"The noblest art is that of making others happy," P.T. Barnum.
By now, all of us in the world of marketing have, hopefully, realized and embraced the virtual new normal. Don't expect the natural order of the universe, as we knew it pre-pandemic, to readjust itself. This is the new order.
As marketers, our goal is to make the consumer happy by meeting their needs with our products and services.
One of the few silver linings of 2020 has been the exponential growth of online shopping and buying. Now that consumers have experienced the convenience of online purchasing many may hesitate to going back to in-store experiences when there's a choice.
Marketers must embrace virtual to meet consumer expectations. If we don’t, then someone else will—with everything else, brand loyalty has also declined.
1. Simplify User Experience
It's not enough to market bells and whistles; they must work. Think through how you position virtual offerings to be user-friendly on multiple devices. Optimize the experience, from online purchasing and real-time website updates—not quarterly but even more infrequently.
You're reaching out to a cross-generational market. Digital may be intuitive for millennials but simplify communications for boomers. Consider posting step-by-step instructions and videos on the website and use concise text messages and emails.
2. Be Transparent
All marketing in the time of crisis should be transparent. Don't leave interpretation to the imagination. As we know, perception quickly becomes reality.
A negative for businesses is hidden costs or charges. Review your pricing from the customer's perspective and weigh the potential for surprise billing. Clearly communicate any additional charges or fees. Otherwise, expect bad reviews.
3. Downsize to Bite Size
After nine months, most of us are suffering from information overload. Supposedly, the average human attention span (eight seconds) is less than that of a goldfish (nine seconds). Ever wonder who measured it?
The popularity of online marketing has skyrocketed in part to convenience. Consumers shop at their convenience; they don't have to get in a car, drive across town and look for parking; and they don't waste time.
With that in mind, keep content short, concise and in "snack-able" servings. Primary information should be easy to find.
4. Revisit Your Brand
Now is actually a good time to revisit your brand. To remain competitive, make sure that the digital experience is indeed a priority. Your brand strategy and messaging should position it front and center.
A recent report from McKinsey & Company shows that consumers are three times more likely to trade down for convenience and cost. Keep in mind that they've been working virtually, shopping virtually and even exercising virtually for most of the year.
You want to be in their virtual world. Sales pitches won't get you there. Provide them with content that shows up in the most-searched keywords for your category. Use your social channels to educate, tell your brand story and make offers.
5. Make a Plan
Hopefully, you already have a comprehensive marketing plan for 2021; if not, develop one quickly. It's crucial for success.
Need help making or implementing your marketing plan for 2021? TotalCom Marketing Communications in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville, Alabama can help. We are large enough to get the job done, but small enough that your account matters. Contact us.