I had a catch up with one of my clients yesterday. And while we were chatting about various things, our conversation turned to the frustration we both feel at not being able to get out and see people, meet clients, suppliers, partners. We started to talk about ways that we can continue important conversations while our physical movement is restricted.
And it got me thinking.
This lockdown has changed us all, in one way or another. And while we are focussed on getting restarted again as businesses, the tone of our conversations has been affected, and most likely, for the long run.
Talking to my client, I asked her what she felt the new underlying tone of marketing activity will be as we progress out of this lockdown mode, and into a renaissance of working. Her answer was simple. Authenticity.
And it got me thinking some more.
I took to my virtual networks. The likes of LinkedIn, Twitter, facebook groups and industry forums, and I started to test this theory. Now over the past few weeks I’ve noticed my linkedin timeline become a flurry of new information, new activity from people I haven’t heard from or seen in a long time. Probably all feeling the need to connect in some way. But this time, things were slightly different. The tone of the conversation had changed. Where once it was a tone laden with self-promotion, indulgence almost, this new tone had become more collaborative, functional, cross-promotional, where we are sharing the news of others, people who we may even deem to be competing in our own space. Posts that were more human, raw in some cases, and I realised, she was right. Authenticity is the new name of the game.
At the same time, I spotted something else on my timeline. It was a series of posts from someone I used to work. Someone who, perhaps I can say, had their own challenges in being able to lead, and unfortunately as a result of these challenges, caused a lot of hurt to those they worked with, and the business they led. The posts being shared were ones that were almost dictatorial, instructional, about how others in similar roles, are damaging their own organisations. And every fibre of my being wanted to call them out on it. And I realised again. Authenticity is the new name of the game.
Some will get it, and some won’t. And your customers? Well, they’ll see right through any games you are playing, and instead will seek out the experience they get that is based on honesty, integrity, and truth.
So, while you think about ways that your business will adjust as you prepare for tomorrow, think about the tone of your conversation. Think about how you represent your business. Think about how you represent yourself. And if it’s time to bring back the authenticity into your conversation, then do that. It will speak for you when you’re not.
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