Marketing grows more personal.
When you talk about marketing, you’re talking about the entire strategic package: Discovering customer needs and wants, developing products and services to fill those needs and wants, offering them at a price that meets or exceeds the perceived value and then communicating that value to customers.
So, what has changed during 2020’s disruption? Consumer wants and needs, based on what this pandemic has meant for them. Our children’s needs. The ability to travel as freely as before.
Marketing is based on the exchange of resources. Most often, money for goods and services, but also time, information and mental and emotional energy are things consumers invest in order to get the things they need.
Access to resources has changed. Some people might have much more time on their hands, but less money. Others may have had to work overtime, like those in health care or in the supply chains of certain industries, and therefore have plenty of money coming in, but no time. Anticipating the availability of resources in the future also plays a part in consumer confidence.
Media consumption has changed. How much and where people go to find entertainment, escape, information and to do their jobs and take care of their families has changed. It’s up to advertisers to put their messages in places their target audiences will see.
As the pandemic led to social distancing and business suspensions, companies responded with those non-product-specific image ads with messages of reassurance that they were working to bring things back once this is all over. These were the ads that we saw satire about—all the messages were the same: Things are uncertain, but we’re here for you, and everything’s going to be OK. However, that was the value that companies could provide at that moment—reassurance, transparency (“We’re in this, too”) and moving forward.
Companies have had to change how they deliver value, and in some cases have had to change their products and services in order to serve their customers in the current changing environment. It’s important for companies to keep in close touch with their customers, and what we’re seeing is an increase in more personal, one-on-one communications, such as email and direct messaging, with specific messages about changes in products, pricing or delivery terms.
I think we’ll continue to see more companies devoting time and energy to those direct marketing strategies, developing and delivering more personalized messages to their customers based on consumers’ online and mobile activity.
Department of Marketing at Harbert