According to research by Gartner, ‘by 2025, consumers’ omnichannel buying behaviour will drive 60% of B2C brands to move towards functional, rather than channel-based organisation.’
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Business to Consumer marketers had to tear up their plans for 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic began to bite, and the marketing landscape changed completely. A report from Forrester now suggests that some of the effects of the crisis are going to stay with us into the foreseeable future, forcing strategists to re-evaluate their plans for post-pandemic marketing.
Whatever direction B2C marketing trends may have been taking before everything changed, they will now be characterised by localised, loyalty-based strategies, with retention of existing clients at the heart of future planning.
According to Forrester, spend on loyalty and retention marketing will increase by 30%. At the same time, overall message volume will increase by 40%.
Looking After Loyal Customers
An emerging trend has seen loyalty as a major revenue driver as marketers reshape their approaches to focus on retention. Forrester points out that loyalty programmes are seeing significant upward movement. New schemes are being launched, and existing loyalty programmes are evolving beyond simple frequent-custom rewards as marketers move towards being fully-fledged loyalty companies.
B2C marketing messages themselves are also having to evolve, as customer engagement messages threaten to inundate consumers. A predicted 40% increase in marketing message volume means that increasing innovation is required if your message is to even be noticed in the flood, still less stand out and engage the customer.
With budgets being cut and continued uncertainty around major marketing events – with the Tokyo Olympics taking place in empty stadia, for example – optimisation is becoming another key driver of strategy. Indeed Forrester predicts a 3% growth in campaign optimisation spending, with a particular focus on automation that will cut down on human hours spent on data analysis. The smart marketer will assess where optimisation tasks can be automated, allowing human time to be redirected to activities that offer measurable returns – including customer retention.
Forrester predicts that ‘instead of focusing on product- or performance-based marketing, brands will double down on retention efforts and lean on brand loyalists (and their wallets) to help weather the economic storm.’
‘They can do so by defining the value of their CRM and introducing strategic initiatives as well as precise execution and optimisation techniques.’
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Marketing will be Increasingly Localised
Marketers’ target audience base has itself evolved. With more people working from home and a rise in movement away from urban centres and into rural areas, Forrester predicts a rush to realign messaging. Geographically targeted engagement will flourish, and indeed is already doing so. Forrester points out that ultra-local social network Nextdoor has seen engagement rise by 73% during the pandemic, clearly demonstrating that consumers themselves are turning their focus inward.
Adapt to Survive and Flourish
Forrester points out that some of the changes in the marketing landscape that have arisen out of the COVID-19 crisis are here to stay.
Marketers have to adapt their strategies, their messaging and their targeting if they’re to remain relevant into the new reality.
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CRM Transformation Practice at redk
Hideki applies over 15 years of experience in the field of CRM and Customer Experience to overcome business challenges in the customer cycle.