Modern marketing strategies you wish you know in 2022

Old marketing strategies stopped working when the Internet came around

In the past, companies and large multinationals had a great influence on the market. They shaped consumer perceptions and behaviors through targeted marketing. And that was all they needed to rake in profits.

During those times, consumers were driven largely by their individual preferences. And in addition, companies handled innovation internally. Many global and locally renowned companies invested so much in internal research and development, and customers always liked what they brought forth.

But things have changed, thanks to the Internet — social media especially.

To properly understand the horizontal shift, take a look at what is happening in most industries. Companies are fast losing the sole authority they used to have. For example, a few decades ago, if you wanted to be up to date with current happenings, you would need to sit and watch TV news at specific times of the day. But all that has changed. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels, the Internet reports news as soon as it happens. The issues of fake news and fake reporters are gradually ending with the emergence of eyewitness reports given by random people on social media.

Entrepreneurs from developing countries are learning from those in developed countries to create businesses similar to what is obtainable in developed nations, thereby making such products and services available for local consumers. That is inclusivity at its finest. Good examples are Alipay in China, which is similar to Paypal; flipkart.com, an Indian company inspired by Amazon; and Uber—inspired Grab in Malaysia.

Globally speaking, marketing has changed dimensions.

Today, the average buyer doesn’t depend solely on brand popularity when making purchase decisions. He goes online searching for the social waves the product or service he desires to purchase is making, then decides on whether it will be good for him or not.

A new clothing line that invests so much in video and content marketing plus social interactions from existing customers tends to attract more customers than another clothing line that doesn’t have an online presence.

Modern-day marketers need to pay attention to Youth, women, and netizens (YWN)

Traditionally, marketers concentrate more on men and senior citizens. This marketing dynamic used to deliver massive results in the past partly because men and senior citizens had more money than the rest of the population and thus were better armed to make purchase decisions for the family.

In the setting described above, marketers considered youths and women less significant when making marketing communications. But the whole dynamic has changed. To be successful in the marketing world today, you need to pay close attention to the youths, women, as well as netizens — or internet citizens.

The youths.

This demographic is slowly becoming the major demographic in the world’s population. A study reported in 2014 by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) revealed that there were over 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 and 24. That’s the highest in world history.

But that’s not all. About 90% of this demographic are from developing countries, meaning they are facing difficult life challenges which are actually motivating them to live their full potential. The result is that many youths are increasing their income and net worth. A lot of them are either in the middle economic class or higher.

Not to add the fact that this demographic takes social interaction seriously.

They are the main target of most marketers and for obvious reasons. If you’re bringing a new product to the market, then your first target should be the Youth. And if you succeed with them, your product will almost always succeed. Apple practiced this when they introduced the iPod to the market. Spotify and Netflix are also good examples of products that succeeded because the Youth embraced them.

Women.

If you want to increase your market share, then learn to take women seriously. Women have a unique gift when it comes to making purchase decisions, and this has made many of them in charge of household — and even office — purchase decision making.

Unlike men, women don’t go straight ahead to purchase a product. They take the time to research the product, compare prices, and listen to their F-Factor (friends, family, fans, and followers) and social reviews before finally settling on a product or service to buy.

Because of this, most of them control their family finances. Research conducted in 2013 shows that women are 41 % of American employees who have the power to influence their employers’ purchase decisions.

Lastly, women are holistic shoppers, so your marketing communications won’t be a waste. This is unlike men who go for what they want and consider it a waste of time to do any deep research.

Netizens.

In the early 1990s, Michael Hauben coined the word Netizens and defined it as a group of people committed to the growth and development of the Internet.

The Netizens are the real democrats committed to helping each other get better. They do this by helping one another make good purchase decisions. This is seen through social media interactions and reviews about different brands and products. The average buyer takes the words of a stranger on the Internet more seriously than your marketing communications. If you can target and influence Netizens, you will wield absolute power.

Customer path has changed in this connectivity era. You must adjust, too

In general, buyers tend to obey the following sequence or pathway from when they first encounter a new brand to when they make a purchase: Aware, appeal, ask, act, advocate.

The first stage is when customers first learn about the brand. This could be through personal research, company advertisements, or word of mouth. The method of communication often impacts the appeal stage. For instance, customers are more likely to be interested when a friend or family member recommends a brand to them than when they merely encountered the brand in a TV commercial.

This is why having a strong brand awareness is important. The more brand awareness a company has, the better its chances of gaining new customers. But don’t just stop at building great brand awareness. You also need to ensure things are in place to ensure your brand appeals to potential customers. Naturally, what you do to make this happen depends on your industry and target market. For instance, a food and beverage company would not like to joke with colour and taste appeal.

Ask” is the next stage after appeal. The potential buyer won’t spend much time in this stage if the brand appeals to him. But basically, what happens here is that the customer begins to ask around about the brand. He asks friends and family and also checks what the online community has to say about your brand. Your efforts might become frustrated in this phase if your brand is not popular offline and you don’t have a quality online presence.

