2020 was a year full of formidable disruption and mixed emotions. As a result, brand marketers are urged to resolve decreased sales, tougher customer acquisition, and sluggish customer loyalty. According to Dentsu’s CMO Survey, 43% of the interviewed marketing leaders think the biggest challenge expected in 2021 will be “Understanding what consumer behavior is (temporary vs. permanent)” given the fragmented market and volatile consumer trends caused by COVID-19.
In a recent study by GlobalWebIndex, the firm notes that “kindness is the new currency”. The report indicates that consumers care more about whether brands are living up to their purposes and pledges to support people in need during the pandemic compared to the typical wishes for quality products/services or discounts in the past. In order to succeed in the current economic climate, brands must spend more effort empathizing with their consumers and improve customers’ emotional loyalty.
At Segmanta, we specialize in forming tight bonds with consumers by leveraging our declarative (or self-reported) approach. Based on our experience, here are the three ways brands can infuse kindness into their campaigns, easily and effectively.
Collect Declarative, Or Self-reported Data To Gain Actionable Insights
In a survey conducted by EY, 80% of consumers claimed that they are open to provide data to brands in exchange for a better experience. Based on the stats from Econsultancy, “only 23% of executives are confident in the speed at which they’re gaining accurate insights”. Apparently, there is huge potential for harvesting insightful data from willing customers.
A powerful and meaningful practice of using declarative data is how the cosmetic brand Sephora helps to eliminate racial bias. The company conducted on-going research for one year and discovered that 60% of the retail shoppers have experienced biased treatment but not many took action to provide this feedback to the brands. Additionally, Sephora learned that race is an impactful factor in customer experience based on the survey result. The brand took measures to increase the inventory of all-race-inclusive products. As a result, the company gained stronger engagement and loyalty from the customers by making them feel included.
(Photo credit: Forbes)
Utilizing an easy-to-use data collection tool, such as Segmanta’s Declarative Data Cloud, is crucial to effectively reach and truly understand consumers, which leads to informative learnings. With kindness trending amongst consumer emotions since the pandemic took place, understanding how to deliver brand messages with care points a clear direction as the market recovers from the COVID-19 disturbance.
- Declarative data helps enrich existing customer profiles, providing more holistic understanding and forming deeper relationships.
- Declarative data helps enhance the customer journey as brands can prompt personalized communication and special offers towards customers that they have already spoken with.
- Declarative collection methods, such as surveys and poll to gain feedback directly from consumers saves valuable time and money.
- Declarative data is consensual and secure. Ethically gathered consumer information is rapidly growing into a powerful data source.
Form Partnerships And Engage A Diverse Audience
A really amazing partnership that we’ve seen recently is how Headspace teamed up with Netflix to share the importance of self-care and the benefits of meditation. Headspace uses Netflix’s popularity (over 200 million paid members) to guide, and to influence viewers to be kind to their minds during this difficult time via an immersive meditation series “Headspace Guide to Meditation” on new years day of 2021. This successful collaboration indicates that echoing consumers’ emotional needs by showing care is a new way to add value for consumers. In return, both brands won better customer loyalty and lifetime value.
(Photo credit: Netflix)
- A partnership allows brands to strategically share resources, audiences, and creativity to maximize the campaign’s effectiveness.
- Partnerships can bring divided audiences together via tailored content or messages based on declarative consumer understanding.
- Partnerships can enhance the brand image via the collective impact generated by both parties, such as promoting kindness and social responsibilities.
Grow A Brand Community And Let Customers Voice Their Opinions
Similar to collecting declarative data, nurturing a community amongst loyal customers is an impactful strategy, especially long-term. No matter where the community is hosted (it can be social media, brand applications/websites, newsletters, etc.), the feedback (zero-party data) can turn into informative learning. Eventually, brands can take advantage of the insights to better serve and care for their customers. For instance, Spotify Community, which currently has roughly 7.5 million music enthusiasts, is a collaborative space for users to discover awesome music, exchange music ideas, and provide customer service. As a community space mixed with expert assistance, user-generated content, and topics about kindness and equality (for example, Black Lives Matter had 64M+ streams, Working-From-Home had 1,400% growth in the number of related playlists), Spotify brings users more value than just a music application. As a result, Spotify fans grow more engaged with the platform and more loyal to the brand.
(Photo credit: Spotify)
- Communities allow brand managers to directly interact with customers and tap into what they truly wish for as well as to identify the most suitable format and message to engage the high-value audience.
- Communities encourage customers to connect with each other in an informal environment. Brands are able to take action and improve based on shared pain points amongst customers.
- Communities open up two-way communication between brands and customers, enabling both ends to share knowledge and ideas.
As the world continues to battle COVID-19 and other uncertainties, kindness will live on to be the driving emotion in the future. With consumers’ wellness in mind, the brands that equip themselves with declarative tools to understand and look out for their customers will be able to keep the momentum in the long run.