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A whole-person marketing approach requires brands and marketers to be deliberate, thoughtful and inclusive. Consumers have more agency than ever before, but they are also more willing to be vulnerable. This means greater opportunities for brands to be true partners to their audiences and emphasize that connection and support in the health space and beyond.
This strategy touches on two important factors for marketers.
• How marketers think about their audiences as people first. To achieve this and see the full picture of a consumer’s lived experience, creative thinking and deep collaboration across disciplines are critical. Rigorous data can help marketers build this understanding, but it’s also about gathering qualitative and quantitative insights from various teams and fields of expertise to leverage search trends, social listening, expert analysis, user feedback and more. Data-driven insights can drive a psychographic view of consumer motivations, behaviors and needs. It can also drive intersectionality when it comes to viewing a wide variety of demographic factors. It’s vital not to overlook the inherent connection between these dimensions and the need to be as comprehensive and rigorous as possible when pursuing a whole-person strategy.
• How advertisers and marketers use that insight to build content, programs, products and more to address those factors of lived experience. A more holistic approach can help them personalize their offerings to appeal to individuals or optimize omnichannel strategies to reach the right audiences in the right places.
While a whole-person approach is a seemingly niche marketing strategy, there’s no reason it has to remain that way. There are plenty of ways in which this foundation can positively affect how companies across industries engage their consumers.
Here are three applications of a whole-person approach that align with the marketing trends that are defining 2022.
1. Reach audiences through content creators and influencers.
Influencer marketing is set to continue its rise in 2022, but it’s important to recognize why. The right content creator can help audiences engage with brands in meaningful ways, whether it’s because they relate to a content creator’s message or because they show audiences a more intimate, vulnerable side to a brand. The key is connection and allowing more voices and perspectives to tell real stories to help tie brands and consumers together.
2. Focus on holistic consumer experiences.
Consumers are savvy enough to realize when they’re being pushed to engage just to get them further down the funnel. In my experience, brands that can successfully integrate themselves into the lives of their consumers as partners and pillars of support will find the greatest success in a pandemic-influenced market. This might mean integrating social media in more seamless ways. Or, in our case, we recently launched our own platform, Bezzy, to help connect people living with chronic conditions. For the marketing industry at large, integrating various channels to create this kind of brand ecosystem can make audiences want to authentically engage.
3. Harness audience understanding to optimize your marketing plans.
Over are the days where you think about channel first or plan out your marketing plan without seeing the connected user journey. A people-first ethos gives marketers and brands more information to make effective decisions in choosing the right channels and creating the right messaging that will resonate with consumers.
At my organization, years of insights and listening revealed that people need help across all areas of their health and well-being while acknowledging the context of their health condition. Through creative strategy and workshops with our partners, we build custom programs and solutions that solve consumer needs and bring brands closer to their audience.
Beyond the healthcare space, it remains imperative to focus on a holistic audience understanding. Consumers who find accurate and honest representation within your brand will be more likely to engage deeply.
In conclusion, empathetic marketing starts with rigor. Building a strong foundation for a whole-person approach requires particular care and attention to actually understanding audiences. At its core, it means investing in listening. Once marketers have done that, the most effective strategy is one that then shows consumers that brands actually hear them, understand their experiences and are catering to their needs.
Consumers are more empowered than ever, and a whole-person approach is a natural response to that evolution. The better brands and marketers are able to understand the whole person, the better they can develop ways to resonate with those consumers and solidify a necessary place within their lives.
This content was originally published here.