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Thoughtful Marketing: The Story Behind the Movement

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The DMA has always placed importance on putting the customer front and centre and, throughout the lockdown, more brands and businesses have begun doing the same. To celebrate those who’ve adjusted their approaches to help others in a genuine way, we’ve partnered with the Thoughtful Marketing Movement to create a new category for our 2020 DMA Awards. Charlotte Langley, Brand and Communications Director at Bloom & Wild, has offered to chair the category, and give her insights.

How did Thoughtful Marketing take off for Bloom & Wild?

Last year, a few people reached out to Bloom & Wild, saying that they found Mother’s Day emails painful, so the online florist offered their customers the option to opt out. The response was overwhelming: appreciative messages from customers poured in, MP Matt Warman mentioned it in a parliamentary debate about bereavement, and the considerate gesture was featured in publications such as The Independent, Stylist, and Good Housekeeping.

What are some other occasions that organisations might not expect they should be sensitive to?

Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Valentine’s Day are the usual ones in our business, Langley said, but the one perhaps a bit more surprising is payday. Previously, Bloom & Wild would have sent emails along the lines of ‘it’s payday, treat yourself,’ she explained. At the moment, though, it isn’t appropriate, because lots of people are in really difficult situations.

“It’s made us think twice about how we market to people,” Langley said. “We don’t know the circumstances that they’re in, so we should be extra thoughtful about that.”

What changes have Bloom & Wild implemented to continue their commitment to the Thoughtful Marketing Movement?

  • Developing an opt-out navigation view: if someone who has opted out visits our site, they won't see any of that content. This year, Bloom & Wild considered how to have a further positive impact on customers with mindful gestures like opt-out, and the Thoughtful Marketing Movement was created to bring together brands that are committed to consumer-centric approaches.
  • Crosschecking the email addresses that have opted out with our Facebook database to remove people from paid social advertising.
  • Setting up a preference centre, so that our customers don’t have to wait for an email to opt out.
  • Sharing with others how we do the above, such as through our simple step-by-step guide on how to create an opt-out email campaign. We're now updating it to include more complex technical operations.

What are the challenges of Thoughtful Marketing, and how can we overcome them?

Speaking to brands who want to join the movement, many aren’t sure how to live up to the promises we’re asking, Langley said. One major challenge is the tech side. If you need help navigating technical issues, email thoughtfulmarketing@bloomandwild.com, and we’ll do our best to guide you.

Thoughtful Marketing is fitting to the current climate, but it began before the lockdown. Has the movement changed from then to now, and will it change in the future?

The movement hasn't changed, Langley said, but it’s more resonant at the moment. What’s changed is brands realising the power they hold to better adapt to what their customers are going through. The pandemic, though obviously very stressful, has given all of us an opportunity to think about not just how we communicate, but what we want to stand for and offer our customers on a wider plane, she explained.

You’ve mentioned that some of the changes you’ve made have been practical and others emotional. How can organisations balance the two?

We’ve made practical changes, such as ensuring our existing messaging feels right for the times, as well as more emotional ones, such as developing new plans that create positive experiences, including sharing more content that entertains and connects people. Examples range from crafty projects customers can do with our products to encouraging messages they can pass on via social.

Langley said that while both changes are valuable, the most important thing is to adapt in a way that still makes sense outside of the coronavirus context. If you take that approach, and make modifications that ladder back to your brand values, she explained, then both those practical and emotional changes will make sense for you and your customers.

What is one piece of advice for organisations who want to or have committed to this movement?

It’s not a tick-box exercise, Langley said, so don’t stop at opt out. “We can all continue to innovate to be more customer first.”


Read our articles about the new Awards category and how brands are staying more thoughtful.

For information on entering the DMA Awards, email awardentries@dma.org.uk. Explore previous campaigns that worked; work that changed lives; work that changed the way we think. Entries close on Friday 18 September, 2020. Our early bird deadline has been extended to Friday, 14 August, so entrants have more time to submit their entries at the lower fee.

Learn more about the Thoughtful Marketing Movement or sign up to join at www.bloomandwild.com/thoughtful-marketing-pledge.

Bloom & Wild is the UK’s fastest growing online florist and the inventor of letterbox flowers. Their range of products includes plants and handtied bouquets with delivery extending to Ireland, France, and Germany.

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