The 'New Normal' Isn't Coming: 3 Ways to Build an Adaptive, Modern Agency

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Your plans will always be affected by external forces. Marketers need to ask themselves, "How can we plan for the future?" rather than "Why are we expecting it?"

The new normal is, on a basic level, a desire to return to simpler times and not be constantly stressed. However it also represents a desire for stability. To be able take a break. Marketing has always been about taking a break, no matter what is happening in the world.

We are not hired by our clients to create a new standard. They want to be leaders in their field and be seen as the movers and shakers. It's becoming increasingly difficult to stay ahead of the pack with increasing competition and increased media circulation.

These are just a few of the many techniques that marketers can use to help clients stand out from the rest.

1. Social listening is a more important focus

Social listening can be described as an enhanced version of your industry research. It's similar to doing a competitive analysis but with your audience in mind. What do customers think about your brands? What terms are they using to search for your brand? What are your chances of getting more mentions than your closest competitors? This and many other reasons make social listening my favorite technique for marketers to start using if they want to stay ahead of the curve.

Think ahead. After you've been social listening for about a month, you've accumulated a lot of data. What should you do? Don't just collect data and leave it there. To help you guide your campaign, start incorporating the data into your strategy discussions. Listening carefully enough to your audience should allow you to spot at least one major need or pain point that your competitors don't address.

Related: 10 Marketing Strategies that will Fuel Your Business Growth

2. Reputation is everything

People have more options to express themselves and the world is connected than ever. This is a positive thing for global communication, but it also means that brands are less protected against online abuses and negative reviews. Marketers should consider adding review management and reputation management to their arsenal.

Marketers will also benefit from strong competitor analysis and social listening. Your campaign's best navigator will be able to see what your competitors have achieved and failed to achieve. If one of your competitors is a victim to an online mob, try modeling what successful businesses do.

Marketing is a contact sport. If you are able to ethically knock others off the field, then you should do it.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Market

3. First, build a community. Then, launch a campaign.

A loyal fan base can make a brand more resilient to any storm. So, focus your marketing efforts on building a community for your clients. In the first few weeks of a campaign, listen to your audience.

Engaging with clients is not something you need to force on them. You just have to be more open to asking questions. If you don't give them something to chew on, your audience will view liking and sharing as a daunting task. However, they'll happily write you a novel in comments on a Facebook post if given the prompt.

You want them to feel part of an exclusive club. Start a newsletter if you don't have one. Start a second newsletter for loyal customers if you already have one. Hire influencers that your audience connects with, and they will start creating content for you.

Marketers need to realize that there won't be a new norm. Marketers should instead use this time to experiment with campaigns and find the right content for their audience in an ever-evolving content landscape. There is less chance of the tried-and true methods of digital success being able to withstand increased competition and increased content. Despite the fact that it may seem chaotic, we are being offered an opportunity.

Related: Marketing is The New Sales