If there’s one thing you need to do to succeed in the ever-changing world of digital marketing, it’s adapt. Every year, something new and shiny comes along that grabs consumers’ (and business owners’) attention. Remember Vine? And when Snap was all the rage? Today, it’s all about TikTok, and in three years, we’ll no doubt be served up another slew of marketing methods and opportunities which we’ll need to seize with both hands – for those who don’t adapt get left behind, and only those who see challenges as exciting possibilities instead of roadblocks will shine through.
But for a moment, let’s take a step back. We can often get so inundated with following new trends, building followings on up-and-coming platforms, and squeezing every penny out of our business’s bottom line to the point where the fundamental truth of our brand – the why that drives us – can fall to the wayside.
That’s why in 2022 and beyond, as customers become more aware of the marketing tricks, as the sellers’ market becomes more saturated, and as technology and software put the power in the hands of the consumer instead of the advertiser (sometimes, not always; but certainly more so than in bygone years), the key to rising to the top can be summarised in one word: authenticity.
Authenticity. Plaster it on the walls or write it on your mirror with a Sharpie if you need to, because authenticity is what separates the dropshippers from the brands, and the cookie-cutter companies from the beloved communities.
But why does authenticity matter? And why now?
With so much choice – just take the skincare industry as an obvious example – customers need a leg up when it comes to making a choice. Subconsciously, and often consciously too, they want to connect with you. But it’s 2022, and they’re not oblivious either. Online audiences know that we collect their data and throw a stack of marketing tactics their way from all directions — and because of that, they expect nothing but the best experience in return.
So how do we create the “best experience”?
In short, it’s by being genuine. But let’s expand on that.
Authenticity is first and foremost knowing your brand’s values. Why do you exist? What makes you special? What can spark that real connection with your customers? Perhaps it’s a sustainable motive, perhaps it’s a message to love the skin you’re in, or perhaps it’s striving for a more efficient routine so that customers can spend less time at work and more time with families – whatever it is, once your values are clear, operating within them consistently is what will drive you forward.
Consistency is important, but moreover, it’s about building trust. Customers want to connect with you through shared values, yet they also want to know what they’re getting in crystal-clear terms, they want to be taken seriously, and they want to be treated as an individual.
Treated as an individual – that’s the other side to the coin. We also need to understand that what’s ‘best’ is subjective – and that what connects with one person doesn’t for another, no matter how authentic you come across. So how can you be the best brand in the eyes of hundreds (or millions) of people who have differing opinions? It’s not a trick question; the solution to the best consumer experience, one that will work universally, is personalisation.
We’re numbers geeks – we love our data here at Megaphone, and in this instance, the numbers don’t lie. In fact, 91% of consumers say they’re more likely to shop with brands that provide personalised offers and recommendations. So say goodbye to mass-market ads and email blasts; one-size-fits-all marketing is long-gone.
It all, of course, begs the question: how can you add a splash of personalisation to your process? Simple, really: through implementing cross-selling and post-purchase email flows.
Our clients saw, on average, a 20% increase in repeat purchases from automated post-purchase email flows and cross-selling strategies.
Why? Because personalisation applied properly (on your webpage, in search terms, at the checkout, and through marketing material and product recommendations) will enhance the user experience and build rapport between business and customer.
Bringing it all back together now… authenticity = transparency + personalisation.
But that’s not all…
2022 will be the year of not only personalised messages and products, but personalised virtual shopping experiences too. Shopify suggests that nearly 52% of brands will be investing in enabling online shoppers to connect with brand reps (i.e. via chat, social, text or video).
Thanks to the magic of the new age, virtual shopping lets shoppers enjoy the perks of in-store shopping from home through real-time interactions. Just like you could in-store in the good old days, shoppers can now ask questions, try on clothes (with avatars), and get recommendations from experts — all virtually!
All in all, whether shopping online or at a physical store, customers’ expectations are high, and rising. All you have to do is meet, and then exceed those expectations with personalised experiences, and you’ll be saying hello to more sales in return in no time.
In today’s saturated retail environment, nailing an exceptional level of customer service can set your brand apart – both in-store and online.
Want to scale up your business and connect with your customers on a deeper level? Let our Digital Strategists work their magic with a FREE marketing audit AND 2022 Digital Strategy worth $1200.