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Two Years of Massive Change

Reflecting Before We Build Our Intention For Mindful Growth in 2022

2022 is here and these last couple of years have been a huge wave of transformation for many of us. 

In 2020, if you read my blog “Welcome to Human Centered Marketing”, I mentioned that the pandemic has created space for many consumers and individuals to reassess what truly matters. Is it the materialistic gains that deem our success and fulfillment or is it something more impactful and meaningful? What resulted from the deep assessment was massive shifts, calls of social justice, and tackling tough topics like diversity, inclusion, sustainability. Consumers recognized that brands are living organisms that have an impact on our world and who have a voice that should speak on these topics that affect us. Internally, many businesses reorganized their communication processes to match the demands of consumers. 

In 2021, many employees of these businesses recognized that they are consumers as well. Meaning, if as consumers, we have adjusted our standards, should we also as employees, do the same? The Great Resignation was coined as many individuals recognized that it was time to make a shift in their lives to match their re-prioritization of what truly matters. Simultaneously, businesses continued to hold steady towards the goals that they had set in 2020 in implementing DEI, sustainability, and building a culture that will continue to attract talent who are looking to be a part of something bigger.

So what is happening in 2022?

Over the last two years, we have collectively created new boundaries when it comes to how we choose to connect as human beings. We created new standards on how we choose to connect with each other and with the businesses that we choose to work and purchase from. As new boundaries are set, we are starting to learn to live with the new intentions that we have designed. 

As humans behind the brands, we are aware of the values and mission statements of companies. It’s very easy to write them on a mug or against a wall, but it’s very hard to stay true to the boundaries that we have set. Businesses and individuals are going to be faced with continued challenges as waves of change are always happening. However, it’s never whether or not we have challenges, it’s about how we show up to solve this next level. This next year will watch the early adopters or changemakers who have adapted to the demands of change stay true to their boundaries so that future change-makers will be able to easily implement the change that they seek to create. 

“The Great Resignation is creating a job market that’s unprecedentedly competitive for talent. Recent research tells us millennial professionals aren’t just looking for more money – they’re looking for purpose in their jobs. Simultaneously, consumers increasingly want to buy from brands that stand for something and share their values. To attract consumers and talent, brands will need to tell stories that clearly and authentically demonstrate that their companies have a mission to make things better in the world.”

Joe Lazauskas, Contently

Connecting behind a common purpose is showing up in trends:

  • The most memorable advertising campaigns are no longer commercials but Tiktok Challenges that people can unite behind that have a deeper meaning. 
  • New technologies are easing the friction to connect with brands online with video platforms, live shopping, social commerce and now the Metaverse. 
  • People are getting comfortable with video and are now using video as their primary form of expression. More and more content is created by the end user so that nowadays it’s no longer large companies deciding what is a trend but the end consumer. 
  • Creators and employees of companies are the ones who are leading the charge in shaping the culture that we live in today. Rather than setting the trends, Instagram, Pinterest, and Linkedin are promoting this year’s trends by highlighting and interviewing their creators who are the ones cultivating it.

This is just the tipping point, so how do you mindfully grow?

The Human Experience is activated digitally online and with that comes a fast pace change. Gone are the days of slow subtle change, nowadays our reality will change as quickly as 3-5 business days. That being said, it’s not about staying up to date with the algorithm to stay ahead. It’s about letting new trends inspire you to update your marketing system so that you can maintain a sustainable pace of growth. As you plan out the intentions for this year and the tangible goals and end results you wish to create, there is one key question to ask first.

How do you define your pace of growth? 

It ties back to your why. Just like when we think about our employees or consumers, we seek to figure out why they’re driven to make their decisions. As businesses, we are also collectively driven towards building a collective impact in our community. If we aren’t fully clear behind our why, we can easily lose our strength when faced with challenges.

Our why is what helps us describe the way we want to show up in the world every day. The new boundaries that I had mentioned will create the expectations for what a sustainable pace of growth means for you. Key tactical questions you can ask to envision what this growth looks like are:

  • How big are you looking to grow your influence based on your industry, reach and what you offer?
  • What does a day look like for you after you reach this level of influence? Does it feel sustainable to you?

Real talk: We all want to get the most amount of followers, likes, and comments but let’s break it down to real numbers. If you’re in the product world and suddenly have an order of 500 that needs to be fulfilled that may be doable but if you’re a service-based company, can you handle a sudden increase of 500 new customers? If the answer is no, it’s ok because the reality is that we’re human and not even a machine can go from 0 to 100 without losing efficiency and sustainability.

At the end of the day, it’s not about how many followers we can grow it’s about how active our audience is in staying engaged. For that proves that we are cultivating a community of active collaborators who are working together towards a larger impact that we’re all hoping to create.

What is your common purpose?

People follow and unfollow at will very easily and it all boils down to one question:

“Are you actively creating content that engages them that they’re excited to follow you again?”

That may seem easy for digital content creators because they’re being followed because of common interests. But the same question applies to a business’ brands community because businesses connect with their consumers behind a common purpose.

The common purpose goes back to our mission, the true why behind everything that we do. As we build the goals for next year it’s about asking us these key questions to make sure we’re setting ourselves up for success aligned. 

  • What is the ultimate purpose and impact we’re looking to achieve?
  • What does a community of consumers look like and would we be doing together?
  • Who are our referral partners be to help us take it to the next level?
  • What is our role in holding this community space to create it?

Then naturally the logistical questions that define your mindful growth will flourish. These are common key questions but with an emphasis of realistic measurements.

  • What’s our actual budget that will help us get there and are we truly able to sustain the budget that’s needed?
  • What is the implementation plan look like over the course of this year?
  • What are the campaigns and where we should interact and who on our team is creating these campaigns?
  • What actions do we seek our community to do as we create these campaigns and what are the ripple affects coming from this for our society? Are those the ripple affects that we want to see?

I know these are deep questions to ask. The reality is that you have already been asking these questions whenever you go through your annual business and marketing planning. This year though, I hope that you are looking at it through a human-centered lens so you can sustain the passion behind your mission. When you build out your foundational structure this year aligned to your main why it will naturally reflect towards the impact that you hope to create. 

If you’re interested in exploring how to build a plan for Human-Centered Mindful Growth, feel free to reach out to me and chat more.

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