team gathering hands inBy Jacob Harsch

From my relatively short experience learning about marketing, I have discovered one important nugget of truth: marketing is a reflection of our culture. Put simply, marketing is the action of appeasing to your customers. You accomplish this by knowing how your customers think, what they do, and their desire in life. Culture is an unequivocal aspect of what people do and why they do it.

Marketing changes with culture

I will share the example that propelled me to write this blog. At the beginning of the quarantine, I noticed the tone in commercials changed drastically. They began to have messages of “togetherness” and “unity” during these troubling times.

Companies rushed to be the most heartfelt and passionate about how we as a country could get through the struggle together. These companies were appeasing the customers. They knew how the general public felt: scared, unsure about the future, and in need of support.

By acknowledging these feelings, and being a source of inspiration and support, the companies were able to emotionally drive customers to buy their products.

Marketing reflects culture

On Twitter, there’s a trend where companies tweet “relatable” things. Wendy’s, yes the fast food restaurant, is known to tweet things that seem very un-businesslike. Traditionally, the business world, especially corporations, have projected an image of trustworthiness and professionalism (think people who essentially wear suits to sleep).

Lately, the business world is changing. Customers don’t want to buy from big corporations anymore. To seem less businesslike and more approachable, these companies are using Twitter the same way most of us use it – to share funny ideas.

Of course, the companies are using these funny thoughts to help them sell and promote their products. Wendy’s even went as far as paying comedians to make videos that “relate” with the customers, with a closing promotional screen shot added by Wendy’s.

Marketing changes – constantly

With our ever-changing world, it’s more important than ever to stay abreast of marketing trends and to find innovative ways to connect with customers. It’s hard to guess what’s ahead, but with a good team of forward-thinking marketers, more exciting, brilliant ideas can come from seeing what is happening around you. I hope you can use this information to find your own way of pivoting your marketing efforts to better fit the culture in which you are selling.

Jacob Harsh was a volunteer on the AMA Michiana Membership Committee from 2019-2020