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The 4 am Report

Mar 25, 2020

It’s another edition of the 4 AM Report, but instead of asking fellow marketers what keeps them up at night – we want to ask this: 

Have you been having some hard chats with yourselves during this bizarrely uncertain (and frankly scary!) time?

🔥🔥🔥 If you haven’t – the time to start that is NOW. 🔥🔥🔥

Let's face it, we all have to market, large or little. It's harder than ever to stand out in a cluttered space of one size fits all and copycat marketing moves.

But while Covid-19 is stealthily spreading around the globe, our marketing worlds have to change:

🦠 Understand that things can - and will - change on a dime.

🦠 Accept that you’ll need to have systems in place to allow you to pivot


🦠 Tone deaf is not the voice you want to be sharing these days

🦠 And yes, it’s time to stop automating your social postings

Our guest this week is Martin Waxman – and he basically does it all! He specializes in Digital and Social Media Strategy, is a LinkedIn Learning Author, a Social Media Professor, conducts research into AI, and leads custom-tailored social media and communications workshops and training for organizations.

Trust us. He knows how to deal with marketing in the time of Covid-19! We’re super excited to have him on to share his expertise with everyone, so have a listen.

Or, if you want a few quick tips, read on – it’s like taking a masterclass without leaving the house. Wait. That’s kind of perfect, isn’t it? #socialdistancing  

Relationships Are Everything: Don’t Add to the Noise

“Relationships are long term, ultimately, and it's important for us to remember that, that it's all the different steps we take over time that affects our reputation, how people outside of our organization or our employees are perceiving us. So, if we're committed to doing the right thing if we're committed to helping if we're committed to going above and beyond as much as we can – because there's still that balance between making sure we do what we need to do to keep our organizations running, to keep our employees informed, and hopefully working. All of that is important. And I think it ties into the notion of communicating and really being open in your communications, and possibly increasing your communications but only when you have something to say….really ask, ‘Is this message absolutely necessary in these times, or will it just add to the noise?’ Just make sure that you're not adding to the noise pollution out there, that whatever bit of communications you put out is helpful and is essential in these times.”

Check Tone and Overall Content

“For like maybe the last 10 days or so most people are starting to pick up on the tone or ‘read the room’ thing a little bit. And, you know, there's been a lot of improvement. However, I think some people are actually falling down on the automation, while maybe most social and you know, ads have been checked for tone, one of the things I'm finding is email is quite bad – there’s this perception that they need to be going out to people at this time all the time. And they're continuing to go out and a whole bunch of people I know on social are also the picking on these things and pointing out the tone deafness of it….You know, I am on an email list for a retail clothing outlet that I like, and I shop at all the time. And every day, I'm still getting an email from them 60% off, you know, it's like, ‘Okay, right now, I'm not looking to buy clothes, I don't really need clothes.’ That's not an essential.”

Don’t Be Afraid to Use Humour – But Keep it Simple!

“What humour does is it serves as a little bit of a distraction. And it's a way just to help us forget the situation for a moment. You know, think about something else, get a laugh, maybe relax a bit. I mean, humour is a great tension release. Yesterday, I saw on Twitter, I thought this was this a great thing, that was shared and of course, went viral – Neil Diamond - you know, his song Sweet Caroline is pretty famous. What he did is he recorded a short video from his home so you could see him in front of his fireplace talking, singing Sweet Caroline just him and his guitar. And he changed the words to be appropriate. So instead of ‘hands touching hands’, he said, ‘hands, washing hands’, and that was just so great. And it, you know, it gives you a break. And that's what you need. Now, that said, if your brand is a very, very serious brand and have never dabbled in humor ever, ever, ever, now is maybe not the time to start because people won't be expecting it from you. They won't know how to take it, especially if it's something that's a little sarcastic or satirical, so you have to be careful with that. And I would say if you are thinking of using humor, that's great, but look to your overall brand - brand values, brand character.”

We hope you enjoyed this episode - there’s loads more goodness on the podcast itself. So, get yourself over to Apple Podcasts for more 4 AM Report insights and subscribe to us – because we know you wanna!  

If you're losing sleep over a marketing related problem, let us know. Drop us a line at C+P Digital. And sweet dreams….well, hopefully!

About Martin

Martin Waxman, MCM, APR, is a digital communications strategist, leads social media workshops, and conducts AI research. He’s a LinkedIn Learning author, president of a consultancy, and senior advisor to Spin Sucks, He’s also a past president of CPRS Toronto, a past-chair of PRSA Counselors Academy, and a member of the #AIinPR panel.  Martin teaches social media at McMaster University, UToronto SCS, and Seneca College and regularly speaks at conferences and events across North America. He has a Master of Communications Management from McMaster-Syracuse Universities.