For marketers, now is the time to rethink how to build a deeper connect with their customers. The pandemic has brought up long lasting changes in consumer behavior, forcing marketers to redefine their strategies and pay close attention to shifting mindsets and buying decisions. The consumer behavior shift has not just been evident in the consumer goods space but also in B2B, in different ways.
The increasing preference toward mobile platform and digital technologies over the last year proves to be a significant influence on how marketers are framing future plans and decisions. From offline events to creating virtual experiences across digital platforms, and from long-form collaterals to crispier, readily absorbable chunks of information, marketers are experimenting with newer ideas that sets the stage for future innovations in the post pandemic world.
Digitalization has provided a new platform to engage with stakeholders and ensure sustainability amidst the new normal to businesses of all sizes and scale. There is a clear upsurge in digital campaigns, with virtual events, webinars, and podcasts featuring high on the list of marketing strategies. Building and nurturing thought leadership through online forums lie at the heart of this transition, now more than ever before.
Let’s look at some of the data points over the last four quarters that emphasize this trend.
- More than 35% of organizations increased spends on social campaigns
- Video production grew by 50% while digital publishing increased by over 55%
- 70% organizations fine-tuned their marketing strategy to accommodate the shift towards digital adoption
- SEO, data analytics, and social media were the key focus for more than 75% SMBs
Source: Impact business
It is difficult to fully predict how these trends are going to shape up in the future. But we can ensure some best practices to reap benefits from a changing business environment.
- The marketing story must be able to convey the message ‘we are in it together’ – Amidst the prevailing uncertainties, what matters to customers most is how responsible the organization is that they are forming an association. At HCL, we believe in generating success not only for us, but also for the community. During the pandemic, we partnered with global health organizations in their efforts to develop reliable vaccines, and adopted multiple steps to ensure that safety of our people is given utmost significance.
- Empathy – In the post pandemic world, the role of empathy is going to be critical for marketers in communicating business value. We try to imbibe this is in all our internal and external communications, employee, customer, and partner initiatives.
- Build a personal connect– In an increasingly virtual world, it’s challenging to maintain trust among customers when there is hardly any face-to-face interaction. As marketers, we need to ensure that our sales team receives the support they need to provide a real-time, uniform experience to the customers.
- Build on your success stories – Thoughtfully drafted, authentic success stories add to the credibility of organizations, build customer confidence in their products and solutions. These hold a lot of significance, especially in the B2B world where engagements are mostly for long term and a lot of due diligence goes into finding the right partnership. At HCL, we have invested in nurturing the partner and customer relationships to create stories that communicate our shared success.
- Recognize the increasing role of automation – Automated tools help in building a uniform, uninterrupted, and personalized connect with customers across all channels of communications. We work with industry-leading partners and analyst firms to drive automated, and data-driven marketing campaigns.
As marketers, we all know that there cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to marketing strategy in the digital age, that is marked with a lot of uncertainties. Yet, if we focus our actions on addressing the needs of our customers, and while doing all this retain our authenticity and larger vision, we can turn many of these challenges into new opportunities.