A CMO’s Response to Crisis: Brand Your Experience. Then Act on It.

When people are thrust into conflict – or whatever term you care to use at this point – everyone reacts differently (i.e., fight or flight). Yet, there are two very human things we all do during times of uncertainty:

  • We draw comparisons: Where were you during the 2008 financial recession? The stock market crash of 1987? When confronted with unfamiliar territory, people seek the comfort of the familiar. And the reason is simple – they’re still standing. If they made it through that obstacle, they’ll make it through another.
  • Then, we brand the unfamiliar. We put a name to a faceless or inexplicable problem. Because once something has a name, we can act.

Source: Well + Good

And there’s nothing wrong with these reactions. They’re human – and in my opinion, they’re incredibly helpful for companies (or anyone, really) looking to navigate our current climate.

It’s these two very human responses that allowed Drift to act quickly back in March 2020 when we closed our offices, and to also anticipate and pivot in a number of ways:

  • The Drift marketing and product teams were able to swiftly transition messaging and strategy to solve buyers’ current pain points.
  • We’re leading with empathy – as current events remind those of us in marketing & sales that empathy is and continues to be the gold standard.

We’re not over the pandemic, and there’s no telling if “over” or “business as usual” is really what’s coming next. But, my hope is that 10 years from now, when a new obstacle comes our way, we’ll be able to take lessons from this year and put them to work.

If you’re looking for more insight into how CMOs are prioritizing strategy, empathy, and customer retention right now, Forbes has a great breakdown from 250 CMOs across industries (including yours truly).

If you found this post helpful, be sure to subscribe to Sunday’s The Path to CMO 3.0 newsletter. Some of this content is taken from this newsletter, where I expand on the topics mentioned above.