Tapping into the Market’s Changed Expectations

by Aric Zion, CEO of Zion & Zion

Aric Zion

Businesses have undergone tremendous setbacks as a result of the pandemic. Marketing was the least of a company’s worries, but now, as businesses begin to reevaluate and attempt to recover, it’s important to think about how to navigate the new marketplace with changing consumer behaviors, preferences and loyalty. There are a few things to consider when it comes to marketing in order to recover and prosper. 

Consumer confidence has fallen. While it’s beginning to recover, marketers have to consider if their company’s product or service continues to be a priority in today’s marketplace. Have other products emerged as a result of the pandemic that may make their product or service less desirable? Consumer priorities have changed so marketers must evolve to meet those new demands. Additionally, businesses may need to reconsider where and how to reach their audience — are they watching more Netflix, shopping more online or putting their trust in social proof? 

Data must be a priority for businesses. Real-time data will help brands understand their audiences’ behaviors in order to quickly pivot marketing strategies, if necessary. With this data, brands can optimize strategies and processes more frequently. Another marketing tactic to consider more closely is understanding the customer journey. Where are the customers in their purchase process? It’s critical to understand what affects their purchasing decisions in order to appeal to expectations and optimize the customer experience. This should be a priority post-pandemic.

Businesses need to rethink their marketing strategy completely. What once worked may not now. They need to figure out if their customers have changed, where those customers consume content now and what is most important to them. One way to do that is to invest in a Customer Data Platform (CDP). With third-party cookies going away, reaching consumers will be much harder without a CDP. CDPs allow brands to aggregate, sort and analyze data, and then utilize that data for targeted marketing campaigns that will personalize the customer’s experience. This will be paramount as cookies go away. More and more of our clients are embracing CDPs, and it’s proven to be extremely profitable — and, quite honestly, the only way brands will survive in the future. 

As a result of any losses businesses may have experienced, it’s important they rethink who their true customer is and what message or medium will appeal to them. Demographics are no longer as important in identifying a business’s target market, but rather understanding that market’s core values and where those consumers are in the buying journey. This will affect every aspect of a marketing strategy.

First Steps

Business should:

  • Get to know their customer – whose needs and behaviors probably changed during the pandemic — and adjust their marketing plan to support those new desires.
  • Increase their online presence, as digital consumption has skyrocketed.
  • Develop a content strategy that aligns with the customer journey.
  • Capitalize on the business’s owned media such as its website, blog, social media platforms, etc.
  • Evaluate how their customers are making purchases. Are they simply relying on online reviews, or are they doing extensive research before purchasing? Businesses should make sure they are appealing to one or both shopping processes — depending on the individual customer — when considering advertising mediums and messaging. 

Zion & Zion is a full-service national marketing firm with expertise in analytics, MarTech and CDPs, marketing strategy, advertising, public relations, social media, UX and interactive services. The work of the Zion & Zion team includes national and international brands, including Aristocrat Technologies, BD (Becton Dickinson), Goodwill, McDonald’s, NASCAR, the NBA and Walmart.

This is one segment of the August 2021 cover story “Coming Back: How Marketing Will Build (Back) Business after COVID-19.”

Click here to check out the other 10 businesses and the cover designs they submitted for the Cover Story Cover Contest (winner was featured as the actual magazine cover).

Speak Your Mind

In Business Dailies

Sign up for a complimentary year of In Business Dailies with a bonus Digital Subscription of In Business Magazine delivered to your inbox each month!

  • Get the day’s Top Stories
  • Relevant In-depth Articles
  • Daily Offers
  • Coming Events