As we’re approaching the end of yet another year, it’s time to look for what’s to come. While no one can foresee what’s to come with certainty (still), we can use our experience from the past two years. The global pandemic spanning 2020/21 turned out the be the years most companies put their marketing strategy to the ultimate test.
Consumer behaviour changed overnight due to COVID-19. Businesses were forced to adapt to the digital world or lose out on revenue during the lockdown. While some companies try to ride out the storm, waiting for things to go back to normal, others use the forced turnaround to fit their business for the new digital marketing age.
If there is one thing the past year taught us, marketing will never be the same. Companies will need strategies that move smoothly between physical advertisements and the digital world. While customer behaviour is hard to predict, there are a few clear trends in marketing right now.
Digital Marketing is not really about trying to promote a product to customers anymore. It’s about providing the customer with a flawless experience convincing the customer to come back.
With an ever-larger focus on sustainability, responsibility, and company culture, Marketing today is more about the company behind the product than the product itself.
Consumers expect a smooth experience from first having an interest in a product, purchasing the product through to the customer service, solving their problems after the purchase.
Marketing is not about how to promote a product anymore; it’s all about the experience you leave customers. All interaction the company has with customers is part of their marketing.
Customer service, logistics, presale, and marketing all fulfill essential roles in the customer experience. The essence of it all? Marketing today is not about telling customers about a product, but show them that your company is worthy of their business!
Shoppable Social Media Posts
Social media has gone from being platforms for family interaction to being a valuable part of customer behaviour. With 3.4 billion people on social media, the reach for marketing is incomparable with any other medium.
Bringing social media into both marketing and customer service is a well-known trend already. Consumers are getting used to finding their information through personalised feeds on social media.
For instance, more than 70% of Instagram users reply that they have bought products promoted in their feed.
This brings up two crucial points in future marketing.
- Customers want to find information about new products in their channel of preference, not by seeking out companies.
- People expect to be able to purchase the product right out of the post, without having to leave the app or platform they are using.
Social media posts are no longer just promotional material but have to be integrated with a sales channel. People are more likely to purchase the product through the original post piquing their interest than to search for the company store.
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Personalisation is becoming a must-have for anyone doing business online. Surveys show that 79% find it annoying and disruptive, seeing promotions online that are not personalised.
While the debate on how much personal information companies should be allowed to store about their customers continues, most people expect advertisements to be personalised.
As many as 80% surveyed reply that they are more likely to do business with companies that offer a personalised experience. Consumer data is big business and will continue to increase in value as shopping experiences move into digital stores.
Nothing has seen such explosive growth over a single year as Live video. Meetings, conferences, and entertainment has been forced to digitalise due to restrictions.
The live video industry is estimated to be worth $71 billion in 2021. Numbers are showing that people are 3x more likely to watch a live video compared to pre-recorded videos.
Consumers want content they can interact with on their terms. Being able to attend video conferences, launches, and promotions without a physical presence are efficient and less time-consuming.
Integration of live streaming has been in focus on most social media platforms building the perfect space to promote your products right into your followers’ hands. Numbers show that the engagement rate of live content is 28% higher than pre-made content.
Another Google Update & Local SEO
Focus on SEO has been high for the past years, but local local SEO hasn’t gotten the same attention from marketers. While SEO often focuses on having a presence online, local SEO does the same job but building on locations.
Statistics show that mobile searches for “Near me today/tonight, Open now, closest to my location,” and similar has increased by 900%.
60% of smartphone users navigate their way to physical locations with the help of sites such as Google, Google reviews, and the Business Info pages. Proving that poorly managed SEO also affects physical sales, not only your online revenue.
However your business has fared during the pandemic, now is the time to review and reflect. To look to the future and form a strategic marketing plan for business recovery and success. Whether you are a brick-and-mortar establishment, online only, or a clever hybrid of the two, the new digital era is here to stay. It’s therefore essential that your business embraces a 360° approach to marketing.
In this guide, we’ll explain how to create a fully connected marketing plan. Everything you need to help your business bounce back, for good.
What The Future Might Bring
The integration of smart devices’ increased access to the internet and cross border societies will do marketing in the digital age demanding. Marketers have to regularly follow new trends and make sure they always have a presence on the platforms preferred by their audience.
Brands have to adjust their marketing strategy from old fashioned promotions convincing customers to buy but instead offer the customers value through informative engagement and quality content. Platforms such as Livestreams, corporate blogs, and social media posts showing company culture will help engage consumers and prove responsible business models.
Today, consumers have never had as vast access to reviews and opinions as they have through social media platforms. Furthermore, this makes it essential to give a wholesome, positive experience, as bad reviews online stains companies’ future reputation.
Interlinking with influencers or building in-house personalities for social media and live streams might prove valuable. Having personalities involved in marketing strategies help building up trust between companies and consumers. Personalities will give the consumer more options to engage and relate to people rather than promotional ads using objectified promotion.
Thanks to social media and new consumer behaviour, the border between content and advertisement are blurred further. No one can say with any certainty what the future of marketing looks like, but the age of one track strategies is over.