For the last 18 or so years that I’ve been in marketing, I’ve used “democratization” and “community focus” as consistent buzzwords in both my consulting work as well as speaking at conferences etc.
I don’t think there’s any better example as to why those terms are important than the experience of living through 2020. Specialization is everything as people are looking for a community in new ways online to replace the in-person human element we all miss.
Regardless of whether we are able to have in-person gatherings again soon and not have to worry about the virus, things have changed for many of us and there are new habits and norms (Zoom and hyper-special media isn’t going away) that will not be going away. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be wearing a mask for a while.
One key I’m pushing with all of my clients is the idea of specialization in community building. As marketers, we’ve generally done a poor job of handling “community building” correctly. There has been too much focus on affinity metrics, KPI’s and NPS (Net Promotor Score) that has resulted in insulting generic surveys when we happen to purchase anything from dog bowl from a pet’s store all the way to a car. “TELL US HOW WE DID!” is now one of the least clicked email subject lines in our inboxes.
Engagement, authentic presence, customer service, and democratization of the message are very important. But “generic” is a poison pill. Choose wisely in your messaging in 2021.