The pandemic has changed consumer behavior, so companies and marketers have had to keep up to stay afloat. Burdened with financial struggles, consumers are saving their funds for essential purchases. As they spend more time on their devices, brands move to maximize their online presence. But they have to be aware that today’s consumers are also more socially and environmentally conscious.
In response, some companies have made changes in the products and services that they offer. Many have adopted new technologies to keep operations efficient. Some have also become more vocal about politics or made their products and business models more sustainable. Here’s a list of how companies and marketers can adapt to the new normal.
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of the essential – be it workers or goods. Due to economic struggles, many consumers have been saving their funds for essential products. These include food products, mainly ingredients for baking, which has become a source of emotional comfort and income for many. Other essential goods, such as insurance marketing and cleaning products topped consumers’ panic-buy shopping lists during the pandemic.
But this shift in consumer priorities has meant low sales for non-essential goods. The luxury fashion industry has suffered from this. In turn, it has tried to adapt by shifting its focus towards selling work-from-home-friendly attire and waist-up ensembles for video calls that are now part of our daily routine.
Following social distancing protocols, companies have also had to move their operations online. E-commerce has dominated the market. Many businesses, bent on keeping their brick-and-mortar establishments, also offer to buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) order methods.
With the pandemic marking a significant increase in the time people spend on their devices, maximizing your online presence is more important than ever. Invest in digital marketing tools such as pay-per-click (PPC) and email marketing. Apart from having a wider reach, digital marketing is also more affordable than traditional marketing, making it a great option for all the industries struggling during the pandemic. Social media ads, such as Facebook ads, are also effective in increasing awareness and engagement with your brand.
Another digital marketing tool is analytics. This lets you track engagements on your digital marketing materials, helping you determine whether these materials are effective. Engagements include click-throughs on PPC ads, social media ads, and email marketing. It also allows you to track consumer demographics, helping you to send them more personalized advertisements.
Apart from tracking ROI, you can also use technology to engage your market. Show your consumers that you still want to serve them while keeping them safe. You can do this by hosting online events such as webinars and workshops. Take advantage of one of the pandemic’s biggest online trends – live streaming.
You can also automate certain business processes in your company. It cuts costs, is faster, and more efficient. For instance, if your company’s inbox is constantly teeming with customer service concerns, you may want to consider automating part of your customer service desk. You can do this by installing chatbots for your website and Facebook page. Automating customer service will help you address customer concerns faster, helping you maintain good customer relationships.
Sustainability and social justice
Millennials make up the workforce’s biggest population, so their collective spending habits are a huge driving force in the market. Millennials and Gen Z are more environmentally and socially conscious than previous generations, and their consumer behaviors reflect that. Because these younger generations live in the digital age, they have access to a myriad of data daily, and they use these data to inform their lifestyle choices.
Since fast fashion has been outed to exploit workers and produce low-quality mass-produced clothing that piles up in landfills, millennials and Gen Z have famously boycotted the industry, leading to its demise. Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to buy products that are sustainable and ethically sourced or produced. A survey shows that the majority of millennials and Gen Z boycotted a company in 2020.
But releasing heartfelt ads about thanking front liners and healthcare workers doesn’t guarantee you’ll win the hearts of customers. Today’s consumers are also paying attention to whether or not companies practice what they preach. So if you want your brand to survive, you need to make sure that your company is sustainable and socially responsible.
To stay afloat during the pandemic, companies and marketers must be more vigilant than ever. Using new available technologies, they must pay attention to consumer trends and behaviors and adapt to them.