Right here in New York Metropolis, COVID-19 vaccinations are opening to all residents ages 16 and up; the fluttering arrival of hotter climate and easing of restrictions are lifting spirits and drawing locals out to the parks and sidewalk eating places. Because the world steadily begins to recuperate, advertising leaders are asking a burning query: Are the buyer modifications we’ve witnessed over the previous yr right here to remain?
Whereas we heartily agree that manufacturers should put customers on the entrance of each enterprise determination in the course of the subsequent phases of pandemic administration and eventual pandemic eradication, CMOs should be cautious to measure the suitable issues that present an correct, complete, and predictive understanding of customers. Though it’s tempting to view the pandemic as a finite interval in time and bucket shopper behaviors into “pre-pandemic” and “post-pandemic” states, over twenty years of deep world shopper analysis remind us of the fact that:
- Shoppers have at all times been in a state of flux. Even earlier than the onset of the pandemic, customers’ drive for empowerment was obvious in seemingly random behaviors and calls for — from the hyperadoption and hyperabandonment of rising units to the rising voices of values-based consumers. As a result of the pandemic has additional sensitized customers to dangers that threaten their well-being, customers will proceed to experiment with new methods of harnessing know-how to construct resilience.
- Fixed shopper change is a defining aspect of the “new regular.” Though customers really feel deeply nostalgic after they replicate on their pre-pandemic life-style, most are actually keenly conscious that there can be no fast and straightforward return to life as they knew it: Solely 16% of US on-line adults consider that they’ll revert to a pre-pandemic sense of normalcy after the pandemic subsides, and 75% say that the pandemic and associated crises will drive long-term changes of their behaviors and preferences.
- Shoppers notoriously underestimate how far more they’ll change over time. Shoppers typically exaggerate how a lot they’ve modified prior to now and underestimate how a lot their tastes, preferences, and behaviors will proceed to alter sooner or later. Solely as time passes will customers start to appreciate the size of pandemic repercussions.
Slightly than count on customers to settle into an outlined “post-pandemic regular,” CMOs ought to put together for a continuing evolution of shopper wants and expectations over the subsequent 12 to 24 months by monitoring three kinds of shopper change: 1) Ongoing: Adjustments in shopper attitudes and behaviors that influenced companies earlier than the pandemic have accelerated by way of the disaster; 2) Morphing: Adjustments in shopper attitudes and behaviors that have been mounting earlier than the pandemic are actually shifting, given the disaster; and three) Nascent: Sure attitudes and behaviors rising from the pandemic are resetting customers’ expectations of manufacturers.
My latest report dives into every of those classes and triangulates quantitative knowledge, qualitative perception, and years of shopper remark to establish an important trajectories of shopper change that may form the approaching years. As at all times, I look ahead to discussing your questions and concepts through Forrester inquiry.