Given the transition consumer needs underwent during the lockdown, and the current 10% market recovery rate, success will follow for those brands that dovetail relevance and relatability in their marketing strategies
By Sandeep Shukla
All of last year was a lesson in learning to view our home spaces with a totally different perspective. Our homes transitioned to becoming the control center for all aspects of our work and leisure. Health and hygiene were at the forefront of all our decisions. This naturally impacted consumer behaviour and the way we perceived our home during the lockdown months. This resulted in us questioning how we interact with and redefine the space around us.
By July 2020, the global total of social media users had reached 3.96 billion (according to Datareportal.com). The onset of the pandemic-induced lockdown expedited the adoption of digital means by a few years to the extent where the number of first-time users grew substantially – more than 1 million users on average used social media each day i.e., roughly 12 new users each second. With such staggering figures backing the trend, it is a great opportunity for brands to tap and interact with their customers.
Reviving and re-building a mutual connection between brands and consumers has proven to be a challenge in 2020, requiring careful consideration, analysis, and the rehabilitation of the expectations that customers have in the new normal.
From brands to creators, while all of us move towards 2021, taking stock of the residual financial and business strain caused this year, there are some key lessons which will guide the post-Covid era storytelling formats. Lessons which will not only will be important to strike a chord with the consumer but also enable brands to put sensitivity and purpose at the core of their businesses. New marketing insights and trends will guide a successful journey ahead in 2021. How marketers will deliberate and utilize evolving trends to create impactful and well-meaning campaigns will be interesting to see. Given the transition consumer needs underwent during the lockdown, and the current 10% market recovery rate, here are the top 5 considerations that will be the primer to every marketer’s playbook for the next year in my opinion.
An empathy-oriented approach
Empathy-driven and purposeful storytelling will always prove a winner, especially in the current context. Marketers must work harder at creating campaigns through careful consideration of how the buyer will perceive, feel, and react in the ‘next normal’. Market analysis will need to take it one step further – tracking market trends and data won’t do – by demonstrating prompt and real-time responses to risks and opportunities.
Clearly seating consumption occasion in the current day-to-night consumer journey
The concept of marketing to consumers in the ‘next normal’ – a world post-COVID – will broadly rely on brands conscientiously assessing and planning basis the state-of-mind, needs and actions of consumers’ daily lives. This is necessary for marketers to develop a lasting connection with their customers. Hence, brands must be open to listening and astutely draw information from their customer’s past experiences and current needs.
Speaking to different sub-sects of consumers differently on digital, rather than en-masse
Most industries are quite reliant on one-on-one interactions with customers for them to test and experience the product/service. However, the pandemic spurred the digital experiential leg of our communications and customer connect. Buyers are now connecting from their homes and while they do so their frame of mind is different to the pre-COVID era. Hence, reimagining and designing an immersive and uninterrupted shopper experience through interesting content driven digital formats will be the need of the hour.
Redefining online purchase experience
Brands must be willing to listen and intelligently tap into their customer’s past experiences and present necessities. The use of digital technology to craft meaningful and long-lasting experiences is the way to go for most brands today.
Today, it is crucial that customers have an unhindered access to brand collaterals and assets without the need for them to visit a physical store. Consumer-focused virtual events and experiential ensure customer can engage with the brand’s product/service with more ease and without the added pressure of physical touch points under the current post-pandemic context. This is where many brands are working toward the creation of effective and well-rounded at-home services that offer complete solutions and an experience the customer wants to revisit.
Personalise, Personalise, Personalise
The concept of customization and personalization is no longer a subset of the luxury market but should be on priority for every marketer in the B2C space. Poise your communications as though you know every consumer’s need intimately and have a solution that will benefit him/her in a definable manner.
2021 will require marketers to create a more robust and explicitly personalised customer experience from home at par with that of visiting a brick-and-mortar store. The objective is to provide consistent online support ensuring increased offline sales and experiences. Brands will need to expand their horizons per customer requirements and rethink their touchpoints, and for many even build on creating products and services boosted by augmented reality to navigate and enhance the at-home experience.
Success will follow for those brands that dovetail relevance and relatability in their marketing strategies. Pillars of thoughtful storytelling, responding to real time insights, circumspect pricing strategies, and curating personalized consumer experiences will rule the roost.
The author is head marketing and communication – Global Operations of Jaquar Group.