How to Promote Your Business in the New Normal

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We are experiencing dramatic shifts in consumer behavior.

Consumer behavior is changing rapidly and it’s difficult, but not impossible, for brands to keep up with them and adapt accordingly. It takes a constant eye on consumer trends and adjusting marketing strategies as needed to reach audiences. 

The reality is that the pandemic is accelerating many trends that will impact our lives, businesses and how we interact with others including employees and customers, likely well beyond this current crisis. 

Consumer sentiment drives our economic recovery.

We all understand that consumer sentiment — which judges the amount of confidence that Americans feel about their financial status — will have dips and upticks as we navigate the current global pandemic.  

Among the top concerns about an economic recovery voiced by U.S. chief financial officers in a recent US Pulse Survey is whether or not there will be a new wave of COVID-19 infections and how it will impact the global economy, the world of finance and ultimately consumer confidence.  

Four consumer segments have emerged during the pandemic. 

According to a recent EY Future Consumer Index, four U.S. consumer segments have emerged during the pandemic. In three of the four surveyed demographics, consumers are spending more on groceries than before the COVID-19 crisis while reducing discretionary spending on items like clothing, footwear and leisure activities. 

  • The Save & Stockpile Consumer (35 percent) — Not overly concerned about the pandemic, but worried about their families and pessimistic about long-term effects. 
  • The Deep Cut Consumer (27 percent) — Those hardest hit by the pandemic, most are pessimistic about the future and spending less across all categories. 
  • The Stay Calm & Carry On Consumer (26 percent) — Not directly impacted by the pandemic, not changing their spending habits, yet worried about others stockpiling goods.  
  • Hibernate & Spend Consumer (11 percent) — Most concerned about the pandemic, best positioned to deal with it, optimistic about the future, spending more across the board. 

Five consumer segments will appear after the pandemic.

According to the same survey, the consumer segments will shift to 31 percent “getting back to normal;” 25 percent being “cautiously extravagant;” 22 percent “staying frugal,” 13 percent will “keep cutting;” and nine percent will be “back with a bang.”   

On this spectrum, spending ranges from being largely unchanged, to focusing on what is most important, to spending slightly less with some big cuts, to making big cuts, to spending more across the board. 

More than half of U.S. B2B buyers are still considering business purchases.

If you are in a business-to-business environment largely targeting other businesses for revenue, research is showing that the intent to purchase goods and services is still strong with more than half still considering purchases. 

Data in a recent “B2B Buyers Sentiments Survey” revealed that only 26 percent have cut back on purchases, while others either didn’t have a need or are moving ahead with planned buying. 

Consumer sentiment and behavior trends inform marketing strategies. 

Consumer behavior trends must be evaluated to determine the best strategies for reaching, engaging with and motivating target audiences to act.  

Armed with this information, you will need to update or create target market personas that account for new buying behaviors. Personas are fictional characters, which you create based upon your research in order to represent the different user types of your service, product, site, or brand in a similar way. 

For example, the COVID-19 crisis increased Internet use by 70 percent. A persona must take into consideration how to increase engagement and sales using online strategies.  

Consider how the Mindful Consumption trend impacts your business. 

People are online much more often and they are looking for deals that help them reduce household overhead costs, enjoy a bit of leisure, avoid waste, consolidate debt and get their affairs in order. This applies to both individual and B2B consumers. 

So, you’ll want to integrate special offers to your customer base through your Google profile, your online advertising, your social channels and your website. And as we move into a “cookieless” society due to privacy laws, it is imperative that you own, build and expand your direct-to-customer online channels.  

Other trends to address to strengthen your brand. 

In our next edition of “How to Promote Your Business During the New Normal,” I’ll provide more in-depth information about six more consumer trends that are impacting brands and how to address them through smart marketing strategies. 

  • Homebound Economy — How goods are now purchased and delivered. 
  • Contactless Engagement — Expectations for in-store health and safety concerns. 
  • Be Well & Healthy — Priorities shifting to personal and family health, job security and economic concerns.  
  • Family First — Consumers enjoying time with family at home. 
  • Local Lens — The heightened interest in knowing where goods and services are coming from and support of local businesses.  
  • Diversity & Inclusiveness — The demand for hiring, marketing, products and services that are ethnically diverse and inclusive. 

Marketing: Promoting Your Business In The New Normal SPEAKER: Kerry Stratford – Caliber Group

 

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash
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Kerry Stratford has 25 years of strategic marketing and creative experience that drives brands forward and helps them meet their business goals. She also has extensive knowledge of digital marketing and its power to reach and influence audiences globally. Her award-winning creative has been featured internationally in design and advertising publications, and her leadership skills have been recognized by the American Advertising Federation Tucson, Greater Tucson Leadership and the Arizona Small Business Association. Kerry currently serves on the executive board of the Arizona Small Business Association, American Advertising Federation Tucson Educational Foundation, Local First Arizona and the University of Arizona Alumni Association Governing Board. Kerry holds a bachelor’s degree in visual communications from the University of Arizona. 



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