In a changing world full of empowered consumers, brands need to review their strategies and adapt to new demands.
One global study revealed that consumers are four to six times more likely to purchase goods and services from brands that stand for a purpose. According to this study, 83% of consumers said companies should earn profits if they deliver a positive impact. Paradoxically, only 37% believe companies today have a clear and strong purpose.
The future of marketing needs to bring together new consumer desires, expectations, as well as new marketing methodologies. Brands will have to embrace a continuous transformation to become an agile organization.
Let’s go deep into these new consumer expectations.
Over the past few years consumers have become more conscious of the way they buy. The pandemic has accelerated this process, resurging new values and focusing on their health and wellbeing. The conscious consumer reads the label behind the product, does their research about the company and actively pursues multiple ways to positively impact planet earth and the people on it when they buy something.
Brands need to be transparent about the process of production and be conscious of the impact of their activities on the planet. But conscious consumerism is not only about health and wellness; conscious consumerism embraces social justice too.
Consumer purchase decisions are driven by the positive social, economic and environmental impact that their decision will induce. Customers want to know not only what the company sells but also what it stands for, what its mission is, what its purpose is. Consumers have been trending towards purpose-driven marketing and ethical brands.
For brands, creating the most value means grounding sustainability in what consumers want and need.
Consumers want to be treated as a human being, not just a number. They want to be understood by their profile, who they are, and what they have done in the past with your company. They expect brands to remember the history of their interactions.
With the elimination of third party cookies, brands are looking for new methods of targeting. First party data is the answer. Customers expect their experience with brands to be consistent across all channels. They want an omnichannel experience. First party data allows brands to personalize experiences on their owned properties.
During the next year more companies will scale their digital personalization efforts with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Predictive personalization will be a trend in the near future.
During the pandemic, all brands were forced to accelerate the adoption of many elements of a marketing transformation. Digital platforms became a priority. Companies rapidly incorporated agile methodologies in their day by day work as production time had to be shortened.
The decentralization of marketing is here to stay. Marketing is no longer a department in a company that works as a silo. Instead, many organizations are implementing small marketing teams focused on key moments around the customer’s journey. This new decentralized model of marketing has allowed brands to move faster and produce better experiences for their customers.
How can companies take advantage of these trends and build the power of brands?
Those businesses at the forefront of these changes are focusing on what consumers care about today. They are redirecting all their efforts in a complete strategy and not in incremental, separated actions. These brands are striving for an entire value chain narrative and bringing everything consumers care about under one umbrella.
When companies design their strategies to build the power of their brands, they should consider the following points.
1. Transparency and closing the empathy gap
The democratization of information is key for the consumer. They demand transparency in production processes and company management. To do this, communications need to be empathetic and focus on helping customers, combined with social responsibility.
The key is to humanize the brand and create a conversation with consumers. Digital platforms, such as social media, are the path to build that trust with customers. Building content communities and turning customers into your biggest promoters will bridge the gap between your brand and your consumers.
A well-known American company that produces home audio systems and noise-canceling headphones is a good example of how brands can become closer to their consumers. This company has a customer perspective and they ensure that all their contributions add value for the customer. You can surf on their website and read all the stories in first person of how their products help people sleep better, perform in sports, or even help a student community be more focused in class.
2. Define the brand’s purpose
Brand purpose represents your reason for being and what you stand for. Brands with purpose are able to sell their products while supporting causes they’re passionate about and can have a major impact on how the brand is viewed in the market.
Leading brands have realized they need to be consistent with their purpose and values, both in the market and inside the organization. They are transparent with diversity and inclusion and effective at turning customers and employees into their biggest promoters.
It’s important to think holistically about brand purpose to represent how companies create value for every stakeholder that touches their brand – customers, community, employees, vendors, shareholders and even our planet – so companies can be consistent and thrive together with the community.
At Globant, we create solutions that change organizations and improve the lives of millions of people. We want to create real change. We want to transform our reality and make the world a better place. To do this, we created “Be kind” to bring together everything we’re doing to help transform the world.
3. Increasing adoption of AI and machine learning to scale personalization
Organizations have already found ways to use AI in their personalization efforts, such as the popular case of showing product recommendations based on previous customer data. We expect personalization will be about continuing to look for efficient methods of scaling and growing digital personalization efforts that further enhance customer experiences.
In the future, the focus will be on predictive personalization – it’s about getting ahead and anticipating customer needs.
4. Become an agile organization and decentralize marketing
Marketing should not exist in isolation. The marketing vision should strengthen and support the company’s broader vision. Constant changes in our environment invite us to think about short-term wins to move towards achieving the overall business strategy. By being more flexible, it’s easier to adapt a brand’s strategies to changing contexts.
Marketing transformation means re-envisioning marketing operation models and re-thinking the marketing process. Being customer-centric is an essential factor for success in the digital era. Improving customer engagement and experience across every channel is essential.
To become an agile organization with a customer-centric focus, each member of the company’s department needs to share a similar mindset. This shared mindset is what will support a group of different day-to-day practices across departments. Everyone understands the reason behind activities because they know the final goal to achieve.
The future of marketing in 2022 is full of new consumer desires, personas and marketing methods. In these uncertain times, brands will face intense competition for consumer attention.