UK – New research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) indicates that most marketers (59%) find it harder to predict rapidly changing consumer priorities post-pandemic.
The survey, which explores the views of 500 in-house and agency marketing professionals in the UK, shows that marketers are concerned about the relevance of their business models. Nine in ten (91%) believe their brand needs to evolve to keep it going and more than a quarter (28%) believe it’s necessary to radically overhaul their business model over the next decade to survive.
Research shows that the pandemic and rising inflation have heightened consumer expectations of brands, with a clear prioritization of convenience, value and values.
According to marketers, convenience tops the chart of fastest growing consumer needs (83%), followed closely by value for money and environmental impact, which tied for second. location (78%).
Business performance on diversity and inclusion ranks third (74%), followed by buying local (73%). Having a physical store to visit is one of the lowest consumer needs (38%), highlighting a noticeable shift to online shopping, further accelerated by the pandemic.
Recently, a number of leading brands have redesigned their marketing strategy to target the consumer’s focus on value and values. The John Lewis Partnership’s shift from its popular “never knowingly undersold” to a focus on “quality and value” demonstrates a direct response to consumer needs in the face of rising inflation, says CIM.
Four-fifths (78%) of marketers believe it’s their role at their company to represent the voice of the customer. One of the ways professionals are trying to keep up is by using new technologies – such as customer experience management tools that collect key purchase information – with three in five (60%) investing or intending to invest in such tools.
CIM Chief Executive Chris Daly said: “We live in extremely turbulent times; from the ongoing pandemic and climate crisis to rising inflation and, more recently, the Ukraine crisis.
“It’s clear from today’s results that consumers now expect brands to do more than just deliver value, but also actively engage in societal and political issues. If our industry is serious about bouncing back, marketers need to invest time in getting to know their customers and carefully considering what matters most to them.
He continued, “This latest research should serve as a wake-up call for marketers to invest in their training and development. The range of skills expected of marketing professionals continues to expand, giving us new opportunities to drive change and demonstrate the value of our industry. But to do this, it is essential that marketers stay at the forefront of the skills required for the job, otherwise they risk being left behind. »