From the belly of the pandemic to the current challenges of inflation, digital marketers have become fluent in uncertain times. While the circumstances may have shifted throughout the years, there has always been a demand for making inroads with consumers.

 That’s because the ways in which consumers choose to do business is changing. Whether it’s curbside pickup or social shopping, purchase decisions now happen across many channels and devices. Especially as we move into a potentially turbulent year ahead, marketers recognize the need to connect with buyers on more than just a surface level.

To help you plan for the coming months, here are a few tips on making inroads with consumers.

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1. Pinpoint your customers’ needs right now.

To make genuine inroads with your customers, you must start with a solid understanding of what impacts them and how you can address it. Not everyone responds to personal, economic or global issues in the same way, so it pays dividends to do some research and development of your buyer personas.

Buyer personas help you segment customers into groups according to certain characteristics, pain points, and behaviors. No matter what strategy you use to establish stronger connections with consumers, it helps to know how each segment typically feels about certain issues, how it impacts them, where they spend their time, and what you need to do to reach them with authentic and valuable content.

For a look at this tip in action, read how appliance manufacturer Whirlpool is gaining insights to better serve multicultural customers.

2. Develop content that addresses their needs and makes life better.

Once you pinpoint your customers’ needs, preferences, and challenges, it will be easier to decide what types of content respond best to those details. For example, if you know some of your customers are celebrating holidays soon, you could remind them your products or services can save them time or money during a busy season.

Many times, your customers may not be aware you offer a solution to their problems, especially for people who have never heard of your business. You can make inroads by appealing to the customers’ needs rather than leading with your products and services.

3. Appeal to consumers’ feelings with authenticity.

In uncertain times, many of consumers’ purchase behaviors are driven by their feelings. These can be feelings of concern over high prices of essential items, or feelings of confidence when spending less and saving more. Again, these are highly dependent on your buyer personas.

When your audience feels like they are heard and seen by you, it creates a sense of trust and connectedness. We saw a lot of brands attempt to connect with consumers during the height of the pandemic with compassionate messaging, but unfortunately most consumers felt it was inauthentic.

To make inroads with consumers, your messaging must be genuine, thoughtful, and appeal specifically to your core audience.

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4. Make more options available.

When times get tough, the tough often get to shopping around or looking for alternatives. That’s why businesses that offer options generally win favor from consumers.

Let’s say you typically offer a premium product or service, yet people are pulling back from spending in this category. You could continue to market this same product with an incentive, or you could also offer another option that has slightly fewer features or costs less. Private label brands usually sell better during times of inflation, for example, than their premium competitors.

Building inroads with consumers is all about connection. It takes research, targeted content, authenticity, and options to establish these connections. 

As you move into the new year, consider how you can strengthen relationships with your existing customers and provide a solid foundation for those who may just be discovering you for the first time. 

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A great way to start improving your brand and reaching customers is through upskilling, and a excellent option is the Purdue Digital Marketing Bootcamp from Simplilearn and in partnership with Meta. In this six-month bootcamp, you will learn all the disciplines of digital marketing, and the top tools digital marketers use every day. 

About the Author

Rob SandersRob Sanders

Rob Sanders is a digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience. During that time, Rob has helped a wide range of companies utilize new and emerging technologies to increase sales and profitability. As founder of RSO Consulting, Rob helps clients maximize their digital marketing efforts via SEO, SEM, SMO, and Web Analytics. He is responsible for many facets of the web analytics value chain, from identifying business goals and objectives to developing strategies and translating those into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Rob also teaches digital marketing and analytics classes throughout the U.S. and abroad. As a contributor for Simplilearn, Rob creates expert thought leadership content on a variety of digital marketing and analytics topics.

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