Marketing | 10 Facts About Post-Epidemic Marketing
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The Covid-19 pandemic changed a marketer's game book and challenged existing rules on customer relations and branding. A year later, there is no return to normalcy. Here are 10 new marketing facts that intersect and intersect…
It is safe to say that 2020 was a year unlike any other, and 2021 will certainly return to normal. So, as marketers think about building a brand this year and beyond, what should we remove from the epidemic? What can we do to help companies grow faster? And how is marketing redefined in the Covid-19 era?
Asking and answering these questions is crucial to the success of marketing in the coming months and years. Over the past few months, I have compared what I have learned from two decades of working in media and marketing with what we have all learned in this year of epic change. In particular, I have identified 10 ways in which it challenges the ubiquity of important marketing facts and provides us with a set of new rules.
1. The old truth:
Marketing starts with knowing the customer. New Fact: Marketing begins with knowing the customer segment.
The Covid-19 crisis has reinforced what we already know: that brands need to communicate very local and precise terms and target specific consumers based on their circumstances and what is most relevant to them. This means a true understanding of the situation on earth, country by country, state by state, postal code by postal code. For some businesses, such as banks, restaurants, or retailers, it may even mean tailoring from store to store.
Beyond geography, we have learned that marketing messages should be personally relevant and relevant to a person's position and values, not demographic characteristics such as age and gender. Creating a personal and human connection in any business message requires defining consumer segments that describe individuals in terms of various dimensions that affect their purchasing behavior - from psychological characteristics to attitudinal characteristics.
The EY Future Consumer Index, which has conducted five waves of research with 14,500 people in 20 countries since the epidemic began, has identified five different groups of consumers:
- Primarily cost-effective (32% of consumers):
- Live according to your possibilities and budget, focus less on brands and more on product performance.
- Health First (25%): Protect your health and that of your family by choosing products that you trust to be safe and minimize the risks of buying them.
- First Planet (16%): Trying to minimize their impact on the environment and buying brands that reflect their beliefs.
- First community (15%): Working together for more benefits, buying from organizations they think are honest and transparent.
- First experience (12%): Living in the moment to make the most of life often opens them up to new products, brands and experiences.
Using customer and character segmentation can provide deeper insights into media strategies and creative marketing approaches. Better yet, these insights can be used to inform the customer about the complete journey.
2. The old truth:
You are competing with your competitors. New truth:
You are competing with your latest best customer experience.
Consumer expectations were rising before Covid-19. General Z grew up with integrated integration technology in their lives. Direct-to-consumer companies (such as Glossier or Parachute) used to make us expect a certain level of over-personalization because they were particularly adept with our personal data.
But when the Corona virus spread, the digital revolution accelerated overnight. This, in turn, greatly increased consumer expectations that companies could do something for them with a more digital experience. As Carla Hassan, Citi's Chief Marketing Officer, explained to me earlier this summer, the customer expects a lot more than an integrated digital transaction. Now that companies have their personal data, they want to have anticipated and personalized experiences throughout the customer journey.
Companies must follow three strategies to ensure that their experiences meet the growing expectations of their customers:
- Turn brand scores into a key KPI for an organization that has a full customer base, ideally using real-time analytics instead of a snapshot looking back from a point in time.
- Build the right database and technology to support important uses during the customer journey.
- Coordinate individual and collective goals throughout the customer journey so that any disconnection between functional silos such as marketing, sales and customer service is invisible to your end consumer.
3. The old truth:
Customers hope you have what they want. New Fact: Customers expect you to have exactly what they want.
If this bar is still growing, we need to look for new values around the customer experience - in both B2C and B2B. Consumers today expect every experience to be friction-free, predictable, relevant and relevant. In other words, they are only looking for what they want, when they want it. And they insist that nothing stop them.
Creating these experiences requires companies to put data and technology at the core of their organization. This probably means creating some degree of machine learning and / or artificial intelligence in the mix. Why? Because data enables us to create more relevant experiences in one or more of the four C dimensions:
- Content (which can be provided in experiences such as email or mobile apps);
- Business (such as physical retail, e-commerce, or hybrid experience);
- Forums (such as inviting B2B buyers to a virtual trade show or hosting a webinar on home remodeling for consumers); And
- Convenience (such as offering coupons to consumers or the benefits of a loyalty program).
