One year into COVID-19 and with all the changes we had seen in the last 12 months around consumer behaviours, all business owners are asking themselves “Which changes are permanent?”
Google’s latest trend report highlight three consumer trends emerging that businesses should keep in mind as they move forward:
The pandemic has accelerated existing shifts in behaviour
People need more help than ever navigating choice complexity
People want relevant content and ads that respect their privacy
These trends are here to stay and this is how businesses can respond:
Everything is speeding up. The pandemic only has accelerated customer behavioural changes that were largely already underway. Google has seen this acceleration in search volumes. For example, search interest for the term “ideas” increased significantly in 2020 and continues to grow in 2021. The trend shows people are moving online for inspiration for shopping, cooking, and so much more.
Demand also shifted dramatically as people broke old habits. For example, swaps in search interest from “smart casual” to “lounge wear”.
Even now, customer behaviours remain unpredictable. For example, we’ve seen interest for “grocery stores” and “takeaways” unexpectedly shift to weekdays. The age-old phrase — “Change is the only constant” — certainly applies.
2. Be fast and helpful
We’ve all seen the value of being fast and helpful. The fact that consumer decision-making is increasingly complex and more and more businesses entered the online arena, means customers need more help than ever navigating the purchase journey. This presents a huge opportunity for businesses to differentiate themselves, be helpful and present at the right time. They can provide consumers with the information and reassurance they need to make the right decisions at different stages of their buying journey. Automation can enable you to be there when needed, as well as to be agile enough to seize the opportunity to help consumers. Remember, only 1 to 10% of prospects are in the final stage of the buyers’ journey (choose supplier).
3. Build trust, every time
People’s behavioural shifts have been accompanied by rising expectations for relevance and online privacy. Brands have to work to build trust, every time.
A Google/Euroconsumer study has found nearly 70% of respondents believe the amount of personal data collected online makes it difficult for them to protect their privacy. Other research from 2020 shows 86% of consumers want more transparency over how their personal information is used.
This is not only relevant when it comes to online ads, when consumers prefer relevant, not random, ad experiences. They also expect businesses to deliver factual and interesting content to keep them engage.
Everything changes but the Key Principles of Marketing stay!
As consumer behaviours keep changing, new tools are being developed to help businesses and marketers better understand customer needs and respond more effectively. However, the basic principles of marketing, still stand:
- Who is my customer?
- Which problem do they have (they don’t want)?
- Which solution do they need (they don’t have)?
- Which stage of the buying journey are they are? and finally
- Why would they trust you?Find what matters to your customers
As we look to find what matters in this changed environment, brands that keep these three consumer trends — and three business opportunities — top-of-mind will be able to approach decisions with greater clarity and confidence:
- Embrace acceleration
- Be fast and helpful
- Build trust, every time
Do you want to nail the basic principles of marketing? Check this video why all you know about marketing for small businesses is wrong
DISCLAIMER: All data comes from Think Google