It’s not just today that businesses are facing multifaceted challenges. Before the pandemic hit our lives, companies were rethinking and refining their processes to align with the rapidly advancing technology. Today, the focus has shifted to overcome the crises that have emerged after the pandemic.
Of course, there is no denying that the post-pandemic change in the business landscape is more dramatic, more massive. Organizations are facing different challenges from losing the market grip to staying with the changing consumer behavior.
From small to big brands, everyone needs to rethink their brand management system - including their marketing strategies.
Today’s consumers are digitally savvy. They have several touchpoints to make shopping decisions. Their attention spans are dwindling. In 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds which dropped down to 8 seconds in 2015. And the number will keep decreasing as more consumer opportunities open up in the future.
Amidst the rapidly changing consumer expectations, old-school marketing will no longer help. With the new era has come the demand to create brand messaging that is relevant for your customer through the relevant touchpoint.
And the need justifies the golden period of brand marketing that will be the future of marketing.
Is your business looking to overcome the crises using effective marketing ways?
Then let's learn it!
What is brand marketing?
Brand marketing is the complete opposite of direct marketing. It is the process of promoting your products or services by promoting your entire brand.
It essentially involves the use of brand storytelling to establish a valuable long-lasting relationship with your core audience.
In the interim, a company works on creating brand awareness, increasing brand engagement, and eventually gaining the loyalty of consumers for life. And that happens when you inform, inspire and invigorate your audience. You make them feel pleasantly different, unlike your competitors.
Technically, the authentic way of brand marketing is when your end goal is to create repeat buyers. It requires investment in building your brand value and ultimately your company value.
On the other hand, direct marketing is a technique of advertising your products or services with the short-term goal of boosting sales. It can be a TV commercial, a social media campaign, email, or other paid ads that urge your target audience to take action right away.
In a few words, any marketing strategy that requires immediate response from a prospect is direct marketing. It has its full focus on getting a return on investment as early as possible.
Such types of advertising techniques do not consider psychological or emotional aspects of connection. They do not have any fear of losing a relationship with a customer as there is no such goal included.
In 2019, Havas Group’s meaningful brands study revealed that a tremendous 77% of brands are irrelevant in consumers’ lives. They could vanish and no one would care as they aren’t making any difference.
So, that’s where a need rises to understand what exactly do modern consumers expect from a brand?
'Work in Beta: The Rising B2B Decision Makers', takes a clear look into how consumer behavior is taking a sharp turn. The discussion takes readers into understanding the increasing importance of the first cohort of digital natives called ‘BETA.’
It stands for:
B - Blurred lines between work life and personal life
E - Identity that is defined by personal branding and self-evolution
T - Technology has the biggest influence on their mindset
A - Act on social issues. They demand from brands.
Now, the COVID crisis has actually accelerated the BETA trend in many ways. The attitude of this cohort focuses on flexible working. They are more conscious of what they are consuming and how they are impacting society and the planet, as a whole.
While the older adults are concerned about costs, BETA’s are inclined towards innovation and keeping up with the competition.
And all of this as part of their nature reflects in how they go about their purchase decisions. Reading expert reviews, genuine recommendations, and in-depth research has become an integral part of their buying journey.
(Mapping plays a pivotal role in getting in-depth insights into a customer's journey. You can learn more about it in detail from here.)
The point to note here: BETA mindset is more authoritatively going to rule the next decade when it comes to purchasing decisions.
In fact, a lot of statistics prove the above statement.
According to the latest Forrestor’s research,
The numbers explain that increasingly, consumers are demanding the meaningful existence of brands. Gone are the days when brands were all about premium products. Now, brands are about premium values.
Everything discussed in this section boils down to one thing. BETA’s are always on the hunt for a brand they can strongly trust.
What’s in there for businesses? It’s possible to attract today’s consumers only by establishing a valuable relationship. That's where brand marketing enters the picture.
Let’s go back to the era of traditional advertising techniques. Companies had all their focus on how they can convince customers into buying their products or services. There was less regard to whether or not they needed them.
Nature of traditional marketing:
Today, a brand is not a fancy word. For consumers, it has become a source of education.
Businesses need to bridge the gap created by traditional marketing by embracing consistently authentic and valuable brand communication.
The rapidly evolving digital technology has a huge role to play when it comes to marketing. It is the part and parcel of modern consumerism. In the light of COVID-19 restrictions, when in-person shopping has likely become a temporary past, more and more people are coming online.
