We’ve seen unbelievable impacts to the marketing industry this year. As an example, back-to-school advertising is down 70% this year. In July, when parents normally shop for school gear, they didn’t even know if there schools would open. We’re seeing a run on IKEA desks as parents turn back-to-school to work-from-home school.
The most important change is the movement towards digital. We been steadily moving towards a more connected and eCommerce world for years, but COVID-19 has really driven this forward. Consumers in lockdown got their groceries from Instacart for the first time. Seniors who had never videoconferenced are glued to Zoom so they can see their grandkids. Here are four techniques we’ve found that marketers can use to meet the needs of the new normal consumer.
- Augment Physical Stores with Digital Experiences. Retail stores are not going away. People thirst for human contact, but now that people are used to the digital world, they have much higher expectations of physical locations. They want something more from a physical store than they can get online. Amazon Books is one example of this. In this physical store, Amazon uses online information of customer popularity and ratings to curate their in person selection of books and customize pricing. In Singapore, the Funan Mall uses facial recognition to provide customized advice to visitors.
- Make Shopping More Convenient. Customers are also demanding a more seamless and convenient shopping experience. They aren’t going to be satisfied going into stores and searching for the toothpaste and shampoo on opposite ends of the store. The brands that win will continue to remove the friction from shopping like Amazon Go where customers can grab products, leave, and be billed later. Companies can also reduce friction by piggybacking on other digital tools like voice assistants and social media posts. Instagram now offers shoppable posts to allow brands and influencers to tag products. There’s also an opportunity to make shopping easier through subscriptions, either by reordering products on a regular basis or by curated selections. Blue Apron and Hello Fresh offer a curated selection of delivered meals that you cook yourself.
- Make an Impact with Society. After months of staying at home and limiting their spending, customers are re-evaluating their relationships with brands. Customers are expecting brands to own the entire experience including environmental impact and packaging. Marks & Spencer has a recycling drop in there stores where customers can donate clothes to Oxfam. Fashion companies like Dior and Nordstrams are making masks and gowns for healthcare workers.
- Show Transparency and Authenticity. Customers have become cynical at the advertising industry, highlighting misleading advertising as a major concern. They are demanding more authenticity, transparency, and ethics from the companies they buy from. To increase transparency, brands can leverage recommendations. While anonymous recommendations are helpful, customers want to know if reviews are from genuine verified customers. Another way to increase authenticity is by using influencers that customers already have an attachment too. Influencers like arianagrande with 200M Instagram followers can get your brand out to the wide market. Many brands are now turning to microinfluencers with smaller, more targeted audiences like Mom Blogger @Scarymommy with 2M followers.
These are some of the trends we’re seeing but the world is subject to change. We are living in a time of high volatility. This makes it a great time to work with Midas to help you chart a new path forward. Working with Midas can help you find new and innovative ideas and provide incremental value through creative investment approaches.