by DONNA MACNEIL, president, ChizComm

By now we’ve all heard the communication speak a million times — “unprecedented times,” “an abundance of caution,” and “safety is our highest priority” — but let’s face it, it’s a crazy time. We’re driving blind, with no control or foresight, struggling to keep our businesses and families safe amidst great uncertainty.

As marketers, we work incredibly hard every day to establish a connection with our consumers.

What they expect from us now is leadership and thoughtful, measured responses. What they need from us is a real and relevant understanding of who they are and what matters to them most.

In our work with clients, media, and families over the past days, here is what we know to be true.

What kids and families need most

  • To keep kids safe, feeling secure, healthy and happy:
    MAKE LIFE AS NORMAL AS POSSIBLE 
  • Information, ideas, and options to support parents:
    MAKE LIFE AS EASY AS POSSIBLE

Our opportunity is to pledge to families a shared commitment to these same goals.  As an industry, no one knows kids better. We own play. That’s an incredible and valuable commodity, and one with the power to soothe, entertain, teach and connect.

Over the coming days and weeks, one of the most immediate needs is to keep kids busy and balanced. Unprecedented time together means the need for a volume of activities, home learning, and entertainment has grown exponentially. Not to mention that both kids and parents have never been more actively engaged in play, media, and online activity. Consumers are connecting like never before and community dialogue has never been more responsive.

For our brands and businesses, the call to action is to be smart, agile, connected, responsive, and most importantly, human. Our key performance indicators (KPIs) are to communicate responsibly, to maintain and build brand engagement and equity proactively, and to drive sales through current channels respectfully.

The irony is that for most of the year, we fight hard to capture audience time, attention and engagement. We have that now. The question is: What are you going to do with it?