1. Adjust to the more selective consumer
Before COVID-19, 40% of Australians were already happy to pay more for a personalised shopping experience. Retail was at a tipping point where consumers, tired of blanket and group marketing communications, were eager to create connections with brands they had confidence in.
However, with the large influx of information on consumers from all angles, many have become less responsive. The pandemic is likely to increase consumer suspicion of marketing communications even more. As a result, businesses would be wise to adjust their communications to avoid frustrating consumers. Email marketers in particular should focus on personalisation as well as timing, usefulness and relevance. All communication should offer real value as consumers demand more valuable brand conversations.
This also means re-evaluating your pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies to account for Google clamping down on mediocre content and websites.
2. Apply empathy
You know that your tone of voice can make or break a marketing campaign. After COVID-19, it could be time for a long-term tone of voice adjustment. Consider how your customers’ situation might change. For example, if you usually opt for off-beat humour, you may want to dial it back to a more considered tone.
Your customers should be able to rely on and trust in your communications, both from a marketing and customer service standpoint. Being empathetic will help your brand stand out and help you build a loyal customer base.
3. Prioritise your customer experience
Now and post-pandemic is the time to focus on your customer experience and reassure consumers you’re here for them. It should be just as seamless and transparent as prior to the crisis. Any potential changes to your sales process and delivery should be communicated quickly and clearly. Now is the time to find out where consumer priorities lie and funnel your efforts to deliver the best possible experience.
4. Leverage digital interactions
How consumers interact with products and services has already started to change. Isolation has seen consumers from different segments and demographics embrace more digital services and this is likely to remain so in the future. So prepare your business to market your products and services digitally.
5. Anticipate consumer needs
Marketers in a post-pandemic world will still need to account for several health-related factors:
- whether there will be a resurgence of the virus
- how fearful people are to resume pre-COVID-19 behaviours
- if there’s a vaccine.
These factors are likely to affect whether consumers are tempted to indulge or choose to protect their cash. So, it’s best to have a plan in place for varying scenarios or, at the very least, allow for flexibility. Here, the best place to start is by listening to your customers as the situation continues to unfold. Employ social listening tools if you didn’t before and dive into new content analytics to help you regularly evaluate where consumers are at.
Every business is going to feel the effects of the pandemic today and tomorrow. How well you understand and get to know your new consumer can help prepare your business for success in the future.