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Traversing the Explosion Stage

2020 is seeing the narrative of relationships be rewritten before our eyes. Zoom dates have become prevalent, publications are releasing articles about summer ideas for couples in quarantine, and in-person dates are now planned around safety just as much as they are romance.

Take photographer Jeremy Cohen's viral TikTok series, for example. In March, Cohen's used the popular app to share his creative and socially distanced take on 'shooting his shot' for romance during the pandemic. With the help of a drone, FaceTime, human bubble, and social media, Cohen set high standards for 2020's new take on dating.

However, even couples who have maintained positivity and passion during COVID-19 will testify that maintaining a relationship during a pandemic is far from being a walk in the park. As individuals are tested by new challenges, roles, pressures, and limitations, it can strain their relationships — it certainly has for marketers as our marriage with our audience has entered unprecedented territory.

Last week's blog explained how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced our marketing relationships to enter the 'Explosion' stage full of turbulence and uncertainty. In a time with so many unknowns, marketers must engage in the human side of marketing and ensure that their audience feels connected to their brand

While it seems like everything we know has changed, and in many cases, a lot has, it's important to remember that human relationships run deeper than the surface. For many, it's staying close and connected to their loved ones, even when it's impossible to do so physically, keeping them strong and upbeat during these trying times.

The same needs to go for marketer's relationships with their audience.

Your relationship shouldn't be defined by the hard times in the "Explosion" stage, but by how you overcome them. This separates the marketers who can maintain their audience relationship during the pandemic from those who don't.

Marketers who want to make their marriage last take two steps that other marketers don't: acknowledging how the world is changing and adapting to it. And as they take these important steps, they're allowing the needs and communication of their audience to guide their efforts. They recognize that while the hurdles brought on by COVID-19 have obscured our ability to physically see our customers and that clear vision of the future, these obstacles have not left us without ways to hear from them.

Marketing socially distanced now looks much different than it would have even 10 years ago. Instead of being restricted physically and digitally in how they can engage their audience, marketers now have a surplus of digital tools to continue cultivating their relationships with their audience.

Social media, email marketing, and websites allow marketers to maintain a two-way communication path with their audience. Marketers must invest in their relationships by continually speaking to their audience while simultaneously listening to their responses, even when there aren't any words to hear.

The "Explosion" of a marketing marriage can be conquered, but it takes adjusting to the new circumstances and ensuring healthy communication continues. Without speaking through their initiatives, marketers turn into the slacking member of the relationship. Additionally, without paying attention to what their audience is telling them, they become seen as inconsiderate partners in the relationship.

Market smart and market with a purpose. Utilize the digital tools and narratives that exist to ensure your brand continues to connect with your audience. Prove to them that just because it feels like the world is falling apart, your relationship doesn't have to. If you put in the energy to traverse the difficulties brought on by the "Explosion" with your audience, you can avoid becoming the ex they feel they never should have dated and instead prove that you meant forever when they said, "I do."


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