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Vitafoods Asia 2022

Identifying the most effective marketing strategies to really reach audiences – Interview

Article-Identifying the most effective marketing strategies to really reach audiences – Interview

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Traditional forms of marketing are no longer relevant for the health and wellness industry. Today, it’s all about adopting a B2H – business-to-human – approach, says brand communications expert, Gillian Fish.

Gillian Fish is founder and CEO of 6AM, a communications agency based in Sydney, Australia. She will be giving a presentation at Vitafoods Asia entitled ‘Why getting close to your audiences in the 'New Normal' is key to business success’ on 6th October at 4.30 pm, Bangkok time.

Gillian’s talk will touch upon the latest in macro and micro trends influencing marketing in the health and wellbeing sector, sustainability marketing, and why a brand’s purpose is key to consumer engagement. Click here to find out more about the agenda.

Why is it critical for marketers to think differently about how they communicate with consumers following the pandemic?

“Traditional ways of marketing to B2C or B2B have fundamentally changed during the pandemic. In order to deliver effective marketing strategies that deliver a return on investment (ROI), marketers need to redefine the definition of audiences to B2H – Business to Human – taking the whole human, with joy, grief, hopes fears, life challenges and dreams, into account.

“Just as we need to see our team members as entire individuals – based on the evolution of our lives, which has seen […] the home to incorporate a place of work, a school, a restaurant, wellness cave and place to rest. This is the most fundamental change that marketers need to embrace.”

“The power of the purchasing sits firmly in the hands of those who consume our products and services. If our marketing is to succeed, we have to lead with audience-centric digital-first strategies that listen deeply to deliver effectively on what matters to audiences now.

“Importantly, marketers need to embrace digital wholeheartedly, which has been catapulted lightyears in just two, and that the battle of brands takes place online in the first instance. Winning in business means to consider not only the human audience but algorithms too, as a hugely powerful second audience also vying for attention. […] We need to win [them] over with effective content marketing strategies that drive awareness and engagement, to win the battle.

“And, most importantly, we need to understand clearly what matters to our audiences - simply put, we are at a ‘change or die’ crossroads now to deliver truly sustainable brands. Brands have a choice to either actively participate in sustainable stewardship practices or perish as the groundswell of demand from young consumers say, ‘No More’ to brands that ignore their impact on people and planet.”

You clearly see sustainability as a hugely important topic to today’s health and wellness. But how jaded are they based on past instances of greenwashing?

“A sustainable approach to business that encompasses strategies [focusing] on the health and welfare of both people and planet is a business imperative no matter what sector, and should be benchmarked against the UN Sustainability Goals, driven by powerful consumer demand for change.

“Sustainability has evolved beyond the green and ethical marketing concepts of the late 1980s, fraught with claims of greenwashing and poorly executed green products, to encompass a deeper understanding of how unchecked consumerism has negatively impacted the planet and its inhabitants. And with those learnings incorporated into the DNA of sustainability strategies, is now expected all the way across the supply chain, from sustainable product development right through to encouraging sustainable consumption and the transformation of institutions in their entirety – people and environment.

“Marketers should understand consumers’ concerns for the environment, know that they are jaded, and work across the business towards a sustainable business model, prioritising brand strategies that support environmental protection, human protection, all under one singular umbrella of sustainability.

“Open, transparent and authentic communication, traceability, clarity on labelling, suitable imagery that do not overstate the brand’s eco-status, equality, diversity and inclusion amongst all stakeholders and third party proof points are some of the essentials to implement.”

What steps should marketers take to build effective outreach programs that truly cross channels and demographics?

“[Marketers should] walk the talk: start at home, in your own business, with your own teams, before establishing strategies for your audiences. Be transparent, authentic, and genuine across every business touchpoint, and be led by audience-centric strategies. Understand who they are; what matters to them and then align with the distinctive positioning of the brand to define effective strategies that deliver awareness, engagement, and an ROI. [They should] value trust as a key pillar for the brand, focusing every business action and interaction on building and maintaining trust, and engage stakeholders across society.