Most 4Cs today come with "one-size-fits-all" approaches, but as consumers increasingly demand more personalization, companies need more data and intelligence to strengthen their decision-making and connect more with the customer. Use themselves. Interact to build stronger human relationships with their brands.
4. The old truth:
Matchmaking with clients is just like dating. New Fact: Matchmaking with customers is just like online dating.
For a long time, marketing was mainly about buying mass access or targeted access at the best rates in the media and hoping to convert it. So, basically, it was like going to parties or bars as much as you could in the hope of finding that special person. A world of spontaneity, happiness, and to be honest, there were many encounters.
Enter online appointments and drag through apps. Now, finding your perfect match may be less about luck and more about data and algorithms. In terms of marketing, we have seen a shift from brand marketing to access to functional marketing to generate leads. The acceleration of the digital channel epidemic only exacerbated this trend.
However, while performance marketing has a strong and important position in this mix, senior executives know that it is the good balance between brand marketing and performance that delivers the best results and they should be highly biased. Fight something that is easily measurable. . Many of them are bringing their customer relationship management (CRM) team closer to their media teams than ever before to see the full continuity more easily and understand the performance. CRM, which is largely driven by first-person data or customer data owned by the company (albeit with consumer satisfaction), is the driving force behind initiatives such as coupons, personalization, or email marketing.
However, the same first-person data can help make media more efficient, especially digital media and other addressable formats that allow companies to target on a one-to-one basis. With the devaluation of third-party data as key browsers begin to change the rules by January 2022, marketers are much better at engineering the online "histories" they want to pursue and are learning new ways to use their power. . Your data and develop new strategies for partnering with publishers. Even as targeting (or dating) strategies change with the new rules of the game, it is important for companies to make room for branding and marketing performance given that low funnel strategies drive high funnel goals and vice versa. Simply put: they work better together.
5. The old truth:
Customers need to be at the heart of your marketing strategy. New fact: Customers need to be at the heart of your customer journey.
The concept of customer-centric is not news. However, functional silos that interact with customers are often interrupted by policy, organizational charts, technology, or geography. The question is: how can we hide these internal pieces from the customer, the customer who assumes the whole company knows them in general? We've all called customer service and talked to a call center representative or chat robot who doesn't work with information similar to the retail location - and vice versa.
We must remember that marketing is often just the beginning of a customer relationship. For example, in a B2C context, we take a journey that engages them, converts them directly or indirectly into sales, and then hopes to retain them so that they become fans and Potentially open to cross-selling and cross-selling. Marketing should be seen in the context of a complete journey from end to end and, if possible, try to connect the dots.
It is not realistic to believe that the operating model for all customer operations can or should report to one place. The notion that reorganization solves everything is a common misconception. It is important to look closely at the operating model and consider processes, technologies, talents, data models, and KPIs to find appropriate ways to objectively meet customer needs - then make changes accordingly.
6. The old truth:
Relationships are important. New Truth: Relationships are everything.
It goes without saying that building relationships with customers based on trust is vital. For example, advertising promises a brand and then reaches the product, service and customer experience to deliver on that promise.
But Covid-19 has put a new emphasis on relationships, especially in B2B sales. In the face of a virtual sales environment, teams with existing relationships have been able to maintain revenue momentum and invest in the strength of their previous bonds. In contrast, searching for new customers requires a set of evolved skills focused on selling solutions, not products.
In both cases, there is a need for trust and integrity to move the market. For sales and marketing leaders in B2B organizations, this requires a serious rethinking of talent to identify people who will lead relationships in this new world of online interaction - a world that relies less on attractiveness (and even cost accounting) and more. Insights and Solutions Trust is created by those who listen to the customer's needs and then create solutions to meet those needs.
In the field of B2C, trust also plays a huge role. It is essential for the exchange of value between a company and a consumer. As companies increasingly rely on personal data they obtain with consumer satisfaction, they must not only comply with consumer privacy regulations and ensure that the data is secure, but also They have the opportunity to consider more loyalty and distinction with more design. Transparent interfaces for consumer privacy controls can make better choices if they know what they agree to share with companies, and transparency builds deeper trust.
