The Best Marketing Strategy for 2021: Kindness, Joy, and Community

The Best Marketing Strategy for 2021: Kindness, Joy, and Community

by Shelby Beadle, Marketing Coordinator of PCA Technology Solutions

As 2020 comes to a very welcomed end, the coming of a new year comes with a trigger word for me, and likely every other marketing professional under the sun, especially this year and especially for those, like me, in the small business realm…. STRATEGY.

What’s the strategy to drive sales? increase brand awareness? connect and communicate with existing clients for 2021? What’s the strategy to track those things? What data metrics really matter? Where are we at now, and how do we even attempt to plan for next year when so many of the events, promotions, and previous year reflection we typically depend on is so skewed (or even non-existent) thanks to COVID-19?

It all sounds like doom and gloom, right? But what if it doesn’t have to.

What if instead of focusing on strategy and data like we are a bunch of robots, we focus on HUMANITY? If we shift to a mindset of kindness and caring for our clients and community, is it possible that our humanity would be attractive enough to drive sales? If we cared less about vanity metrics and more about actual lives touched by our marketing efforts, would that be enough to cultivate our brand? And if we viewed the marketing challenges that the new year is almost guaranteed to bring as a privilege rather than a burden, could that positivity spill over into the relationships we build with clients, colleagues, and our community?

I believe the answer is simply; YES!

In November of 2020, I was given the opportunity to build a campaign for PCA Technology Solutions (with a partnering vendor, WatchGuard Technologies) cleverly coined “$20 for 2020” around giving and kindness. It was simple, create a few feel-good videos and use some of our marketing budget to help others rather than boast about ourselves, when we knew so many are struggling to stay afloat. Inspired by Mr. Beast’s YouTube channel, we went out and handed our $20 bills (and a few surprise $100's) to anyone that passed by; the reactions were priceless and can be viewed here.

What we quickly learned is that everyone wanted to know “the catch.” People are not used to being given or gifted things with no strings attached, but once they realized that there was no trick or expectation attached to what we are doing, they all radiated joy and thankfulness – many asking more about who we were, what we do, and why in the world we would want to give away money.

But as excited as those receiving the cash were, I think our team was even more elated to be given the opportunity to make a difference, no matter how small.

The gift of giving allowed us to both give and receive joy on behalf of our company. Sure, we could have used that money for a large billboard display that thousands of commuters would see each day, or towards another method of traditional marketing strategies. But you must ask yourself, what is the quality of that reach? And even deeper than that, what good is that billboard, magazine print, social media ad, or media spot doing for our community? For me, the possible domino effect that can take place by helping someone with paying the water bill, buying an extra Christmas gift for their child, or simply turning a bad day around and the joy that those things bring is worth more than any singular lead that I have witnessed.

And at the end of the day, if you are cultivating the public’s perspective of your company by simply doing good what better branding is there? I certainly prefer to surround myself with individuals who are inadvertently kind and joyous. Shouldn’t the companies I do business with be held to the same standard?

So, if you are reading this, I would like to encourage you to stress less about strategy when it comes to your 2021 marketing plan, and focus on humanity, kindness, and joy—and watch the other pieces fall into place.

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