4 trends that will guide marketing campaigns in 2021

Guest Column: Piyal Banerjee, Head- External Communications, IPM India Wholesale Trading Private Limited, outlined that highly engaged customers are more likely to convert to brand advocates

e4m by Piyal Banerjee
Updated: Mar 5, 2021 7:05 PM
Piyal Banerjee

The success of any campaign lies majorly in how accurate the targeting has been. The target audience is indeed the very foundation for developing any campaigns or ideas. However, the recent pandemic has disrupted consumption patterns, giving rise to new trends, with some of them permanent, while others transient. In an environment where marketeers are still trying to understand the evolving consumer psyche, it’s important that they communicate with customers in the most relevant manner. While organisations and brands will operate on the same functional level, identifying trends and leveraging them to have a pertinent conversation with their audience will help them have a top-of-the-mind re-call, moving towards becoming a part of the consumer’s lives.

These 4 trends will help marketeers navigate through the disruptive world in 2021.

Authentic communication 

The Indian consumers have matured over the years and are increasingly responding to the brands that have a genuineness in their conversations. It is now the time for campaigns that are speaking the truth in an appropriate tone, reassuring them that, ‘we are in this together’. Brands can get more goodwill and mileage out of such campaigns than a year-long campaign just trying to sell products or services. Having a marketing campaign conveying an impactful message has allowed the brands to create an emotional connect with their audience, be it a health equipment maker that sent a message around companionship without taboo for senior citizens (Omron), or a wellness balm that showed that ‘family is where care is’ portraying the real-life story of an orphan and her newfound 'mother' (Vicks). In 2021 this will play a key role for marketeers. It will not only allow them to position the brand in the marketplace, but also win the customer’s trust.

The era of digital 

Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown has accelerated the digital adoption by Indian consumers, which will be one of the more permanent trends over the next few years. A recent study by Inmobi suggests that India accounted for around 14% of the global app installs in 2020. The growth rate of app downloads in India at 28% y-o-y was four times higher than the global average and the first half of 2020, India stood next only to Indonesia in terms of average time spent on mobile with a 37% spike in usage. Considering the above developments, marketeers should identify how and where can they engage with their consumers and devise a strategy accordingly. Marketing leaders must embrace digital tools and practices. Covid-19 has in fact accelerated the shift from traditional to digital advertising with new platforms surfacing at a break-neck rate.

Build a deeper customer relationship

While every brand has an equation with the traditional loyalty approach (e.g., customer relationship management systems and loyalty programs), they do increase customer satisfaction. However, businesses should strive to achieve customer delight. Business is not only about attracting customers, converting them, and thanking them for their interest. Engaging customers and cultivating valuable relationships long-term takes entirely more finesse and should be the focus for a more long-term approach. For example, A successful company focusing on customer engagement will use the feedback from CRM software to anticipate buyer needs and position itself as the ideal solution in light of this information. Highly engaged customers are more likely to convert to brand advocates. 

Augmented customer service

As the world moves to multiple digital platforms, marketeers should focus on developing a consistent omni-channel experience for their consumers. Companies interact with their customers on various channels like the website, live chat, social media and more. While omni-channel experience delivery is important, it is also critical for the communication to be consistent and on point with the brand personality across platforms. This eventually will help in improving business and margins. As also stated by a PWC report, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. The same study also suggests that as many as 32% consumers will leave a brand that they love due to just one bad experience. 

The last year has been anything but stable. Manoeuvring through the various developments and regulations was a challenging feat for all functions, especially marketing and communications. We are on the cusp of transition where we have a vital role to play in shaping the day-to-day lives of our customers. I would conclude by sharing some lines by Peter Drucker, the Austrian management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business, “The best way to predict the future is to create it”. 

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