7. The old truth:
Agility is a technological process. New Fact: Agility is a modern marketing approach.
We have heard for years that technology development benefits from agile cycles rather than linear or sequential "waterfall" approaches. Covid-19 created an irreversible process for marketing to adopt an equally agile mindset. As the crisis unfolds, a company can quickly realize that its message is wrong or its supply chain is not in a position to deliver and immediately create an advertising and / or public relations crisis. Imagine an advertisement showing that people are gathered together and for example do not show social distance. Suddenly, long-term creative processes and annual budget cycles felt out of date while all traditional verification dynamics were limited.
The result of the happiness crisis was the creation of a mindset of marketing agility that was likely to be permanent. This involves constantly listening to the consumer and measuring demand, not only for the benefit of marketing, but also for the whole company to be able to capture consumer sentiment. Operationally, meanwhile, it means faster decision-making cycles and more flexibility in key areas such as creativity, budgeting and media.
8. The old truth:
Your brand must be behind great products. New truth: Your brand must be behind great values.
This epidemic really challenged brand loyalty. The EY Future Consumer Index showed that up to 61% of consumers, depending on the category, are willing to consider a product with a white label, let alone a brand change. This dynamic, along with the growing consumer awareness and activity that occurred during the 2020 social unrest, should focus brands very much on the values they express.
Indeed, key themes of EY research show that while quality, convenience, and price are still critical to consumer choice, factors such as sustainability, trust, ethical resources, and social responsibility are increasingly important in how consumers choose products and services. Marketing has the opportunity to teach the wider C-suite (and even the board) about the importance of brand values when it comes to post-epidemic market differentiation, where brand preferences have changed.
9. The old truth:
You need the right technology to succeed in modern marketing. New Fact: To succeed in modern marketing, you need the right balance of factors (including your technology stack).
With the proliferation of advertising and marketing technologies, the focus has been on the proverb "Technology Stack" as the ultimate game changer for easy marketing. However, having a Ferrari that can only drive at 40 miles per hour is not very useful.
Therefore, for your technology architecture to lead to results, it must be consistent with sufficient scale in the data to reinforce its success, the right uses to produce the results, and the right approach to human empowerment. This recent need is perhaps the most important. Human empowerment involves understanding how data and technologies are used throughout the organization, ensuring that people have the right skills to use them effectively, and having the right measurement approach to motivate innovation and success. Without technology, data, human empowerment, and uses in good balance, the return on investment for marketing technology will not be achieved.
10. The old truth:
Marketing is important for growth. New Fact: Marketing at the center of the C-suite growth program is complete.
Undoubtedly, there was a time when marketing was a cost center in companies whose primary responsibility was to maximize return on investment. It was often one of the first areas to be cut during difficult periods when the top line results were compromised.
During the epidemic, however, marketing in the C-suite has evolved as a driver of digital transformation, a key customer travel leader, and a consumer voice - all of which are important to other performance leaders. Without understanding the characteristics of the market, in good times and bad, the C-suite can not adapt to existing threats and opportunities and move successfully in the future.
Covid-19 has created a culture of immediate collaboration leadership that focuses on the immediate need for flexibility. Marketing now has the opportunity to play a central role in that conversation, leading the organization's broader growth and innovation agenda.
Art and science
As marketers, we are faced with a constant mix of art and science. We need to strike the perfect balance between humans and automation to open up a future with better analysis and the deployment of artificial intelligence on a scale. We must use data as fuel while respecting the art of storytelling to create meaningful human communication. We need to draw a line between brand marketing and performance marketing and recognize that we are currently prejudiced against what we can easily quantify. And we need to understand what needs to be focused and what needs to be customized, recognizing where compatibility helps and where it hinders.
These new marketing facts embody this combination and highlight the intersection of strategies, operations, and technologies needed for growth in the post-Covid-19 world. Embracing them represents a path to recovery from epidemics and long-term success. For companies and marketers who are accustomed to the old ways, there is a period of adjustment ahead. However, even in this time of fluctuation, we can find familiarity and a sure footing in the simplest and most vital truth: we must prioritize the customer's perspective now, then, and beyond.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of EY or its member companies.
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