However, if the potential customer is satisfied with his research findings, he will be moved to “act.” This is the phase where he patronizes your brand.

Many brands stop their efforts here and find it challenging to turn customers into brand loyalists. The quality of your product or service and how you deliver it matter so much. If you win the customer’s hearts through quality and excellent service delivery, you will naturally turn them into loyalists. People love to have good things, and they don’t hesitate to recommend good products and services to people in their social circles.

Strategies for improving your marketing productivity

To improve your marketing productivity, you need to pay attention to the five A’s that make up the pathways every customer follows. Your goal is to put things in place to ensure your customers move from brand awareness to brand loyalty. Here’s how:

Increase attraction

You do this to make your brand more appealing to customers. If people don’t find your brand attractive enough, they won’t move from the awareness to the appeal stage. What really makes a brand appealing these days?

Well, in this digital age where everything is automated and tech-driven, human-centric brands tend to win people’s hearts.

Timberland, the outdoor lifestyle brand, practiced this well when they pledged to cumulatively cultivate 10 million trees and make use of renewable energy sources in their production process. Another similar brand is Tesla. This brand is eco-friendly, and that’s why people love it so much.

Optimize curiosity

Make your brand appealing enough, add an element of curiosity and you will move customers from awareness to appeal and to ask.

How do you make people curious about your brand? Reveal little information and make them want to know more.

One way you can do this effectively is through content marketing. Content marketing is a subtle form of marketing in which you provide strategic and targeted information to a specific audience. Usually, the information meets the audience’s immediate needs while pointing to the brand as the source of that information. For instance, if you own a fitness company, investing in content marketing means dishing out useful health and fitness information for free on your website and social media handles. If you have an additional budget, you could leverage traditional media like TV, radio stations, and news agencies.

Through content marketing, you will spark enough curiosity to make your potential customer move from the appeal stage to the asking stage. Below is what you can do to improve your brand’s chances of being patronized by the customer you have appealed to.

Increase commitment

How do you get a customer to act?

For many brands, this is the hardest thing to do. But it doesn’t have to be so difficult.

If there’s one thing you should know about modern marketing, it is that customers like to have security and plenty of options. Give your potential customers multiple choices and make them secure enough, and you will easily convert them to actual buyers.

Ask companies with excellent payback guarantees and refund systems, and you will know how true this is.

If a customer is meeting your brand for the first time, he wants to be sure he won’t throw money away by buying your brand. A payback guarantee is one major strategy to make him feel secure. When you’ve settled that, you need to give your buyer multiple purchase options. Imagine seeing a brand advert on TV. You’re curious enough to search for it online. The reviews you see about it make you know you need to buy the brand. Then you tried purchasing their product…only to find that you can’t order online. It’s only found in a small store far from your location.

Discouraged? Oh yeah.

A brand should go to great lengths to make itself available to the customer. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and give them the highest comfort possible. It’s a good idea to make both online and offline purchases of your product possible. This is especially for people in competitive industries.

Increase affinity

How do you do that? Up your customer service. Be sure to give your customer the best treatment possible. While doing this, don’t think it’s for the present. You’re doing it for the future — when a customer becomes a brand loyalist, he will not only repurchase, he will tell others in his circle about your brand.

Another point is to ensure you deliver as promised. Some marketers and salespeople over promise and under deliver. Please don’t do it. Instead, you need to make it the other way round — deliver more than your customer expects.

You can also effectively use the power of mobile apps, social CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and gamification to increase brand affinity.

Give customers the WOW experience

Have you ever been to a store to get something, and the service you experienced just left you screaming “wow!”?

It happens occasionally, and sometimes it seems like giving customers the WOW experience is a thing of chance. Really, if you look at it from one angle, it’s something that happens mostly by chance since customers are wowed by how their personal expectations are met. And you won’t always know the expectations of your customers nor their past experiences, so there’s no way to guarantee a WOW formula, right?

Not exactly. Taking time to study the behavior and expectations of customers in your industry and then coming up with different ways to meet their problems will ultimately WOW them. The key is to listen to the inaudible demands of the market and commit yourself to meeting them.

Conclusion

The Internet and technology have changed the face of marketing. To enjoy marketing success, you need to move from traditional to digital marketing. This does not only imply using digital tools to market your brand. It’s deeper than that. It means understanding the predominant demographic of the modern market and knowing how they make purchase decisions.

The modern customer walks the following path for every brand they buy: Awareness, appeal, ask, act and advocate. Your task as a marketer, therefore, is to ensure all things are in place to guide your customers through all the stages.

Try this

Analyze your marketing strategy in light of the five A’s. Determine what stage in the pathway your brand is most likely to lose customers, then find ways to fix it.