The consumer landscape is constantly evolving and that includes how, where and when a consumer interacts with a brand.  For a long time, a high percentage of consumers tended to show up in the same places – email, a brand website or familiar social channels (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). At an increasingly faster rate that landscape is changing, along with the expectations of consumers. The COVID pandemic has turned on the turbo booster for change, pushing consumers to places that they hadn’t been before, trying channels they hadn’t before and often shopping or interacting with brands in a whole new way.  A recent McKinsey article emphasizes this, sharing that 75% of consumers have tried a new shopping behavior during the pandemic alone. In addition, this change in consumer behavior has also been reflected in shattering brand loyalties, with 36% of consumers trying a new product brand and 25% incorporating a new private-label brand. The chart below provides additional context.

The short of it is, brands are going to need to double down on understanding the answers to the following questions and developing strategies and tactics based on those answers in order to prevent attrition and stay top of mind with their customers

  1. Do you know who the primary audiences are?
  2. Do you know where they are?
  3. Do you know what they expect from you?

In with the new

So, how in the world do brands stay on top of the who, what, when, where, why’s of audiences, channel and communication strategies? The honest truth is that very few have the means (resources and dollars) to be everywhere their audience is at every stage of their influence and decisioning process. The reality is that brands need to prioritize and test to determine the most effective channel strategies for their brand and their audience. More importantly, no two brands are totally alike in how they should be interacting with their customers.

The Takeaway

So, what does all of this mean?  It means that there is no such thing as one size fits all or even one size fits most. Gone are the days of small set of very well-known and controllable channels through which customers can be engaged. Rather, all marketing strategy and tactics needs to consider the audience, their needs as it relates to your brand and their expectations from a communications perspective in order to be successful. That starts with understanding, includes thoughtful planning, incorporates smart testing and a thorough measurement strategy to stay top of mind and current with existing and new customers.  It means honestly assessing what is and isn’t working and optimizing what’s working and walking away from what isn’t.  It means staying on top of trends and continuously assessing where your customers are and modifying as needed. These are exciting times in marketing with so much possibility, you just have to be willing to do the work to get there.