With factors shifting back to normal and the government easing out restrictions, the new normal has finally begun. What it has done, is changed the marketing landscape across the globe. The world has shifted axis to digital and e-commerce platforms which are safer, contactless and is currently the need of the hour. Consumers are now sitting in the comfort of their dens and consuming online content at a rate that was difficult to imagine at the start of the year. This has also led to a direct impact on their shopping behaviour, which is now at their convenience and round the clock.
This has transformed the traditional way of shopping at physical outlets. Despite all the odds, consumers are finding this experience convenient due to its efficiency, product offerings, discounts, sales, and safety from the pandemic. Shopping at just one tap will continue for a longer period of time. The brands need to be aware of their presence and visibility to the right set of audiences.
Data and analytics will play a crucial role for brands to expand their reach. This will not just help increase sales but also help in providing customized solutions to their customers. Today, brands need to master the art of decoding the available data and then effectively using that data to action the way forward. This will allow a brand to cut through the clutter and respond to the opportunities and threats with seamless ease.
Promoting a brand using an accurate media mix is critical to get the best return on investments. The stringent socio-economic conditions have tightened the marketing budgets across all sectors and at different levels. Hence it becomes all the more important for Marketers to make their Advertising Dollars work harder for them.
The lockdown has motivated audiences to alter their behaviours in many ways, and this changed behaviour is here to stay for a while. Time spent on gaming apps, social media platforms, OTT channelsand on video conferencing platforms has shot through the roof, thus making them excellent avenues for engaging the consumer in more meaningful ways.
Rethinking these avenues will ensure a highly targeted reach resulting in increased conversions. In the world of social media, consumers care about how brands are conversing on public platforms and engaging with fellow consumers on topical trends/societal issues. This defines if they would stay loyal to the brand or find a brand that is more relatable, showcases empathy & support to the masses during critical situations.
Taking part in social conversations is a must but this needs to be done in a manner that ensures the messaging is socio-politically correct. Consumers are highly aware and attentive about actions or comments a brand makes in these situations. They care about the environment, society, and people. Younger audiences appreciate the brand’s support and concern towards the social issues and troll those brands that fail to communicate a right message. It is not about criticism, but purely their way of contributing towards sustainability.
Influencer marketing has been touted to become a game-changer for far too long. I believe that the Pandemic has given this the much-needed shot in the arm. The behavior of consumers today is influenced in no small way by what their favorite influencers are using and talking about in their real life. A positive recommendation and testimony from these influencers reinforcetheir followers to actually try the product and then recommend it to the others. Brands have now been forced to rethink their engagement models with consumers, thus making their associations with influencers more purposeful.
There are abundant advertisements running across all online platforms. However, despite these ads being highly relatable and impactful, the viewers tend to skip it while watching their favourite shows/content. Hence, investing in the right channel and platform in a strategic manner is a must to have a good reachand a strong brand recall. Of course, we cannot take away the impact that a strong storytelling can achieve for the brand, and a brand story is something that is always being told in the ever-connected world.
The new normal will see more and more brands banking on ‘marketing with a purpose’ as it connects with the cause that their consumers truly believe in. It creates a great impact and shows that they care and are serious about making a difference in the society. Brands and Agencies taking this route need to be careful about the promises they make and must ensure that the consumer is not just engaged meaningfully, but provided with an experience that stays true to their promise.
The author is the founder and managing director of Ideate Labs. Views expressed are personal.