As each day dawns similar to the day before in a fashion reminiscent of the 1993 film “Groundhog Day,” we’re slowing feeling the pull to break from the tradition of the past few months and expanding our horizons beyond our living rooms. We’re starting to venture to public places, shop at more stores, and interact with more people. The fatigue of staying inside is growing as we search for pieces of what once was “normal.”
Yet, we know things have changed. Businesses have adapted their services and operations. Restaurants have implemented new technologies. All with convenience as the ultimate goal. Every brand is trying to reach their customers—both new and existing—through new avenues and channels that satisfy consumer needs in the “new normal.”
This rapid evolution in technology and customer service could not have been achieved without a strong strategy foundation.
More than simply figuring out what channels you want to use to promote your brand or what time of day to post on social media, your strategy involves crafting a more over-arching plan for your business and marketing program. It includes diving into the needs of your customers and their behaviors to gain insight into how they use your products or services. It also requires spending time thinking about how to improve your brand communications.
In a March 2020 survey from Kantar (via eMarketer), 77% of consumers said they wanted advertising to “talk about how the brand is helpful in the new everyday life,” and 75% said it should “inform about [the brand’s] efforts to face the situation.”
This inevitably means you need to look at your strategy. Because your messaging can’t simply change for one promotion season. Your customers are asking for consistency and cohesiveness across your channels.
Before the 2020 spring of pandemic and protests, consumer behavior was already shifting toward using more channels for shopping—from websites, email, and social media, and stores. While generational differences show consumer preferences for making purchases in a physical store versus online, convenience and price were the top two reasons all U.S. generations chose to buy an item on Amazon.
As a result of the global pandemic, stay-at-home orders, and business adaptations, many Americans learned they could get nearly anything they needed delivered contact-free to their homes.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella summarized the drastic change in our lives as “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”
So, how do you adapt for the long haul? With the right cross-channel strategy.
Sure, you’ve already updated your marketing plan for this month and possibly for the rest of the year. But have you considered how the changes occurring today will have lasting effects on shopping and business operations moving forward?
By taking the time to invest in your strategy, you’ll be better equipped and have an improved understanding of what your current customers need and what attracts them to your brand in the first place.
Engaging with a strategist can also help you take stock of your current operational processes, website user experience, and brand affinity. Whatever your major focuses are as a business, use your strategist to dive into the data and help you craft a plan. And if you don’t have a strategist, consider investing in one or investing in time for your marketing team to spend analyzing your customer behavior, channel engagement data, purchases, and communications.
Trust me, it’ll be the right investment for you and your brand.