Updated: Mar 17, 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic has re-written the digital marketing playbook. Now that we're one year in, it's very clear there will not be a "return to normal." As we navigate forward through the pandemic, new expectations and behaviors are emerging quickly, aided by technology and data. In the pre-pandemic world, customers were content aligning with a brand they trust and eventually finding what they want. Today, customers expect a brand to have exactly what they are looking for, or they will quickly move on.
The bar will continue to rise.
Both B2C and B2B businesses must gain insights and aspire to delivering on new values centered around customer experiences. Customers expect their experiences to be trouble-free, painless, satisfying, relevant to their lifestyle, and to connect them with community. They buy in to become part of the tribe and evangelize for brands on social media. Customers are focused on getting what they want, when they want it and don't want anything to get in their way. And when most of them carry around a direct connection to a brand in the palm of their hand, it's a realistic expectation to have.
How to create rewarding customer experiences
To deliver on growing expectations requires businesses to put data and technology at the core of an organization. Why? Because data enables us to create more relevant brand experiences. Analyzing data from past customer experiences is not enough to keep pace with customer behavior and competition. Highly familiar and successful brands like Starbucks, Netflix and Under Armor, who are consistently building and delivering relevant customer experiences, are now employing some degree of machine learning and/or artificial intelligence into the mix to reach across more dimensions, or what we call the 4C-s"
Any message that can be provided in experiences like emails, engaging with social media platforms or mobile apps.
A physical world experience such as visiting a retail location, an e-commerce experience, or a hybrid experience.
Any convening of B2B buyers at a virtual trade show, hosting a webinar for consumers, holding a "live" event on a social platform to engage with customers.
Offering consumers coupons at point-of-sale in eCommerce or email, delivering benefits from being part of a loyalty program or being a subscriber.
Designing a "one-size-fits-all" digital marketing plan to deliver the 4C's doesn't work.
Surprisingly, most of the 4C's are still delivered in "one-size-fits-all" approach by brands. Yet consumers have increasing access to information and are demanding greater personalization in their brand experiences. Businesses that use data and intelligence to sharpen their decision-making and drive greater relevance in their customer interactions are building stronger human connections that evolve with a changing landscape and sustain their brands.
Know your company needs to grow deeper roots in the digital economy but not sure what steps to take to make it happen? Floh Creative has launched successful brand campaigns for entrepreneurs, well-loved Entertainment Studios and Fortune 500 companies. Using our proven discovery framework, we help define and position your brand and produce actionable insights for growth.
Ready to talk more about brand strategy for your business? Reach us at 310-564-6881 or visit us online at flohcreative.com to learn more.
Mary Ellen Schrock is the CDO and Chief Disruptor of Floh Creative. As a bright, intuitive creative she has a passion for solving complex design and marketing challenges, especially when they require translating branding needs into compelling concepts and brand stories.
Mary Ellen loves building successful brands! She created Floh Creative as a place to use her talent to build brands, and share the knowledge, process and strategies that have proven themselves to provide growth for businesses available for all who are ready to grow.
Sources: Harvard Business Review Marketing "10 Truths About Marketing After the Pandemic", March 10, 2021. Cortex Automation Inc., "7 Brands That Use AI and Brand Experience". Netflix, Research Areas, Machine Learning. Learning How to Entertain the World, Netflix, 2021.