers)
Pardon my jibe at your plight, you know my intentions aren’t clouded with malice. I am just trying to break the icy (b)lock and get down to free-flowing conversations with you. Alas, I digress. So, yes, where were we? Frogs! Yes. There’s an age-old fable about two frogs.
Frog 1 was roaming around looking for a place to sleep. After a long and arduous search, it finally came across a big vessel filled with water. Happy with its find, the frog jumped in and decided to fall asleep. What Frog 1 didn’t know was that the vessel was actually placed over a fire, which gradually heated it up and cost the poor frog its life. Two cruel crows noticed all of this and decided to get up to some mischief. They flew out to a nearby pond to catch hold of another frog. Succeeding in their mission, they held a poor little froggy 2 by its feet in their beaks. Then, they flew over the vessel with boiling water and dropped it in! To their dismay, the frog hopped right out and was on their way. The End.
Now, in the spirit of shaking things up a bit, let me tell you the moral in my own style. All of you reading this are like froggy 2. Why? Because while you were all busy dreaming about ultra-tech devices, 3D food printers, nanotech and many more wonders of the future, I (New Reality) crept up on you so fast, that you had no option but to adjust your VR glasses and prepare in earnest! For what? Well of course for the post lockdown, what else!
If only someone would have spoken to us in such a sweet, empathetic manner. The world as we know it has changed, digital dependencies have increased manifold, contactless everything has come into the picture and one of the biggest ride-sharing players in the gig economy has just decided to explore the option to sustainability. This pandemic has brought in tsunami-like currents of change and has turned the world of marketing around on its axis.
A new reality is here, and it is here to stay. So, in such a scenario, what steps should marketers take? We’ve got a few pointers for you -
DABBLE IN THE DIGITAL
1,805,260,010 – that is the number of websites that were present on the world wide web in January 2018. Two years have passed since and with the ongoing pandemic and the gold rush of every single company to go digital, the resulting numbers may have quadrupled. At any point during the day, consumers are able to consult doctors, buy groceries, set reminders to call their parents and lots more either by tapping the screen of their smartphones or by speaking into the microphones. This incremental change of dependency on digital mediums is going nowhere. As society falls obsessively in love with technology, it is upon you marketers to find a way to create and sustain a staggering online presence for your brands.
STICK TO THE EXTRA MILE
Unprecedented – that’s one overly exhausted yet apt definition of the times that we live in. It’s a time where food delivery brands have begun to deliver groceries, ride-sharing apps have decided to experiment with electric bikes, high-end fashion brands are set to make masks and protective gowns; the list is endless. The customers wanted their favourite brands to reach out and make a difference; and the brands have completely obliged. Come new reality, these very customers will want their brands to continue to walk the pebbled road of philanthropy. It’s on the marketers’ shoulders then to find a way to cater to these new buyer personas and ensure that nothing nibbles away at their brand’s voice and positioning.
LEARN THAT LESS IS CAPABLE OF DOING MORE
The pre-pandemic era was chock-full of costly camera equipment and big sparkly budgets. The lockdown came down sharp and hard on all of these big-buck practices. Agencies and brands alike were cornered into the cage of doing everything within the space provided. This space was low budgets, constrained teams and a reality where remote working became the norm. Like a phoenix rises from its ashes, brilliant ideas emerged, never thought of before concepts painted rainbows in the virtual skies and above all, brilliant work saw the light of the day. This new reality is the one that will stick the most for all those in marketing. When the lockdown does get lifted, the onus will be on marketers to become leaner and capsize on honesty, empathy and creativity above all.
Hey there, it’s me again, I am signing off now. Before I leave, I would like to tell you that I, the New Reality am here to stay. There is no going back really, and it is now in your hands to tread smartly into the bright, shining light of tomorrow!