Revolution Digital shares expectations for consumer behavior, as well as marketing considerations, as they pertain to business recovery from COVID-19.
As restrictions are slowly lifted and we enter the next phase of COVID-19 precautions, marketers are left wondering what’s going to happen to the state of retail and how consumers will react. Will there be a major shift in buying behaviors? What will the aftermath look like for brands who’ve been forced to completely rethink their strategies? At Revolution Digital, we’re assessing the situation with two considerations in mind. First, what are the actionable steps consumers are likely to take from a purchase perspective during the recovery, and secondly, how can we, as marketers, adapt accordingly?
Utility-based buying is key right now. Why? Consumer confidence is LOW and uncertainty/anxiety is HIGH. People are buying what they need to sustain, and while they are buying a lot of it, they are being careful about what they buy because the economy is so unstable. There is little frivolous spending, with consumers focusing largely on buying products that have a direct utility to them in the moment.
Because of this current buying behavior, we anticipate two waves of thinking in the long-term:
But on those two sides of the spectrum, we believe the pre-COVID-19 sense of normalcy consumers once knew will be hard to re-achieve. No matter how high the desire for normalcy, the uncertainty this crisis created will always remain much higher. Because of this, consumers will have a new sense of caution instilled in them that will affect every purchase they consider. And sure, there will be some that will throw caution to the wind, but we believe those that do will be under scrutiny, as this crisis has created a new social standard. Between the internal caution and the unspoken social code, we are strongly expecting consumers to adapt to the first wave of thinking, which will create a whole new framework for marketing to consumers.
MARKETING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NEW NORMAL
In the environment as it currently stands, brands must be a utility. Brands need to show consumers that they have a purpose in this moment and tell them exactly what that purpose is. But in the longer term, there are 5 key themes that are important to consider:
And we’ve already seen this happen. Even if a brand’s in-store and digital shelves are empty, consumers do want to hear from the brands they love the most — not necessarily for information, but just to get a sense of comfort from “someone” they trust. During this crisis, we have seen an uptick in consumer conversations outside of their typical nature: more “just to talk” DMs, more community chat threads on brand posts, and more playfulness in responses. To us, these changes in behavior are a direct attribution to the need to be heard and comforted, and that cry for comfort is a need that is essential to be addressed early and often.
More than ever, it’s important for brands to reassess their marketing and advertising strategies to account for changes in the selling environment and consumer behaviors. At Revolution Digital, we work with all of our clients to apply thought-leadership and insight-driven solutions to help move business forward even during the most uncertain times. If you’re interested in learning more, visit our website at RevolutionDigital.com, or reach out to us online or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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