Pandemic-Era Marketing: Consumer Behavior is Evolving

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Any major change in our day-to-day lives is going to reflect in our spending habits. This is true of consumer spending habits following the Coronavirus pandemic. They’re now more likely to spend on essential products such as food or products they need for their pandemic-era hobbies such as baking or working out. But consumers have started to change even before the pandemic. Over the years, they’ve grown to be more ecologically and politically conscious and are more inclined to support companies that share those same sentiments.

Some industries are lucky enough to fall under a category that today’s consumers are deeming their pandemic essentials, while others are struggling. But regardless of that, you should reevaluate and refocus your marketing efforts for your operations amid a pandemic. Here’s how.

Make consumers aware of your COVID protocols

Let your customers know about what health and safety measures you’ve taken to keep them and your employees safe during the pandemic. You’ve shopped for rags, disinfectant, and PPE for your employees, so let consumers know that you use them. This will reassure them that they’ll be safe and that your employees are secure as well.

Appeal to the ecologically and socially conscious

If you haven’t made your business more sustainable and socially conscious, now is the time to do so. Consumers these days are more socially conscious, and it bleeds through to their spending habits. This is especially true of Millennials and Gen Z, with the latter making up the largest population in today’s workforce. Millennials have also said that they are willing to spend more on products that are sustainable, ethically sourced, and from brands that are ecologically and socially conscious. According to a survey by CompareCards, 38 percent of consumers boycotted at least one company in 2020.

But it isn’t just about releasing advertisements that advocate for causes – it’s also about giving to the said causes. More than half of those surveyed said they’re more willing to support a company that gives to the causes they claim to advocate.

This is also tied to what we mentioned earlier about your COVID health and safety protocols. Customers will be less likely to support your business if you’ve been lax about setting safety measures. They might also assume that you’re endangering your employees, and the unethical treatment of workers is one of the main reasons behind the mass boycott of fast fashion.

Digital marketing

Even before the pandemic, consumers had already spent much of their time on their social media feeds. The pandemic saw this screen time increase significantly. Take advantage of this increased screen time by utilizing sponsored posts and pay-per-click ads, as well as posting more content on your social media pages.

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One of the key advantages that digital marketing has over traditional marketing is that it’s measurable. Analytics enables you to track your advertisements and marketing materials and how effective they are. It tracks which of your Facebook ads have earned click-throughs to your website, or which of your marketing emails have had click-throughs, and which ones have been deleted or ignored.

You’ll also be able to personalize digital marketing materials because analytics collects some basic information about your consumers. This will help you to target your consumers with advertisements that are more suited to their demographics.

If you’re a small business, use it to your advantage

Surveys show that consumers expressed more willingness to support small businesses since the pandemic started. As much as 72 percent believe that they will visit more local businesses after the pandemic.

Part of what attracts consumers to support small businesses is that they add life and soul to the neighborhoods where they live. Consumers also view products from small businesses as made with more care by artisans who are passionate and good at what they do.

Products by small businesses are also more unique, and this is exemplified by how their design schemes compare to that of larger corporations. Whereas the logos of many major brands are starting to resemble one another’s more and more, small business logos embrace their unique personalities.

What technologies are you using?

Automate certain processes such as customer service, for instance. Doing so will help the company respond to customer concerns faster and in a more organized manner and will in turn help you foster a good relationship with your clientele. For instance, you can use chatbots. This way, even if you don’t respond to the concern itself right away, customers will be assured that their concerns have been queued and will soon be addressed.

Changing consumer habits amid the pandemic means that you have to rethink your marketing strategies. In a time where consumers are more and more concerned about sustainability, make your business greener. When your customers are worried about their safety, assure them that you’re doing everything you can to keep them and your employees safe.

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