My recent article published in Annual Marketing Magazine “IMPRESSIONS” by Mantra-The Marketing Club of IIM Raipur
“People are very open-minded about new things, as long as they’re exactly like the old ones.” —Charles F. Kettering
Today’s world can relate the above saying to the best. Marketing scenes are changing and so are people’s outlook. But that does not mean consumers expect anything different from what they were getting in the pre-pandemic era. They want us to change their approach and provide them with the same service at their convenience.
The world was already shifting to digital, now just the pace of the shift has changed because of the ongoing pandemic. It has accelerated. The “going digital” term has picked up its speed and gave a lot of power to the online business. Hence, the marketing strategies post-pandemic will be concentrated on the online and virtual space. Digital is and will be the New Normal even when we get past this pandemic era.
Consumers have discovered the joy and the comfort of getting everything at the tips of their hands. Now consumers want reviews, ratings and experience before trying any new things. Marketers have to keep up with this changing trend and shift their strategy focusing more online than offline.
These are the few strategies that would come into play after the pandemic era:
- Narrative Change
As per the research, consumers are looking at the mindfulness of the brand more than ever. They are looking at the communication that brands are making. Consumers are expecting more empathetic communication than product pushing strategy in these testing times. They more gravitate towards the companies that are sticking to their values. ‘Service with a smile’ is narrative and the approach that consumers have set up for the brands. The newsletters that companies send out must have the minimum amount of empathy with the situation. If consumer smile reading your approach, half the work is done for your brand.
E-service is not a very new concept but not very well adopted yet. Banking e-services has proved that it is not difficult to provide e-services to consumers. Consumers are placing their trust in the E-services as the days are going by. Starting from medicine to grocery delivery, consumers are adapting to E-services well. This increase in consumer trust indicates that there is a potential surge in demand and an opportunity to create new connections with people.
- Customer Experience Marketing
According to the research by Nielsen, “92% of individuals will believe a reference from friends and family, and 70% of the individuals will rely on users they even don’t know.”
In this growing digital world, consumers are more actively researching before making a purchase. Consumer reviews can make or break a brand. They prefer to hear voices directly from someone who has tried and can vouch for the product. Consumer reviews, ratings and experience makes the brand more credible in the real world amongst other competitors.
Agility is not a new practice. But rather than a technological process, Agility is now a modern marketing approach. As the emergency occurs, an organization could rapidly discover which message wasn’t right, immediately creating an advertising emergency. Traditional long lead time and annual budgets seem to be ancient now. Marketing agility is likely to be permanent. Having a tab on what consumer wants, demand sensing, fulfilment, everything will not only help in the marketing but also help the company to capture the zeitgeist of consumer sentiment. Meanwhile, faster decisions, flexibility across key areas like creativity, budgeting etc will affect operationally.
- Social Media Marketing
The COVID-19 scenario has as a catalyst to the consumer adaption toward social media platforms. As the days go by, consumers are relying on social media platforms more than any other form of media. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have become their newspapers. They rely on these sites to stay up to date. Social media is the key in today’s business world. Since we saw a major shift of consumers to the e-com sites. To survive these uncertain times, a business must retain its consumer base and find its new consumers online. Hence, the business needs to have a significant presence on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.
- From funnel to flywheel
Brands and companies have been working on the Funnel method of working where the focus is solely on acquiring consumers. In today’s world, brands need to take up the Flywheel marketing strategy where the consumer is the core. While the funnel method for marketing and acquiring customers has been the norm, the post-pandemic world is more focused on flywheel marketing.
Flywheel marketing will concentrate on how to attract and engage consumers, how to enhance the consumer’s experience of the product or service. This in turn will create positive word of mouth which will attract new consumers to check out the brand. All in all, brands smoothening the friction of what a consumer might not like in a brand and presenting the best version of it so that consumer can’t help but tell others. This model is very sustainable and most likely to stay for a very long time.
Everything is changing at a very alarming speed. Few of the changes were very much required to abandon the older strategies and adopt new ones. But with the changes comes uncertainty. Marketers should be ready and on their toes, for the market to demand something new. Marketers need to be updated with not only what consumers want but also what the industry is looking at. As we get deeper into the online services and get dependent on the virtual world, we will discover many more advanced strategies that might take marketing to that next level. As a duty of the marketeer, we must keep looking and keep finding new ways to build our brands and also to keep the consumers happy.