The pandemic has resulted in the fastest and most complete shift in customer expectations ever seen, according to a recent survey from Accenture. Due to the pandemic, people looked inward, reevaluating their priorities and what they thought was important in their lives. This mindset shift has been the catalyst for the “Great Resignation,” with the Bank of Canada reporting that one in five Canadians will quit their job in the next year

In addition, customers are changing what, how, and where they buy products and services. They are now actively looking to influence their communities and the environment through their purchasing. The world we are seeing coming out of the pandemic is very different than before. Here are some ways digital marketing is changing as a result: 

Your Customers Are More Important Than Your Brand

In the same Accenture survey, 42% of customers said that the pandemic made them feel like they needed to focus on more than themselves, and they are changing their buying habits. They expect the companies they buy from to understand how their needs have changed during the pandemic — and half of these customers were disappointed that many companies didn’t provide enough support or understanding of their needs during a time of great disruption. 

Price and quality are still important to customers, but they also want to do business with brands that live by the same values as they do. What are you doing to keep your employees safe? Are you making your customers’ experience with your brand as personal as it can be? Can they trust that you stand for the things you say you do? 

Customers Are Seeking Authentic Content and Community

As we talked about on the blog earlier this year, customers want to have confidence in the products, services, and brands they support and buy from. That means your content should be sensitive, and reflect current issues and what your company stands for. This results in more authentic content that is more interesting to your audience. 

Last month in the newsletter, we talked about how customers will seek out and engage with content that is interesting, helps them solve their issues, and adds value to their lives. The result of engaging content is that it builds communities around your brand. In fact, the smart and savvy brands realize that the conversation has moved beyond pitching products and services and is now focused on what the brands can do for their communities. Content that is more human and sensitive isn’t a trend — it has become essential for companies to contribute to global markets in a responsible way. 

Social Commerce Continues to be Popular

In addition to this shifting customer mindset, social media has changed the way customers experience brands. Once online shopping became the norm during the pandemic, retailers and brands had to pivot quickly to offer a seamless purchasing experience. Social e-commerce has been greatly enhanced by the pandemic, with over 95% of Gen Z using social media as their top inspiration for shopping, resulting in a rise in in-app purchasing. The convenience of online shopping is now popular with other, older customer groups, such as baby boomers, and isn’t going away anytime soon. All social media platforms have been responding to this phenomenon.

These shifts in digital marketing trends over the past couple of years are really a reflection of the shifting needs and mindset of customers — the pandemic only put a greater emphasis on them. Staying on top of these trends and behavior changes will help you embrace better ways to market products and services and connect with your customers.

If you’d like to learn more about how digital marketing is changing or need help creating your own digital marketing strategy, get in touch with our team today.