Friedman: In order to create empathy you
have to allow yourself to be vulnerable.
This is an uncomfortable place for many
businesses and brands, but is where many
consumers want to see the brands they
choose to support.
What is your hope for the role of
marketing in 2022?
Bothe: That it’s true, good and it stops
dividing us up. I’m speaking more of
political marketing but I think marketing
has gone too far in the area of targeting
and people live more and more in echo
chambers because marketing feeds them
what they always want. That’s great but
it really does start to limit our ability to
see and do new things or experience new
products, which divides us.
Bower: Marketing can and should help
bring people together and make them feel
better about themselves and their fellow
Hutchens: Authenticity is still an untapped
frontier. Marketing honestly and vulnerably
is what creates the highest levels of
connection. Hoping that marketing returns
to the experiences that connect us all.
that we will create a meaningful and
respectful solution to the noise and chaos
of today’s buyer’s journey.
What is your best advice for brands in
this day and age?
Bothe: Know yourself and what you believe
makes you different, be authentic and
communicate in ways that align with your
brand promise, and make sure you deliver
the product and EXPERIENCE you’re
promising. People choose you because
you somehow make their life better or
easier, people stick with you because they
believe that more and more over time,
and people can’t live without you as your
brand becomes a part of their daily lives.
Apple did that with the iPhone, Southwest
has done that with business travel, and
Stitch Fix is doing that with my wardrobe.
Bower: Make sure you define and clearly
articulate your brand’s “why.” Concisely
and compellingly tell prospects and
customers why you do what you do, why
it matters to them and why it matters to
Hutchens: Let go of status and embrace
service. Market to an individual’s
most powerful potential. How does
your product help them better serve
themselves and others? Make the
consumer, not your product, the hero of
Montini: Take the time to evaluate (or
re-evaluate) your brand’s DNA. Talk to the
founders, most tenured team members,
and earliest customers to find out what
it is or was that made your brand special.
Then, commit to being authentic to that
DNA in everything you do.
Friedman: Be honest. Be respectful. Listen
to what’s important to your customers.
Meet your customers on their terms, on
their preferred platforms, ready to service
what they need to make good decisions
and feel good about doing business with
you. Remember they have choices.
Montini: My hope is that organizational
leaders will begin to recognize the value
created from a strong, bold brand story
and empower marketers to courageously
go out and tell that story regardless of
which way the short-term cultural winds
are blowing. Consumers respect brands
that are passionately authentic, even if
they don’t necessarily agree with what
that authenticity represents.
Friedman: Marketing needs to put the
customer at the center of everything.
We are trying to walk in their shoes and
put forward platforms and content that
addresses their questions and concerns,
gives them access to information when
they want it and how they want it, and
allows them to be in the drivers’ seat. By
flipping the engagement we are confident
MEET YOUR CUSTOMERS ON THEIR TERMS,
ON THEIR PREFERRED PLATFORMS, READY
TO SERVICE WHAT THEY NEED TO MAKE
GOOD DECISIONS AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT
DOING BUSINESS WITH YOU.”
— MARK FRIEDMAN, VP OF MARKETING, FUJIFILM