Re-aligning marketing strategies for a brand-new world
Guest Column: S Prasanna Rai, VP, Marketing, Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting, said that 2021 is about re-invention, so it's imperative for brands to remain agile & cater to ever-evolving consumer needs
How would we define this time? A unique period where one has more opportunities to spend time with their family, not just because they want to but because it is a necessity. As we go through these strange times, wondering what could be and identifying new ways to cope with these new ways of living. With the world on the lookout for comfort and security, brands across the board are also revisiting and analysing their strategies to deliver that sense of safety and comfort to their consumers.
There has been a long-term psychological shift in the way we do things, and this has led brands to become more agile and evolve with the times to win the consumer’s trust. And this evolution has taken place in the way marketers respond and prepare to a new era in the year 2021 and ahead.
An Evolved Narrative
Research indicates that consumers identify and connect with brands that are more mindful and address a larger issue than just being opportunistic. While this was a trend witnessed heavily in 2020, it is expected to prevail in the new year and years to come as well. Large established brands are expected to adopt more empathetic communication rather than just pushing their own products and create a more emotional bond with the consumer. These truly are the times of “service with a smile” and this very philosophy will define the success of brands.
However, while many would believe this to be a time for brands to adopt a more cautious approach and strategize to shape their growth. Brands and governments across the globe will in fact be seen coming together to build and reinforce economies. Many believe that we have entered an era where brands will continue to usher in partnerships to reinvent and tweak their business models to adhere to the immediate future.
The past year was proof of how unprecedented times and events can disrupt well-laid-out plans and put an entire organization in a state of distress. While immediate actions were taken to realign strategies to fit into the new way of life, solutions remained temporary. The year 2021 would continue to be one about re-invention, it is imperative for brands to remain agile, stay ahead of the curve, adopt to the emerging trends, interpret the ever-evolving consumer behaviour, and cater to their needs successfully.
Elevating Digital Strategies
The Internet is the one place which is not quarantined, even for the quarantined consumer. And this was a realization that hit even those brands that till last year, did not have a social media page to their name. Industries where face to face meetings were the norm, adapting to web and social media opened a platform for relationships to be made and fostered. In the new world along with social media, smart TV consumption and OTT platforms witnessed an increased consumption and received unprecedented heights. Even with the environment being as volatile and sensitive as this, digital as a medium would continue to grow and remain a prominent medium to reach out to the consumers.
The power of E-commerce
Similar to every industry, e-commerce also suffered a hit however in the new world it is still expected to grow quicker than other mediums. Amidst the chaos, e-commerce has been positioned as a norm for most businesses and would continue to be the case for others as well. With the possibilities of content warehousing, building communities and strong SEO for the domains, the scope for investment is huge and opens an array of possibilities for businesses across the country and globe.
An Immersive and Uninterrupted Shopper Experience
Consumers today are connecting from their homes and as they do so their state of mind is quite different from what it used to be. Hence, reimagining and designing a more immersive and uninterrupted experience through interesting and interactive content, leveraging digital formats has become the need of the hour. More and more brands are now exploring the advancements on social media platforms to build a connection with their target audience. Even platforms like Zoom and Google Meet have witnessed a popularity growth for both internal and external strategic discussions and proven to be effective tools for awareness programs and to collaborate with key opinion leaders and content creators. For an overall immersive consumer experience, brands are now also exploring an omni-channel marketing approach, a strategy synchronizes messaging across all platforms, to create a completely unified and seamless brand experience, no matter where the consumer might connect.
Resurgence of Neighbourhood Kiranas
The success of a kirana store comes from the connect and trust they build with their consumers. Kiranas understand the demands for their consumers and customise their approach to address these needs. Along with this, they come with a sense of familiarity and personal service which sets them apart from the modern trade business. During the past year, with the level of restrictions and uncertainties that surrounded us Kiranas became the go-to option for many. Time and again, depending on the changing consumer behaviour Kiranas upgraded themselves stay relevant and accessible to a wide consumer base, including accepting orders on WhatsApp, sharing updates on restocked essentials with regular consumers, offering delivery services to elderly and arranging pick-ups for stock to ensure they have enough and more for the customers that visit their stores. And these independent businesses will continue to redesign and transform to offer a better shopping experience for their customers.
Current times are challenging for brands across and marketing, previously a communication and support function has now come at the core of various strategic decisions. Be it analytics, product, technology, or consumer experience, marketing is no longer pulled in for the last mile but rather plays a critical role from the initial stages to understand the pulse of the market and the consumer. At times like these, embracing agility and adaptability would be imperative for brands to be able to improve crisis-handling in future emergencies and carry long-term benefits for when the world comes back to normal.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com
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