January 14, 2022

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How some brands flourished in the burnout crisis


What sets thrivers apart is their ability to declutter marketing to better manage the complexity. By refocusing on customers and their newfound habits, thrivers can clearly see what will and won’t serve them going forward. By retaining what is essential and reevaluating the rest, work becomes not just manageable, but actively meaningful again.

They did it by following these five behaviors:

Thrivers reacquainted themselves with customers

The starting point for decluttering a complex landscape is realizing that living through a pandemic and its ongoing aftereffects necessarily shifted customers’ wants and needs. Shifting customer preferences means the way customers need to be reached has likewise evolved, calling for a fresh approach.

Unlike survivors, thrivers are 2.5 times more likely to believe that what they’re facing are fundamentally new challenges requiring a whole new mindset and set of tools. There is no going back to normal as the pandemic has left a permanent mark on customers’ behavior. To discover what the customer base is after now, thrivers are going back to the source and using digital tools to engage and listen to customers and using data to understand what matters now.

For thrivers, customer satisfaction is the primary criteria for success, let alone a vital ingredient for organizations seeking growth by making themselves relevant to customers in the moment.

They found their collective difference

Thrivers once again look to data to drive decision making. In this instance, data is used to reinforce the business’s collective difference around which marketers can rally. Thrivers are 40% more likely than survivors to focus their use of data on the differentiation of their brand. Here, differentiation is used to build strength and to fuel common ambitions.

Just two years ago we saw reports from marketers of roughly similar levels of influence in customer experience strategy. Fast forward to today and we see that 74% of thrivers are actively involved in decisions regarding customer experience compared to 46% of survivors. Here, we begin to see how, in reacquainting themselves with their customers’ new needs and wants, thrivers are restructuring their approach.

They move at the pace of change

We all saw how fast things can change globally. Thrivers have internalized the prevalence of constant change and are optimizing their methods for speed. This means not committing to old ways of working and to revisiting plans and actions on an as-needed basis, with a reference to customers’ needs.

Working smarter, not harder, is likewise at the center of the thrivers’ mindset; they’re masters of the “test-learn-tweak-repeat” process. The goal is to always be working on the right things—not simply working and delivering the most relevant content and experiences when customers need them most.

They brought fresh approaches to tedious tasks

While unavoidable, the tedious tasks of marketing no longer sit on thrivers’ to-do lists. Instead, 40% report increased investments in process automation and industrializing operations, confidently leaning on technology to decrease mundanity.

Thrivers are hungry for fresh thinking and perspectives. When compared to survivors, thrivers are 40% more likely to rank innovation and originality as a vital future skill. In doing so, they’re molding their workforce toward a future vision that’s as thoughtful about completing tasks as it is about discarding or automating non-essential ones.

They own what they stand for

Thrivers know that being all things to all people is not only impossible but bad for business. Customers are actively seeking brands with purpose that align with their values, abandoning ones that don’t. Thrivers understand that the time to be bold is now and are 2.5 times as likely to action their brand purpose in customer experiences.

For them, change is an opportunity, and the current transitional period is a chance to reconnect with their customer base, creating a more meaningful relationship centered on empathy.

It’s clear that thrivers have used the turmoil of the past 18 months to throw out the rule book and embrace an agile approach to marketing. In doing so, they’ve paved the way for a new way of working that’s connecting with customers on a human level and restructuring the everyday to reduce burnout.

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