We’ve all read stories of how governments have been talking with big tech firms to help with data analysis, tracing, and so on. We’ve also likely read a few stories about certain companies changing their production lines to make health masks. The thing I find interesting is the lack of stories about marketing.
In essence, marketing is about change. Behaviour change. Brands want us to buy their product not another one. They want us to choose them and not the one we’ve used for the last 10, 20, 40 years. They want us to feel they are trustworthy. And often there is something about marketing done well that makes us feel good about ourselves.
In this time of a pandemic, a public health emergency. We need serious amounts of behaviour change. In almost every area of our lives. And it is not easy – to accept or to communicate. However, behaviour change at scale is crucial for controlling the virus and being able to care for the most vulnerable. And we have choices. We can choose the route of policing, of the army, of control or we can choose the route of information.
Therefore, I wonder why governments are not asking brands to lend them their marketing departments. Brands could even compete on which approaches create the most positive behaviour change. All the big brands have studied their markets in minute detail and know how to tell stories that resonate and create change. We need that skill now in this pandemic.
And of course, companies don’t need to wait to be asked, they could generously give of themselves. They could choose themselves and begin.