2023 Marketing Initiatives: Adapting to the Changing Values of Customers

When you consider what marketing covers, you often don’t recognize how far the marketing reach is. It is everything that influences a customer – it reaches far beyond advertising. It’s the entire experience of brand, pricing, customer service, engaging experience, and more. After the most recent years of transactions, consumer behavior as well as merchant services has taken a real dive into how to pivot while facing extreme challenge. Most businesses worked hard to meet the demands to stay in business – fairly remarkable. And during the pandemic, while consumers and businesses learned the new normal, plenty of families also re-evaluated their needs and changed. There are significantly fewer 2nd income earners in families today than 2020. Getting back to basics and priorities really hit home during this global challenge for obvious reasons. And it’s here to stay. This is why 2023 marketing priorities look different than most years.

One of the many changes in behavior over the pandemic led to the customer demand of having customer service employees that are knowledgeable and supportive for the service being offered.  While many people have decided not to go back to work, it leaves the business in the lurch – and now customers are more demanding, wanting the people present to really care for their job, service, and brand they support. Bad employee attitude is the number one, unacceptable behavior for what drives customer to leave a brand. This is a testimony to personality testing, and really spending time getting to know your potential front-line team in an interview – it can cost the business much more than employee turnover as the customer acquisition cost gets lumped on top of that. This reason is closely followed by 3 other similar issues:

  • Unfriendly service
  • Untrusted company
  • Unknowledgeable employees

It looks like consumers did some looking inside during the pandemic to decide what really matters to them; getting back to human basics really were revealed. Consumers want service folks to be committed to their job, try hard, and deliver good service based on these principles. After all, these are founding principles of the American dream of opportunity – hard work pays off.  73% of people say that customer experience is an important factor in their buying decisions, but currently only 49% of US consumers say that today’s companies provide a good experience.

 

Visual Learning

Visual Learning is another trend that has staying power. We have learned a lot from infographics – it’s a communication tool that combines images and data to tell a story; women prefer reading and men prefer, images; therefore you are capturing 100% of your audience while providing data and content that is easy to consumer.  Visual storytelling also can use color which elicits positive emotions from people. Impacting emotion during your storytelling is the very basics of marketing – impact your consumer. Visual assets can be delivered in many formats, from slideshows to infographics, to sell sheets, and video story telling. Research shows that consumers are 85% more likely to buy your product after watching a video about it. That’s a compelling stat.

 

Personalization

Personalization is another trend that gets more interesting as technology evolves. It started with merely using a customer’s name and offering them a birthday gift. Now technology is enabling a lot more with personalization. From buying history and artificial intelligence in eCommerce to in-person, AI – the ability here is growing vastly. Users expect that brands know who they are and that they treat them as this same person across platforms, from ecommerce, to in store, and kiosk locations. Quick service restaurants are leveraging kiosks to enable service while there’s employee shortages. The kiosks have proven to be a very successful option from both the merchant side and the consumer side. Consumers have claimed they prefer kiosks so they may keep control of their order, understand all the personalization options, and ensure their order is accurate. Kiosks also offer up-sells and cross sells reliably, whereas humans do their best but ultimately are not as reliable as computers. Additional AI being used enables the kiosk to recognize the consumer using a camera and retrieve their past order, offer additional items that consumers also enjoy with this selection, and show their loyalty points and offer. This experience is being widely appreciated by consumers and adding to the average ticket by up to 40% in some QSR locations.

 

Conversational Marketing

Conversational Marketing is another trend that consumers are demanding – they want to have conversations and not be talked at. The idea that they are a part of the conversation gives the consumer the acknowledgement they want. Years ago, sales folks addressed consumers as sir or mam and now they are chatting with them at the sales counter asking about their kids – and when online they are chatting with them about how they can help and adding the friendly touch of how are you today, what will you be using this product for? This informal approach makes the brand human and shows how they care for the buyer and actually engage. Data gathered here is also valuable as consumers will disclose more when having a conversation versus processing a transaction.  These learnings can be used in future opportunities with the consumers. Tracking and saving this data in your CRM is key.

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