A new-age marketer & social media junkie, Mehar Gulati is an entrepreneur who is taking the world by the storm with her skill set and experience. At Scarlet, she adorned the entrepreneurial hat whereby she helps various brands to structure their social media, consult on building the right strategies, and assists in collaborations for sound presence. Her zealous drive and ambition had her managing the outreach strategies of multiple brands globally. Working with over 20 clients in the Luxury sector in her time at different agencies for 3 years + (Fashion, Retail, F&B, Hospitality, Wellness, FMCG) she followed the trend in and out. Her work as the Founder of Scarlet helps reinforce the primary reason why she opted to join the industry in the first place: the joy of delivering (qualitatively and quantitatively) on the faith that clients place in her.
Ever since the coronavirus took the world by storm, social distancing measures and lockdown restrictions led to a drastic increase in the number of users spending more time online than ever before. Taking advantage of the growing reliance on technology, many brands shifted their focus on implementing digital marketing strategies to meet their brand awareness objectives while others increased their advertising budgets to sell products online and capitalize on the new norm of doing business. However, the pandemic has brought a change in consumer expectations, escalating from just seamless digital communication to a personalized experience throughout their customer journey. Therefore, the post-pandemic world needs marketers to thoroughly understand the shifting attitudes and purchasing behaviors of customers for providing value addition with their communication.
Here are a few solid strategies that can help marketers prepare better for the post-pandemic world.
Focus on existing customers
Sometimes marketers start prioritizing the acquisition of new customers instead of focusing on the existing ones, which might lead to low retention rates and slow business growth. On the contrary, companies investing more in keeping existing customers rather than finding new ones are likely to increase customer retention by up to 2%, which leads to more profits in the long term. Therefore, marketers should follow a customer-centric approach to provide a positive experience, drive repeat business, enhance customer loyalty, build long-term relationships, and accelerate business growth. Besides, due to the pandemic, the unemployment rates are at an all-time high, therefore it is essential to devise your marketing strategies to retain the existing customers through knowledgeable customer support, automated self-service channels, offering rewards, discounts, gift cards, etc. Always remember that happy customers are at the core of any company’s success.
Move everything online
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated our pace towards the digital future. With everything available within a click of a button, people are relying heavily on the internet for purchasing any products or services they require. Not moving business online would mean losing out on lucrative opportunities that digital platforms offer. The new normal requires businesses to put extreme focus on digital marketing and adopt the right tools to explore the untapped potential. Therefore, many small and medium enterprises are expanding their online presence by updating their websites, leveraging social media channels, utilizing search engine optimization, investing in good customer relationship management software, growing organic traffic, etc. to reach larger audiences and thrive in the digital era.
Invest in social media ads
Paid social media advertising is an instrumental part of an overall digital marketing strategy that can help to scale business online. Social media platforms provide advanced control over filtering the ads based on a group of users who share similar interests, demographics, behaviors, or connections. Thus, optimizing social media ads can benefit brands to specifically engage with target audiences and prompt high-quality leads. With the visual appeal of social media marketing, brands can also increase in-store foot traffic. Besides, combining local SEO strategies with paid advertising, brands can create a loyal customer base and attract new subscribers who will engage and promote content, thus help them to build a strong social media presence.
Run exclusive deals and offers
Running exclusive deals and offers from time to time is a popular sales strategy to temporarily increase the value of a product or service by creating a sense of scarcity for a short period. Promotional pricing helps the brands to reward loyal customers, improve short-term cash flow, amplify traffic, encourage repeat business, move excess inventory, and create a buzz when launching a new product or service. During these challenging times, providing discounts can help bring in some new potential customers while retaining the old ones who are tight on a budget.
Focus on the priorities of the consumer
Knowing and understanding the critical needs of the customers should be at the heart of your marketing strategy. Build a clear picture of your target audience by collecting data from different channels and sources, and then create products that they actually want. Shifting the focus away from the brand and taking a customer-first marketing approach can help build strong customer relationships by offering them better solutions and delivering value. Gaining insights from customers’ feedback, marketers should create content around answering their questions or addressing their challenges in the form of testimonial videos, blog posts, webcasts, whitepapers, and other marketing collaterals and distribute them on various channels. Your brand should stand behind great values and should give back to the environment or society.
Define clear brand values
Creating a unique identity in the social media space is quintessential for brands to stand apart from competitors and establish powerful bonds with their customers. Designing content around core brand values can give customers something they can relate to, which can have a lasting impression. Brand values should remain consistent and still embrace the passions of the business in question. Some of the biggest brands in the world today portray their values in the most impressive manner that resonates with their audiences. Your brand should stand behind great values and should give back to the environment or society so that customers are proud to be associated with a brand making difference.
Relationships are everything
In the fast-paced digital age, businesses need to cultivate and nurture bonds with customers to ensure long-term satisfaction and brand loyalty. Fostering relationships can help companies in enhancing the market as the loyal customers are most likely to share and promote the company on their own will and that would help to raise brand awareness and generate positive exposure. Referral marketing, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, employee marketing, and partner marketing are all part of relationship marketing. Some of the indispensable benefits of relationship marketing include increment in sales volume, low advertisement costs, high profits, enhanced brand image, customer retention, and gaining a competitive edge.
It is evident that there is no going back to the old normal post-pandemic as the customer’s attitudes and behaviors have largely changed within a year. In a rapidly changing market, continuous consumer listening, greater personalization, and demand sensing are the key to building a successful marketing strategy.