How marketers can track changing customer behaviour in a Pandemic world
Following our previous blog on ‘How the Coronavirus crisis has affected B2B marketing’ we’ve seen how marketers have had to adapt through the pandemic.
After a phase of response and then recovery, marketers are now looking for ways to thrive once again.
The pandemic has brought about significant changes in buying behaviours with customer journeys changing on a daily basis. Now more than ever, it’s important for marketers to analyse how their customer’s buying behaviour has changed, and what they’ve learnt from this.
The e-commerce retail market, which stood at $30 billion in 2019, is expected to cross the $100-billion mark by 2024, driven by an increase in suppliers selling online and a change in buying behaviour of consumers.
Since the start of the current pandemic, numerous reports state how Covid-19 has accelerated existing trends such as e-commerce, with companies experiencing years of change, condensed into a few months.
As a result, according to Forbes, brands, large and small, are scrambling to catch up with radical changes in buyer behaviour. Whereas pre Covid people purchased some products online, now customers purchase most things online.
Pre Covid, we also saw the ‘buyer journey’ change with lengthening buying cycles and an increase in the number of people involved in a buying committee as organisations looked to mitigate risk. Is that trend increasing in your business? If so, you need to adapt your approach to lead management to match the change.
This radicle, sharp shift in online buying behaviours greatly affects how companies market themselves today and the routes they use to attract new business. So, having in-depth insight on shifts and changes to the way buyers are consuming is key to keeping your business ahead of the competition.
So, what are the best ways of tracking, reporting and recognising buyer behaviour change?
Delivering the correct information, service and personal attention to each customer is key. It’s important to revisit and analyse your customer profiles to predict the needs and demands of individuals and how these have shifted during the Pandemic. Broadly analyse your internal data records to understand their current preferences, demands, need etc, and adapt your marketing and technology approach accordingly.
Social Media Engagement
45% of the global population, 3.5 billion customers, are using social media today. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or messaging apps are all perfect platforms with great analytics data to monitor engagement and behaviour, to determine new trends or opportunities for your business to adapt.
Use these platforms to guide people back to your website and ensure to have a customer response team, media centre or self-help options that logs and tracks enquiries, and takes customers through the remainder of their buying journey. Increase use cases for chatbots as an automated communications channel and the ability to make them increasingly personalised to the buyer.
With digital advances, customers can very swiftly make their opinion public – good or bad. Customer review sites like Yelp or Tripadvisor mean that in an instant customers’ views can either raise or crush your business reputation. At the same time, it provides valuable insight into how customers are thinking, feeling and behaving in current times.
It’s important to identify the key forums where your influencers reside and closely, regularly monitor them. Analysing these conversation threads and mapping this data is the most important developing trend on changing customer behaviour to ensure your business can adapt with it.
To be able to capture this data on your organisation, ensure to make your brand digitally accessible, more convenient and customer friendly. If it involves using an app-chat support, emails, messaging, live chat, video chat, etc – plan a strategy and keep it evolving.
To check you’re optimising data capture across all your customer channels and media to market, then test, test, test. Until you’re confident that you’re reaching and resonating right across your target audience then it will be difficult to track and monitor any change in expected customer behaviour.
To ensure that your business has the speed and agility to react to a constantly changing environment, data must always remain at the forefront; captured along your customers’ journey at all points of interaction and engagement, to learn as much about them as possible.
Consider how to track your customer profiles and behavioural insights, and how this is then shared across your teams. All this will greatly affect how much you learn and keep abreast of your evolving market – so you can ensure to be evolving with it.