The concept of “change” is not alien to marketing and marketers. The global pandemic has disrupted brand marketing and consumer habits in every sense of the word. And now, although we are in a recovery mode, the consumer habits remain. We are constantly wondering if people will go back to the old normal or will the new one become permanent? Who knows! But what we do know is that this shift has not ended, and we’ll need a new and improved approach to marketing.
Some of those changes are mostly rooted in the pandemic, while the others are side effects of revised business models, new tech, changes in regulatory practices, and more. So, let’s find out what’s in store in 2022 and what you need to adopt and adapt to, to help your business grow.
A critical balance of digital and traditional.
There’s no doubt that digital has become the go-to way of marketing, as the past year proved. With no option to leverage offline channels as we used to, digital marketing became a necessity. But here’s the catch. With every brand striving to get their piece of the pie, it’s gotten difficult for everyone to be heard and seen. The competition is fierce and it’s only going to be more cut-throat. As a result, digital marketing has and will become more expensive.
So, what’s the option? The answer is – a fine blend of old and new. While digital will take up a significant percentage of marketing activities, brands need to revisit offline channels that work for their brand. Customers might have gotten used to the new habits, but, as we all know, old habits die hard, and they won’t. People have started to and will continue to step into their favorite store, participate in events, dine out, travel, and do things they used to, whenever they get an opportunity. That means, you still have a chance to catch their attention and give them the real-time, in-person experience that they expect from your brand.
Focus on customer retention than acquisition.
Most brands and businesses look at lead generation and conversion as the be-all-end-all of marketing. Sadly, there’s a lot more to do with customers than just introducing products into their lives. But currently, that’s just the scenario. However, the competition in the digital space is so fierce that it’s become difficult to retain customers. And that’s a long-term loss. That is why, it’s become essential right now for you to learn about your customers, not just through third-party tools but using direct channels. Simple customer-brand interaction, gamification, surveys, events, newsletters, etc. will not only give you better access to your customers but let you in that personal space, brands need to be in.
Ownership of audience
Let’s say your brand has over 1m followers across all social channels. Could you say you own that audience? The hard answer is, NO. The social channels own them, not the brand. Even if having them there helps your business, it doesn’t mean you own those followers. But the time has come for brands to own their audience. Why? Because there’s so much noise in that space that your audience cannot hear you and your message to them is getting lost in the chaos. So, you need to have them on your side, as your own. It’s definitely more difficult than you can imagine but it will be highly beneficial in the long run. Channels like newsletters, emailers, personalised sales techniques, post-sales communication, etc. are a great way to reach out to your audience directly. And once you are successful in that space, you can own your customer’s undivided attention. To do that, the content must be more specific, useful, and intimate, which is our next point of discussion.
Using content as the key to growth.
Content is no more the king or queen. It is the kingdom and its story. With more information than ever and radically changing so, people, now are much more selective about what they consume, and why they want to consume it. They don’t want to know how great a product is. They need to know if the product can become a part of their life.
Personalised content through powerful storytelling is what brands need to start investing in going forward. In terms of both time and money. They need to become better storytellers. Not necessarily to just make the product sell, but to make the customer think “This is my brand.” When you transfer the ownership of your brand from yourself to your audience, it only leads to quality sales and long-term association with your customer.
More education, less hard sell.
People love to hear from people who know more than them. It’s our natural trait to seek others who can help us educate, enlighten, inform, encourage, and bring in the expertise that is useful to us. Then why not become one for your customers and provide them real, long-term value? A brand that becomes a thought-leader will go a long way than a brand that is only trying to sell, sell, sell. Hard selling is going to become more ineffective in the coming times. A buy-sell customer relationship lasts only until the transaction is done. But a brand that can educate will turn their customers into an eager audience, who would keep coming back for more.
The coming year will definitely bring a lot of changes to marketing. The only way to align yourself with the same, is to continuously experiment, measure, and analyse, which can be overwhelming for business owners. It takes a professional expert to navigate this constantly changing landscape, with new learnings and revised strategies. That’s what we are and that’s what we do. Give me a call on 087 133 4243 or drop me a line and let us help you prepare yourself for the upcoming changes in marketing.