According to experts, focusing on building relationships is now key if businesses wish to stay.
The beautiful side of digital technology is that brands have more control over the creation and management of the entire customer experience.
5 key tech trends are anticipated to grow strong in the coming years as businesses shift their focus to brand marketing.
As per Salesforce, 69% of consumers in the US prefer chatbots when engaging with brands — as they receive a speedy response 24/7. However, small businesses surveyed agree they are yet to take advantage of the technology.
AI-powered chatbots are expected to be the next big thing in brand management. They can understand complex requests and provide customized answers to individual queries.
According to Forbes, in 2018, over 75% of companies using AI and machine learning were able to enhance customer satisfaction by 10%. The technology continues to unfold and as a result, AI-first marketing strategies are likely to become a norm by 2025.
With voice services like Amazon’s Alexa increasing in popularity, voice search is becoming a competitive edge for businesses to stand out.
Today, if your content marketing strategies are majorly focused on blogs, there arises the need to embrace the new change. Conversational blogs are not enough. It is time to literally become conversational with your target audience.
Voice search is one of the simplest marketing techniques a business can apply in 2021 and beyond. It enables contextual interactions with users and can take personalization to a whole new level.
For instance, you can easily answer questions that customers frequently ask about your product or service on your website.
In 2017, Juniper Research found out that voice ad spendings could grow to $19 billion in 2022. Currently, the technology is in the beginning stages. But as it matures, it can prove to be the most interactive way of connecting. Marketers see it as a weapon in their arsenal to improve business value proposition.
Data is at the heart of brand marketing efforts. It is ubiquitous. Right from your home appliances to cars - everything is connected. Meaning it can provide key insights into changing customer expectations and buying patterns.
As we move towards 2025, data will be sliced for actionable insights and hyper-personalized marketing. Brands will leverage complex mixtures of personal data, location data, and environment data to target their core audience with the right form of customized brand communication.
Companies need to understand that customers are now willing to share their data from purchase history to favorite products and more. But with the data share, they also expect a return in some form. It could be personalized advertising campaigns or deals.
As businesses are now putting most of the efforts into brand marketing, virtual reality tends to emerge as a winner. The technology promises to offer engaging, interactive, and personal experiences like never before.
With VR, a brand’s relationship with its customers could reach the next level of emotional intensity. It will reinforce brand loyalty.
Currently, the automobile, real estate, and smartphone industries are already delivering exceptional 360-degree interactive experiences. By 2025, VR will boom to an extent that it will become an essential component of marketing campaigns.
Blockchain has apparently initiated a new era of technology that is here to provide transparency in everything businesses do. Marketing too is a part of the revolution.
Using blockchain, brand marketing can overcome some of its greatest challenges. It can resolve privacy matters and deliver more transparency to build trust.
Although at present, the technology is in its nascent stage, the marketing world will witness innovative case studies by 2025.
In a nutshell, digital technology will emerge as the crux of marketing. It will help businesses understand customer demands and meet their expectations — more profoundly.
The Edelman Trust Barometer conducted a survey on 34,000 individuals across 28 global markets. The findings show that consumers see businesses as more competent than governments and nonprofits especially when it comes to solving global issues.
The study indicates that people believe in the power of brands and value those that are in line with their personal values.
Building a meaningful brand creates values that are impossible to achieve with sales-only tactics. Brands can stir positive change. They can establish relationships. They can create pricing power which serves as one of the most important aspects of business growth.
The traditional top-down funnel is a past. To ensure that your brand stays in connection with the core audience, no matter the situation, climb up the brand loyalty ladder. The innovative concept from the marketing genius Marty Neumeier provides the roadmap to empowering your existing customers. That's when they will turn into your life-long advocates.
Brand marketing opens doors to competitive advantages that are difficult to replicate by competitors.
Companies are in a position to respond to the current crises by initiating strategic transformations. In the effort, many aspects like vision and mission need to be redefined. Keeping the focus on purpose while repositioning the brand in a meaningful way will help in satisfying consumer needs.
PulsAero helps organizations, enterprized and startups achieve the results using a powerful combination of logic, creativity and communication.
The trio proves to be the rescuer in the time of crises as well as in the moment of uncertainties.
As we move towards a new decade, forward-thinking brands that are embracing brand marketing and overcoming the COVID crisis by focusing on relationships will lead other businesses into the bright future.
Are you looking for some great inspiration to push your brand towards daylight? PulsAero is here waiting to transform your business into a people's brand :)