Digital Marketing

Consumer’s paradigms are shifting – what it means for marketers and brands

Consumer's paradigms are shifting - what it means for marketers and brands
Written by Publishing Team

The two-year COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the way consumers think and shop, calling for marketers to change gear and accommodate new desires and motivations.

A Gartner survey of 1,752 consumers during October 2021 identified top consumer and cultural trends for marketers in 2022.

“Marketers responsible for strategic planning, targeting, positioning, messaging, and corporate responsibility initiatives can use these trends to better align their initiatives with key cultural issues and changes in consumer behavior and attitudes,” says Kate Mull, Vice President of Marketing Practices at Gartner.

Personal revolution: the pandemic has created space for consumers to ask big questions and test alternative ways of living

Fewer people associate their identities with their work or career. This was evident as the US Department of Labor reported that 4.5 million workers, or 3% of the workforce, left their jobs in November 2021, matching the record set in September.

The Gartner survey also revealed that 51% of workers admit to performing personal tasks during work hours more frequently than before the pandemic.

Says Muhl, “Marketers must realize that consumers are in the midst of a stressful spiritual and practical reform process. This presents an opportunity for their brands to be a facilitator of change.

“Consumers value themselves more. For this reason, brands must emphasize their values ​​talking about themes including authenticity, identity and self-respect.”

Time Warp: Society rethinks the experience, possibilities, and meaning of time

Among those surveyed, 77% of consumers reported experiencing some distortion in their perception of the pace of time, led by Generation Z (91%) and Millennials (88%).

Also, 66% of consumers reported having difficulty making long-term plans or life changes at some point during the pandemic.

Marketers should appreciate the profound cultural shifts underway with respect to time and focus on brand values ​​that satisfy consumers’ desire for control, health, and reality.

The Quest for Fidelity: The class and contextual nature of social and traditional media is stressful – consumers directly seek

A Gartner survey identified 61% of consumers watching or listening to entertainment to “relax or unwind”, followed by 41% who identified it as “escape or stop thinking about reality” and 33% to “experience funny moments”.

With these insights, marketers should realize that many consumers care more about telling straightforward, uncomplicated stories than they used to be, says Gartner.

Says Muhl, “The lesson here for marketing leaders is to do everything they can to reduce the mental burden. It is not about increasing emotional engagement or intimacy. For now, marketers should focus on simplifying the message and simplifying the consumer journey.”

Omnichannel Flex: Consumers switch and mix online and in-person experiences outside of shopping

Necessity has pushed consumers to new digital platforms, but convenience keeps them there. 39% of consumers claimed that they enjoy the new conveniences of connecting to the Internet or doing almost everything in different areas of their lives, an increase of 6% from 2020.

Meanwhile, 57% of consumers identified their online or virtual experiences as insufficient alternatives to in-person or offline experiences, an increase of 17% from 2020.

Marketers should continue to invest in customer touch points and offerings that allow for mixed online and in-person styles of interaction and selection.

They must also differentiate their brands by selecting omnichannel options not only as a way to gain security and exercise control, but also as a route to convenience, analysts say.

Home First: With normalcy out ‘before the times’, consumers have settled into a home-focused approach to living

Consumers plan to expand their focus on their homes beyond lockdown, with 58% of survey respondents saying the pandemic will have a lasting impact on the way they think and manage their homes (12% more than in 2020).

Says Muhl, “Marketers must update their understanding of the key drivers behind home-centredness. Next year, it will not be so much about consumers avoiding threats as about consumers engaging in cost-benefit analysis about experience.”

With this in mind, marketers should develop product offerings and purchasing channels that align with this home lifestyle and emphasize aspects of their brands’ values ​​that speak to consumers looking for safety, security and serenity, Gartner said.

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Publishing Team