Not long ago, in the BP (before pandemic) era, successful brands had gotten so good at knowing, engaging, and selling to their consumers.
Back then, their buyers’ everyday lives – and purchasing habits – were largely defined by the social media ecosystems in which they functioned. And in that fast moving, ever-shifting ecosystem, any new trend or shiny object could trigger a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) – and a set of purchases to assuage it.
That’s just not where their heads are anymore.
Today, under the weight of a pandemic and prolonged economic uncertainty, consumer fears and priorities have morphed into something altogether different. According to digital marketing expert, Sylvie Tongco, today’s customers are placing greater weight than ever on 3 things: Trust, Empathy, and Relevance. To be successful in this new world, she says, brand leaders will need to embrace a customer-first marketing strategy.
You can read more below. And if you would like to know more about how Skybridge Americas can help you deliver the trust and empathy your customers need, please reach out. We would love to talk!
Why now is the time for truly customer-first marketing
By Syvlie Tongco (marketing expert)
There’s no shying away from the fact that 2020 will be a year to remember. For the digital marketing industry, now is a time to evaluate how best to approach and engage with a whole new set of customer needs and expectations.. The challenge now, for marketers, is understanding the fundamental changes that are needed in order to adapt to new consumer priorities.
Before the pandemic, marketers were battling for the attention of consumers characterised by equal amounts of disposable income and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), ready to adopt the latest trends and experiences into their social media-saturated lives. Now, the economic fallout of coronavirus has replaced superfluous purchases with real existential decisions in a marketplace ruled by FOLE (Fear of Losing Everything). And with the resulting communications overload around coronavirus, the battle for consumers’ attention has intensified, so creating engagement (and conversions) is an entirely different game moving forward.
Now is the time for marketers to incorporate a new approach: truly putting customers first.
How to adapt to a changing reality
The coronavirus pandemic has forever broken the traditional marketing model. Moving forward, digital communications will be fundamental in earning (and maintaining) consumers’ attention and trust. More than ever, digital engagement will define consumer relationships and loyalty in a socially distanced reality.
Consumers are paying more attention to digital messages than before the crisis. Because of the crisis, email send volume increased by 19 percent in March over January 2020, while the number of companies sending emails grew by 18 percent.
With more eyeballs on messages, using your full digital reach to build strong customer relationships today will pay dividends in the future. What this new normal will look like remains unknown, but focusing on customer-first marketing provides a critical way forward against the uncertain and complex realities of Covid-19. Instead of starting with the product or communications channel, this strategy focuses first on individual consumers. With customer-first marketing, marketers implement engagement strategies that are based on trust and empathy, to ensure that every communication is meaningful and relevant.
The customer-first marketing approach
Now that digital engagement has become the primary mode of customer interaction, staying close to customers and their individual needs will be paramount. This will require a step change in marketing strategies, placing the most recent customer data at the center of every interaction in the digital customer journey.
In a customer-first marketing approach, brands build programs that communicate authentically with individuals using an approach of committed customer service. To do this well, marketers must understand the consumers’ goals and use campaign elements like messaging, data, and channel selection that are most relevant and contextual at the moment of engagement. And they must use the latest omnichannel marketing technologies – including marketing AI, dynamic content, and real-time marketing capabilities – to deliver this level of personalisation at scale.
With customer-first marketing, marketers put themselves in the consumer’s shoes, placing unique consumer needs, passions, and emotions ahead of immediate transaction goals.
Now more than ever, consumers gravitate towards brands they can trust in uncertain times…
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
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