Technique 2 minutes, 23 second read Hugh Stevens, Director of Strategic Growth, LiveRamp
Across the world, countries are experiencing price hikes and inflation as the after-effects of the pandemic are felt and the war in Ukraine continues. In the UK, the rising price of essentials such as our utility bills, car fuel and groceries, is hitting households, and wages simply aren’t keeping up.
With incomes being squeezed, the natural tendency for many people is to pay much closer attention to their spending. As retailers are forced to increase prices, those customers who may have been loyal to one retailer or have kept to their preferred brands, are instead looking for the best deal. In fact, two fifths (39%) of consumers are now looking for better value for money when it comes to some of the goods and services they purchase.
As with any crisis, brands must adapt their marketing if they are to carry on being relevant to consumers as habits change to meet different circumstances.
While it’s commonplace for brands to be competing and spending on marketing during the good times, it’s often the bad times that set companies apart.
Those brands which persevere in the crunch periods to deliver the right messaging to the right customers at the right time, will ensure their customers remain loyal as pressures change.
Enter, data. Customer loyalty schemes, such as Tesco’s Clubcard, which has over 20 million households signed up, can help brands to send personalised deals to customers that are tailored to their needs. In the context of the cost-of-living crisis, offering lower-cost options to customers struggling with rising prices is an important line of communication to get right. By understanding the changing behaviours of consumers in line with economic changes, brands can stay ahead of the curve and use data insight to connect with current demands.
Engaging customers appropriately
In this period of instability, knowing what your customer wants and needs is more important than ever before to engage them appropriately and, crucially, keep them engaged. Data is integral for retailers to know exactly what is on their shelves, as well as what’s in customer’s physical and virtual baskets – so that stores can reach relevant consumers with the right offers and deals.
Of course, it’s important for brands to understand how household finances are affecting their core customers. For some households, rising inflation could mean that the sometimes small luxury of a restaurant meal is something of the past.
However, with over two years’ worth of holidays, restaurant meals and entertainment experiences to make up for, some households are ready to splurge the cash they have built up over the lockdown.
Those brands who focus too much on delivering value for customers, miss out on opportunities presented by those customers who still want to pay for experiences – data will continue to be key in making these important differentiations.