Actions speak louder than words. That’s a phrase we’ve all heard. It was probably first uttered to us by a parent or teacher when they were suggesting that it was not good enough to say you were sorry, you had to show true remorse. The meaning behind that phrase extends into marketing these days as consumers are wanting to look behind the curtain to see if brands really mean what they say.
If your brand is preparing for a post-COVID resurgence, whenever it may come, it’s important to consider a marketing plan that strikes the right tone with your employee, consumer or business audience. It’s vitally important that messages are authentic to the brand, and that they hit audiences where their core values are aligned.
As an example of what we mean by actions speaking louder than words, we don’t have to look very far. More brands today are stepping up to signal their support for ending racism and growing equitable opportunities for Black people.
It’s one thing to say that you believe in ending racism, but how do you prove it? Are you contributing time, money or expertise in a way that helps to solve issues and problems? Is a core element of your business designed in a way that supports historically disadvantaged people or groups? Are you prepared to change the way you do business, your hiring practices or your approach to align with your marketing?
If you can answer a quick yes to any of those questions and add substance behind it, then you are putting words into action. However, a word of warning – if there is no “meat on the bone” and if you can’t prove how you support something, don’t bother talking about it.
Words without actions are meaningless in general, but especially more so today when audiences are more digitally savvy and want to build relationships with brands they can trust. It’s our belief that in the post-COVID world, consumer and business audiences will want to be aligned with brands that create meaningful engagements, that are human and that are as big on substance as they are on words.
If you don’t have the substance that backs up what you support, take advantage of this time to operationalize that support. Think about what it looks like, what’s meaningful to your audience, and put effort and money behind it. If you aren’t comfortable giving voice to your support, remember that now is a great time to rethink your marketing and messaging to determine if your message is still relevant and that it continues to resonate with your audience.
Most importantly, take the time to look inside your operations as well. Your employees are your brand’s largest organic influencers and they will be the first to speak up if your marketing and reality don’t match. Employees are also a great resource for identifying issues and concerns before they become reputational risks, so don’t be afraid to engage and empower them to help move your business forward.
Words are important and here are some quick tips to put them into action:
- Engage your entire team. Diversity of thought is as important now as ever. And, it’s just the right thing to do to ensure everyone on the team has a voice and seat at the table.
- Add meat to the bone by determining ways you can operationalize your brand beliefs and values. As an example, if diversity is important to your brand, how is it operationalized in your business?
- Engage with your customers to better align your messaging and operations around what is important to them.
As always, we’re here to help you think about how to make your words and actions more meaningful to your employees or customers.