Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "COVID Delivers New Marketing Opportunities," reveals focus areas of interest for marketers as they reimagine how to market to pandemic stay-at-home targets effectively. Simultaneously, the online world is ablaze with so many offers that one can think of the experience as a tectonic shift where customers and prospects are bombarded 24/7. Instinctively, consumers, and therefore, marketers have taken to digital platforms as a virtual haven where everyone is reachable, albeit in the safety of their homes.
Meanwhile, we are in a presidential election year, and if 2016 is a benchmark, we know that disinformation and false content will surge. Consumers are hungry for the truth, and an unintended consequence of malicious content could be consumer backlash. Of course, there's a price to pay for fake content. Facebook and Instagram are currently under a two-month boycott that could remain in place through year-end.
Our Quote of the Day: "When people feel insecure about something, they look around for validation. Show them that other people trust you." –Francisco Rosales, Social Media Marketing Coach
Trust is Paramount Over Price
Truth is paramount for consumers in a world where misinformation can be rampant. In 2020, all of the surveys have shown that truth pummels price. In a recent CMO Survey, US marketing leaders intimated "trusting relationships" were more important than "low price" despite the pandemic's economic tsunami. Marketers were able to determine that COVID-19 has shifted the consumer focus.
Consumers are placing a higher value on truth versus price, quality, or service. The importance of trust may be due to the pandemic, election year, or something else, but customers are prioritizing trusting relationships during the pandemic. The increase of nearly ten percentage points rose from 19.9% in 2009 when the question was first asked, to 27.2% in February 2020 to 29.3% by June 2020.
The shift represents a new opportunity for brands and marketers who don't or can't compete on price. Brands that have amassed a loyal following can now push the envelope for its customer base to sample other or new products, services, solutions, and of course go-to-market prototypes, simply because the consumer trusts the brand.
Marketers should keep in mind that the customer builds trust in ways that were not previously available. Therefore, brands can and should flex their presence offline and certainly online. Further, customers monitor brands through social listening, activism, outreach, and by observing what brand investments are during this health crisis. Digital Still Works
According to the CMO survey, online sales are now at the highest level on record. While digital purchasing accounted for 19.3% of sales, which may not seem groundbreaking, it nonetheless represents a 43% rise over the past three months.
Digital marketing is a mainstay, and with the onslaught of nearly every organization increasing their digital spending, the landscape will continue to present challenges for brands to breakthrough. A majority of consumers or 85% are open to digital offerings, while 84% of marketers agree that customers are receptive to digital experiences.
Marketers increased their CX investments over the last three months at a 10% clip as part of their overall marketing budgets. The rise in digital marketing investments, ads, and marketing content mean the consumer is awash in a sea of digital content that runs the risk of information overload. One way to break free from the digital bombardment is to use direct mail marketing. It's a fact that marketers can increase digital engagement and response rates with direct mail marketing. Further, direct mail continues to hold the top position as a trustworthy medium.
Marketing has become critical during the COVID crisis, according to 62.3% of the CMOs' marketing respondents. Naturally, marketers are rethinking their strategies to include more usage of digital tools and platforms during the pandemic. Marketing departments have also been at the brunt end of job losses, which means that marketers will have to do more with less.
Marketing teams and organizations will have to shift and update their resources during this time to streamline how they market and create new strategies that better fit customer behavior changes and tackle the trust factors.
Incidentally, speed is of the essence. Marketers and brands are in constant flux to arrive and agree on strategic changes. While done quickly, these decisions must be guided with care, as some may be experimental, and time should be allowed to ensure that the choices are sound.
In the movie, "Hunt for the Red October," there was a scene in which the Captain of a US aircraft carrier was having a conversation with Jack Ryan, who was charged with locating the Red October submarine:
- Captain Davenport: They're pinging away with their active sonar like they're looking for something, but nobody's listening.
- Jack Ryan: What do you mean?
-Captain Davenport: Well, they're moving at almost forty knots. At that speed, they could run right over my daughter's stereo and not hear it.
The moral of the story, marketers must be careful in reaching decisions too quickly, whereby the strategy is misunderstood, resulting in lost revenue and failure.
The COVID pandemic has presented challenges that are still coming to light, requiring the public at large, and indeed the marketing community to reimagine the best strategies moving forward. Customer engagement is a must, and to that end, customers buy from those they trust, first and foremost. Brands and marketers that focus on leveraging digital, social, and trustworthiness, should be able to grow, and simultaneously be better prepared to steer their organizations through any future disruptions or crises. Thanks for reading, "COVID Delivers New Marketing Opportunities."
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Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "New Marketing Strategies for 2020," examines what marketers, digital innovators, and brands are now contemplating if they want to re...