Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Bar’s Been Raised

I remember back in April, I had placed a curbside pickup order for a retailer. The process was less than seamless, even though the brand had only been fulfilling curbside pickup orders for less than a month (and had to figure out logistics for this new strategy in the midst of a pandemic). I would complain about my experience to anyone that would listen, but in actuality, the experience had been just fine. Why was I so quick to judge the experience of this retailer? Was waiting 10 minutes for my order really that bad? As I talked to more of my friends about this issue, I quickly realized I wasn’t the only one with a story like this. Consumer expectations are on the rise…

Why does waiting 10 minutes for a mobile order feel like an eternity? Why do we vow never to use a product again, if we’re not immediately wowed by it? And since when did we start switching brands at the drop of a hat? Carla Cruz, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Trinchero Family Estates, brought this change of consumer expectation up during her episode on the Real Marketers podcast. Carla is absolutely right – the bar has been raised for brands. Let’s uncover some recent consumer trends and ways your brand can steal the hearts of consumers.

Where Does Your Loyalty Lie? 

Only one in five Americans report they’re loyal to specific brands. In order to keep consumers coming back to your brand, you need to pull out the stops to wow them. Your brand’s product or service is not the only required deliverable; consumers demand an engaging experience or relevant content that keeps them coming back for more.

When COVID-19 rocked our world in the beginning part of 2020, Carla and her team realized there was a lack of education surrounding the wine industry; many consumers weren’t aware they could purchase wine online. Carla’s team quickly pivoted their marketing strategy and focused on educating customers on the different ways they could purchase wine online. Since pivoting their marketing efforts, they’ve seen increased sales in eCommerce.

Make It Personal

We know personalization is a great way to get noticed by consumers, but did you know personalization is table stakes at this point? Almost 80 percent of consumers say personalized service is more important than personalized marketing. And 77 percent report they’re more willing to recommend a brand to someone if they provide a personalized experience.

Ditch the pre-populated first name field in your email campaigns, and start including more personalization in your customer journey (especially on mobile). Allow your mobile users to set up customer dashboard on your brand’s mobile app. Or provide personalized recommendations to your users. Whatever you choose, it’s crucial to make your users feel more than just a number.

No Second Chances 

I usually don’t like to leave things on a negative note, but I think this next point was worth saving until the end. More than half of consumers will switch brands after a single bad experience. There’s a lot of pressure on marketers these days. We’re expected to have a magic viral button, deliver exceptional experiences every time, and constantly innovate our brand. Being perfect 100 percent of the time is not a reasonable expectation.

A reasonable expectation for marketers is possessing the ability to pivot. Being agile and having an open mind with your marketing efforts will set your brand apart from the rest. This may mean investing in new MarTech tools. Or try testing your ideas; if you’re not seeing the results you were expecting, switch up your tactics. There’s no reason to continue to do something if consumers aren’t responding favorably to it.

We’ve seen how important it is for brands to innovate this past year. Carla and her team have proven that working for a traditionally older industry is no excuse for not finding ways to innovate. Constantly push yourself and your brand to evolve with the ever-changing consumer expectations.