Leading for the future

How the coronavirus can galvanize the marketing professional and redefine the soul of business

As the world is settling into the new realities of the coronavirus and how it is disrupting our daily lives, it is important to think about how this new normal will redefine the culture of work well into the 21st Century.

The concept of remote work has always been touted, however, due to circumstances tele-work is becoming one of the only viable options for doing business during the course of this pandemic. Understanding this new way of working will be an essential fixture for corporations, ranging from developing new management and work strategies to cultivating new products and services. As companies realize that they need to be more agile in the post COVID-19 era, the role of the marketing professional will also need to go through a transformation to redefine their value in this new business milieu.

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the world around us, people are forced to deal with a collective sense of fear, anxiety, frustration and grapple with the looming presence of the great unknown. In this time of enormous need, the role of the marketing professional must be regarded as more than just a vocation of selling products and services, but rather an essential aspect of valued leadership illustrating a new way to ‘write culture’ and assist in framing matters in a way that is aspirational, positive, and helps to shape the perception of what can be, by offering meaning in these trying times and develop a template for good business.

Marketing firms will rewrite the rules for their profession and ultimately help shepherd society through these rough moments and find meaning in there day-to-day lives.   

The marketing professional of the 21st century

Marketing professionals both young and old will need to tackle exploring their own values. They will be forced to realize that in a profession based upon a culture of communication, these practitioners must embrace a business of empathy that will be crucial for long term success. Across the diversity of the profession, firms must build upon their own brand of creativity and innovative styles to shape a new paradigmatic model to redefine the role of their industry moving forward.

Embracing a business of empathy is as much about rethinking what good business is as it is about finding a competitive advantage. The industry needs to see that their leadership role in the business ecosystem is more vital then they may think. They offer a blueprint for how and what people genuinely value. The marketing professional of tomorrow must be mindful of how they approach there work and grasp that they bear a responsibility in how they project meaning in a public forum. The industry can set the tone for what the principles of good business will look like. As psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi stated, the principles of good business are both about business success and the broader commitment to social good.

Faced with an existential crisis it is up to the marketing profession to take a leadership role in the global narrative where they can earn a level of trust and respect by helping take on a multitude of responsibilities whether it be through the lens of cheerleader, therapist, or clergy. It is time that the industry understand that the soul of the profession is centered on nurturing the value of why you do something, rather than just the how.