As the “Predictions for 2020” flooded our inboxes back in December, it is safe to say that they all had at least one thing in common: none of them mentioned how the coronavirus would upend our world, our daily routines, and our industry. As people around the world shelter-in-place and adapt to this “new normal,” our behavior is changing. We see this change most starkly in how we behave as consumers.
The advent of the internet has had the biggest impact on our consumer behavior to date and I would venture to say that the proliferation of mobile devices around the world would come in an easy second. But now we are faced with something that our society has not seen in over 100 years since the last pandemic caused upheaval and reshaped American life as they knew it then.
There is so much unknown about the long-term impacts of the coronavirus and it seems as if every other column I read attempts to predict what the future will hold. I don’t have access to a crystal ball and I don’t claim to know anything more than the next marketer trying to make sense of it all, but I do know one thing that I believe will prove to be true. Consumer behavior has been greatly changed. We are all staying safe at home to help stop the spread. As a result, we are consuming more media and all of our shopping has gone online.
Yet the online experience has become increasingly expensive for marketers and less enjoyable for consumers as ads and targeting have become increasingly noisy. What drew me to PebblePost three years ago was the product itself. I felt that there was a simplistic beauty in direct mail retargeting. Today, I believe that our value prop is stronger than ever as we all spend more time at home and online.
Here are three questions to ask as you’re re-evaluating your marketing plans right now and how we can help:
1. Where are You Reaching Consumers?
With school and office closures, and social distancing in place, the one place you are guaranteed to find consumers today is at home. Consumers are hunkered down and navigating how to adjust to working, living and now more than ever shopping from home. Is your media plan reflective of this? Are you investing in channels that will provide you with the best opportunity to reach consumers and drive results?
At PebblePost, we have built our mission around helping marketers reach consumers where they can have the most impact — at home. We have long believed in the power of at-home marketing and the current situation has emboldened us to bring the power of Programmatic Direct Mail® to market even more.
2. How are You Communicating with Consumers?
We are all stressed as we are worrying about our loved ones, our health, our finances, and a general uncertainty like we have never known before. In the midst of all of this, how are you reaching consumers in terms of message and tone? Are you irritating them by not being thoughtful enough or are you coming off as insincere and opportunistic? There is a balance that marketers must strike and this balance is more important than ever.
Our marketing programs are built with the consumer in mind and we seek to deliver at-home marketing that is 100% relevant and respectful. Our focus is on enabling brands to build strong relationships with consumers that are centered on communication that is founded on these two pillars and is not intrusive or disruptive.
3. Are You Still Investing Enough in Reaching Consumers?
The most important advice for any marketer today: keep marketing. Although instinctually, it may seem as if marketing should be the first budget cut when times are tough and a recession is looming, data has proven that brands who keep marketing end up better off once things turn around. Instead, this is the time to rethink where you’re investing and to make sure that you’re still innovating and diversifying your mix. When re-evaluating your marketing strategy, determine if what you’re doing today reaches consumers at the right place and in a way that is respectful and relevant to them and as a result is effective and efficient for you.
Revisiting your marketing plans every 2–3 months is a prudent and necessary tactic amidst so much uncertainty. If you'd like to discuss with the PebblePost team, we'd be happy to help.