Marketing is fundamentally changing and that requires an attitude shift from marketers and businesses alike. Today, the most successful strategies involve a much more communicative and engaged approach to consumers. It’s not simply enough anymore to be throwing the most money at the issue or making the most noise. Building real relationships and authentic loyalty is now what it’s really all about.
Marketing has a chequered history when it comes to positivity. Although negative messaging and comparisons may have been used in the past, in 2019 we are entering an era where marketing needs to be positive. This may be as a result of the uncertainty that is being generated by Brexit and world events that continue to shock and unnerve. Whatever the cause, consumers now find negative messaging off-putting. The most successful marketing strategies this year are likely to be those that create positive experiences, focus on positive relationships and help consumers to feel good.
Consumers are a lot more aware and issues-driven than they have been in years gone by. Many are keen to buy only from brands that support the same issues. Others want the purchases that they make to mean something – or at least to avoid contributing to negative situations such as environmental degradation. As a result, marketing that is driven by genuine purpose and passion is proving to be incredibly successful. A prime example of this comes from the designer brand Lacoste. The Lacoste logo – the crocodile – is famous the world over and many would view it as a strategic error to move away from it, even temporarily.
However, recently Lacoste created a limited edition range of clothing that replaced the crocodile with endangered species to trigger a discussion about animal conservation. The result? Not only did consumers start looking into more animal conservation issues but the range sold out in 24 hours. Human emotions are a powerful tool when it comes to marketing. For those businesses that are working towards something more than just profit there is a genuine opportunity to better engage with customers by demonstrating purpose and passion.
Brand values matter to consumers in the same way as supporting issues that they care about. Many consumers are keen to give their cash to companies whose values align with their own. That’s why marketing today needs to have a firm set of clearly defined, authentic values at its base. Confused values can undermine even the most well-resourced marketing campaign.
A lack of connection between the values a brand says it believes in and the reality of the way it does business can also be incredibly damaging. 2019 is the year in which brand values, marketing and operations all need to be brought into alignment. This paves the way to create real connections with consumers. As around a quarter of UK consumers believe that a brand’s values, actions and reputation are as important as its products, the implications for marketing are clear.
Marketing is changing in 2019. We are moving away from the methods and approaches of the past to a more connected and authentic future. If you’d like to reshape your marketing strategy to account for this perspective shift get in touch with the Iconic Digital team today on 020 7100 0726.