We Hate the Phrase “New Normal” But Here are 7 Marketing Tips for Navigating the You-Know-What


One overused phrase that we’d be happy to not hear anytime soon is “the New Normal.”

There may be times when “The New Normal” indicates something positive. But most of the examples we can think of are not.

There was a “New Normal” after 9/11 and another “New Normal” after the financial meltdown in 2017. In fact, while cleaning out archives so old that they contained print versions of memos and client placements, we came across an article we had saved from 2010 entitled, “Marketing in the New Normal.”

Mostly we scanned significant client placements and dumped several crates of documents because we now think any advice older than a head of lettuce — keeping our fingers crossed that this reference to Liz Truss’ short tenure as England’s PM will still be fresh in 2023 — is no longer relevant. For example: the articles we found claiming they’ll teach everything you need to know about social media but were published before Instagram and TikTok. Or before Musk acquired Twitter.

And now we’re finally at the point of this post. We kept some of the article because some good ideas may be old but that doesn’t mean they’re outdated.

“Marketing in the New Normal,” published by an SMB publication that long ago ceased publishing, made a couple of points about marketing that are still relevant today, as we’re navigating the latest version of “The New Normal.”

Here are key points to consider:

  1. Throw out past perceptions about successful marketing to your key audiences. The people, the reasons, the timeframe, etc. may have shifted and it’s important to reconsider who needs your products and what messages they need to hear.
  2. Identify who’s buying and what motivates them. Hybrid offices have different needs, for example, so real estate developers need to rethink who needs leases and what they’re looking for.
  3. Figure out what’s prompting customers to buy. Patterns and behavior may have shifted. Consumers’ general sense of urgency has changed, and companies need to re-align and meet the new urgency.
  4. Determine if customer or employee expectations have changed, and make appropriate adjustments. That’s right — we said employee, too. For example, many who were able to work from home during the pandemic are so used to working outside the office that some employers are finding it challenging to get people to return to the office. That means companies need to rethink what they’re offering.
  5. Understand perception and awareness of your product, services and company because that may have shifted. Partnering with a now-disgraced celebrity could affect the perception of your company, depending on how quickly or slowly your company decides on a course of action. Paying attention to what’s being said or hinted about your organization is important. You may not always need to respond but you need to be aware.
  6.  Develop new communication strategies to reach customers and employees. The media world continues to face tough times (another trend we’re more than tired off) so that means companies, and their in-house teams and agencies, need to keep asking if there are new ways to reach customers and, from a recruiting perspective, employees and prospective employees. Clubhouse, Mastadon and the metaverse may not be the best way to reach your stakeholders but we feel it’s important to ask the questions to make sure.
  7. Identify new tools. The current set may work fine but if you’re testing new ways to communicate, you may need to test new tools, too.

The original article didn’t touch on all these things — it only have five points, most of them focused solely on sales — but it was a good launching point, from one new normal to another to focus on what communication teams need to be thinking about for 2023.

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