As someone working in a business, I’m sure you’ll agree that customers’ needs have changed post-pandemic, and so have the demands on your marketing strategy.
The last 18 months have ripped up the rulebook on many guides to business growth. However, with restrictions being lifted, there are future opportunities to adjust your strategy to meet your current goals.
The Customer Is More Important Than Ever Before
The customer has always been at the centre of a good marketing strategy. The pandemic just seems to have reinforced the importance of personalisation, beyond location.
The recent EY Future Consumer Index Report has highlighted the importance of new marketing messages being related to an individual’s situation and values, as opposed to just demographics.
5 different cohorts of consumer are in the report, each with a different focus on their main priority covering – affordability, health, the planet, society and experience.
In our blog post ‘How Business Leaders Can Adapt To The New Normal’, Professor Chris Edger supported this, highlighting the growing need for developing customer experience design skills and a greater focus on understanding the customer as a business grows.
Putting in place greater customer segmentation and persona building when developing your marketing strategy can help you tap into these focuses and better inform your full customer journey.
Agility should be a priority
Agility became a must-have trait for businesses throughout the pandemic and very often the difference between sinking and swimming.
With supply-chain challenges and a disruptive shopping environment currently still in place, messages to customers need to be ready to change at a moment’s notice. Long-lead time creative processes and marketing budget cycles also need to be ready to adapt.
So how can you build agility into your procedures? In terms of strategic thinking – greater attention to the market demand and consumer listening is key. However operationally, more flexible budgeting and marketing cycles will help.
Strong relationships make the difference
With a shift to a more virtual focus when it comes to engaging through sales and marketing, companies with robust relationships founded on trust have maintained momentum.
However, companies more used to face-to-face product selling have sometimes faltered with the move online, where a more solution-focused approach is better received.
Business leaders may want to put greater focus on building relationships and also improving the skills and strengths of their team in engaging virtually. Although more face-to-face events are occurring, these types of engagements will never go away and it’s vital your team has both sets of skills.
Your Business Values Matter
In the light of the pandemic, social, political and environment issues have become front of stage and it’s evident businesses can no longer hide their values behind their products and services. Your brand loyalty is at threat.
In the EY Consumer Index in 2020 it highlighted 61% of consumers were willing to swap to a white-label brand depending on the category.
The report also highlighted that while cost, quality and convenience are still important, factors such as sustainability, trust, ethical sourcing and social responsibility are gaining in importance in customer decision making.
As such, you should be educating your business on the importance of brand values and look at how you can make these key to the content in your marketing strategy. In our Enterprise For Success Workshops, we prioritise identifying your business purpose, vision and values when helping develop a marketing and leadership strategy.
Need Further Support In Future-Proofing Your Business?
Want help to evaluate your current marketing strategy? Birmingham City University Business School Academics offer free consultancy and workshop support to help develop and drive growth in your business. Find out more.