The corona crisis is changing marketing. Above all, it has to be authentic, humane and relevant. According to a study, few fundamental trends are emerging for the year 2021 that must be observed.
The corona pandemic brings with it a variety of challenges and uncertainties, whether in the private, professional, social or economic area.
Even the marketing does not remain spared: As businesses today find access to the customer (with the help of YouTube marketing, Instagram promotions, Facebook advertising, etc.) and what is important in brand development, they need to question in light of the current crisis. Because it is important to find suitable answers for the “new normal”.
Companies and consumers with a different focus
According to the study, the decision-makers in the companies during the crisis focused primarily on optimizing efficiency and increasing production and less on improving customer focus or the positive effects that their companies can have on society. But consumers apparently have higher expectations of brands, as the key results of the survey show.
80 percent of the consumers surveyed were able to name a situation in which a brand reacted positively to the pandemic, and one in five strongly agreed that this has strengthened their brand loyalty.
On the other hand, more than 25 percent of consumers turned away from a brand when they found that the brand was only acting in their own interest. More than 70 percent agreed that they value digital solutions that deepen their connection with other people.
58 percent of surveyed consumers could remember at least one brand that quickly adapted to their needs, and 82 percent said that this led to them consuming more products or services from that brand.
The result is a clear message: in times of uncertainty, people turn to brands that help them and reward those who respond to their most pressing needs with humanity, authenticity and meaningfulness.
Marketing trends for 2021
With this in mind, the analysis identifies seven trends that can help managers and marketing decision-makers to react to changing customer needs, to adapt their business models and to sharpen their focus on the human factor in all relevant dimensions.
Purpose – meaningfulness and authenticity
Purpose – A basic conviction about what your own activity should actually do in the world. Employees and customers expect answers to essential questions.
- What is an organization for?
- What does it stand for and what problems does it want to solve?
- What kind of relationships does she want to build with customers, employees and partners?
- An internalized purpose gives a company a human character and brings stakeholders together. But that only works if the purpose not only remains a formula, but is also lived authentically. In practice, speaking and acting must be in harmony with one another.
This pays off especially in times of crisis. The study results show: A coherent, authentically lived purpose acts as a strong differentiation from the competition, inspires customer loyalty and employee satisfaction, strengthens brand values and creates the basis for long-term, sustainable brand development.
Agility – method, mindset, technology
Responsiveness and proactive engagement create the ability to interact in real time and thus to fill the new closeness between brand and customer with life. This is crucial in view of the expectations of customers, which have changed massively in the wake of the pandemic.
The appreciation of digital technology and the dependence of customers on it makes it more important than ever for companies to accelerate investments that enable them to deliver a corresponding customer experience. This creates experiences, contacts and moments that have meaning for the individual.
This is made possible by an agile way of working with data-driven, measurable methods and fast feedback loops, as is known from software development, among other things. But this requires an organizational change in culture, which includes cross-functional teams and new digital skills.