The Next Evolution of Marketing

Everything we know about marketing has changed. For years, marketing has been about creating as much content as possible and pushing it out to as many people as possible, hoping that something sticks. However, today's consumers are much savvier. They're bombarded with marketing messages from all sides and know how to tune out the noise.


Consumer behavior has changed dramatically in recent years and especially since the pandemic, but this doesn't mean that businesses have adapted their strategies to align with these changes. In fact, there are many brands still lagging behind and only realize the importance of change when it's too late.


“The new consumer behaviors span all areas of life, from how we work to how we shop to how we entertain ourselves.” - McKinsey

This can be a fatal mistake, as failing to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of consumer behavior can lead to irrelevance and eventually extinction. The key is to always be ahead of the curve and anticipate the needs of your target market. Those who fail to do so will inevitably be left behind.


So let’s pull back the curtains and uncover how marketing has changed and how to transition into this new age.


The next evolution of marketing

How Marketing has Changed


Consumers have become increasingly adept at ignoring marketing messages that are not relevant to them. In the past, companies could rely on mass marketing techniques to reach a large audience with their message. However, today's consumers are more likely to tune out these messages or even actively avoid them.


As a result, companies need to be more targeted and strategic in their marketing efforts. They need to find ways to reach consumers with messages that are relevant and interesting to them. Otherwise, they risk being ignored completely.


Let’s take a look at how marketing has changed as a result of consumer behavior:


Consumers are busier than ever


People simply don't have the time or the attention span to stick around and watch content that doesn't directly cater to their wants and needs. Getting the viewer's attention is a gift and needs to be earned. This requires a brand to really dive deep into the psyche of its target market to create content that captivates and converts.


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Consumers see brands as living, breathing organisms


In today's hyper-connected world, brands are seen as living, breathing organisms. This is in part due to the rise of social media, which has given consumers a platform to connect with brands on a personal level. As a result, brands have never been more visible—or more human. I mean, after all, there are people behind a brand, so it’s not such a crazy assumption.


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Consumers are ready to be reached


They are actively looking to forge relationships with brands that understand them on a deeper level. We share their content, leave them reviews, and engage in conversations with other consumers on their social media pages. In addition, the way we consume media has changed dramatically in recent years. Gone are the days when we would passively consume content; now, we are constantly interacting with the brands we love (and hate).


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Consumers have more resources


The explosion of the internet has made the world a much bigger place. This increased access to information has given consumers more power than ever before. In many ways, this is a good thing. It gives consumers a greater sense of control over the brands they support. However, it also means that brands have to work harder than ever to build trust and loyalty. If a business doesn't live up to its promises, consumers will quickly move on to one that does.


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How to Transition into this New Age


Marketing is evolutionary, not revolutionary. That is because consumers are the ones who drive change, and marketers have to adapt to those changes, not the other way around. Many businesses, however, still find themselves in the old way of marketing; yet, to stay ahead of the curve, we have to market differently.


Marketers don't have to reinvent the wheel, but they do need to be resilient in the face of change. By paying attention to consumer behavior and adjusting your strategy accordingly, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are always relevant and effective.


Here are three critical things to keep in mind:

1. Authenticity

2. Engagement

3. Value


Authenticity


A report by Stackla found that there is a significant disconnect between what marketers and consumers believe to be authentic when it comes to branded content. While an overwhelming majority of marketers (92%) believe that their content resonates as authentic with consumers, consumers believe that only 51% of branded content actually resonates as being authentic. This tells us that, when it comes to creating authentic branded content, marketers are missing the mark.


While an overwhelming majority of marketers (92%) believe that their content resonates as authentic with consumers, consumers believe that only 51% of branded content actually resonates as being authentic.

Source: Stackla


As society becomes more digital, many people are longing for more authentic relationships. We all crave human connection. It's hardwired into our DNA. Throughout our lives, we seek out these connections, and they enrich us in ways that nothing else can. The digital world has created new opportunities for human connection to foster, and brands that understand this can forge lasting bonds with their customers.


Engagement


There's no question that businesses need to focus on creating genuine connections with their audience if they want to win them over. A one-way conversation isn't going to cut it anymore. In today's climate, people are looking for brands that care about more than just the bottom line.


Businesses realize that real relationships require real people. By adding a human element to their brand, they stop being a faceless corporation and start being a brand that consumers want to interact and engage with. In a crowded marketplace, getting the people behind the brand out of the shadows can be a powerful competitive advantage.


This is why brands like the Washington Post have seen momentous success on their TikTok by making their senior video reporter Dave Jorgenson the face of the brand. They have even expanded their team on the platform and have amassed a following of 1.4 million.


Washington Post TikTok account

Source: Washington Post


Value


Consumers are bombarded with thousands of messages from brands every day! And yet, amidst all this noise, some brands manage to break through and capture our attention. How do they do it? In many cases, it comes down to understanding what we want and need. Instead of bombarding us with generic messages, they speak to us as individuals and provide value.


Consumers are always looking to get ahead. If your product or service can give them that competitive edge, then there's no doubt they will take notice. The challenge, however, is cutting through the noise and positioning yourself as the solution provider. For example, people struggling to post on social media consistently may find themselves listening intently when someone shares information about a platform that automates the process. Brands need to listen to what their consumers actually want if they want them to take notice.


The key is understanding your audience and what they find valuable.

  • What kind of information are they hungry for?

  • What will make them sit up and take notice?


Once you understand this, you can begin to create content that resonates authentically and that they find valuable enough to engage with.


The companies that succeed in today's marketplace are the ones that understand how to reach consumers on a deeper level. They're the ones that are constantly innovating and experimenting, and they're the ones that are willing to take risks. The bottom line is that marketing has changed, and those who don't adapt will be left behind.



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