Changing consumer habits has entrepreneurs across the world rethinking how their messaging and sales reach their customer base. These trends will also impact how businesses advertise and market their products or offerings. According to the Harvard Business Review, these changing consumer habits could make conventional sales obsolete. As a specific example, when it comes to B2B sales, more than 54% of millennials prefer making purchases without the help of a traditional sales rep.
Historically, marketing was used to present compelling content to help sales professionals complete a transaction. In light of widespread digital consumership, pandemics, and a host of other factors, marketing and sales seem to be merging. The days of employing sales professionals to serve as an intermediary between the consumer and the product are dwindling. A great example of this the auto industry. Today, consumers have abundant options for purchasing cars and quite a lot of these options don’t involve physically visiting an auto dealership. Instead, purchasers can search for cars online and can even purchase a vehicle digitally—all without a traditional dealership representative. This phenomenon is happening across the world in nearly every industry, too.
On the one hand, this trend can be great for business. After all, getting the customer directly to a product reduces the need for a large labor force. On the other hand, though, the messaging that compels a consumer to buy a product must be very precise and informative. Today, marketing and advertising is so much more than promoting a product. This messaging must also inform the consumer on where and how to purchase a product or service, then supply the infrastructure to facilitate sales transactions quickly and easily.
Responding to Changing Consumer Habits
One successful example businesses can draw on is a Canadian software company, called SMART, which supplies technology to educators. When this company’s leaders realized changing consumer trends, they overhauled their business model. Now, SMART operates with a “Unified Commercial Engine” that maps the consumer experience without conventional sales reps. In this process, SMART identified the chain of events for consumers, which includes: learning about a product, buying/ordering a product, installing a product, and receiving tech support after a purchase has been made. This company shifted its labor force to accommodate the stages of consumer interaction and has seen significant success in aligning their procedures to changing consumer trends.
Businesses can draw inspiration from SMART’s proactive approach. By understanding their clientele’s purchasing experience, SMART was able to align their brand’s messaging to educate consumers on specific products and purchasing options.
One important aspect of delving into the consumer’s experience and purchasing behavior involves analyzing data and feedback from clientele. Today’s consumers dedicate ample time to researching products and services before making purchases. Accommodating this behavior involves providing visual story content in the form of infographics, videos, and photo-supported marketing copy. Humans can process visual content at a rate 60,000 times faster than standalone text. Information about your products and services should be easily scannable. This means, marketing content should incorporate bullet points and concise sentence structure. Presenting information in an easily digestible format has a positive effect on consumer engagement.
Another way to facilitate consumer engagement is by merging print and digital marketing. Print advertising can be used to enhance a consumer’s online interactions with your brand. A great example of this is utilizing direct mail retargeting after a potential customer demonstrates interest in your services or products. For example, direct mail retargeting can send advertising materials like coupons or discount codes after a consumer has added items to a digital shopping cart or submitted an e-mail subscription form.
Responding to changing consumer habits is a massive undertaking but facilitating a great consumer experience is attainable with well-executed marketing and a proactive approach. The experts at Pel Hughes can help. We offer database services, direct mail retargeting, graphic design, and a number of other services to help businesses attract today’s savvy consumers. Give our team a call at (504) 486-8646 to learn more.