Specific Ways to Adapt Given the Change in How Consumers Buy Now – Part 1

I’m sure like me, you’re sick and tired of this pandemic. You’re ready to get back to life when people wearing masks were criminals not wanting people to get them identified and businesses closed not because of lockdowns, but because their products and services sucked.

Like it or not, the new normal is here to stay and it has gotten us some interesting changes that we as small business owners can use to better advertise and market ourselves. These are unexpected from where we were in 2019, but they are here to stay for a good long time.

So let’s take a look at the ways consumer buying has changed and see how we can adapt to take advantage of those changes to better connect with the way people buy now.

#1 – Social Media: More Important than ever

Your budget for marketing your small business should directly reflect the shift in the way customers now shop and find you online. As restrictions were put in place across the globe, traditional advertising (i.e. print, outdoor, etc.) came to an instantaneous halt.

In the meantime, in-home media usage went up, including:

  • TV viewership
  • Streaming services
  • Social platforms

A study by GWI.com shows that 45 percent of global consumers are devoting more time to social media. Video streaming has increased by 25 percent. Why is this data crucial to the survival of small businesses?

It’s critical that small businesses now seek to optimize their marketing practices to better reflect this massive rise in online presence of their customers, digital transactions, and entertainment choices.

I remember dentists that would buy ads shown to moviegoers who went to see movies. Think of how people are viewing movies now compared to 2019. Everyone’s watching movies at home and using their streaming service.

How many consumers are now using online food delivery services and getting other essential goods delivered to their homes? That has risen dramatically.

Customers are online now because it’s now considered essential. This isn’t how we did things in 2019, but now it’s a given.

You can shift and take advantage of this.

#2 – Being Human has never mattered more

Consumer demand for empathy from businesses and brands is at an all-time-high. The small business looking to thrive in 2021 will be those that try their best to promote themselves in a human manner. They have to communicate with customers on an emotional level, understanding their pain points.

Yes, if you’re like many, you may be growing tired of hearing about COVID, but that doesn’t mean your small business can ignore it. In a survey conducted by Kantar, 77% of consumers said they now want to see online content from businesses to show, “how you’re helping people get used to the new everyday life.” This is a very specific request.  How are you helping?

To adapt to this, you need to be doing things to:

  • Seek to build long-term trust.
  • Educate customers about your own struggles as a small business. Be transparent here.
  • Engage with your audience through more personal means so it’s not just about simple ads.
  • Entertain your audience when they need it most!

Visit part 2 of this article where I finish up with the adaptations we all need to make.

Jorge Diaz

Jorge is an online marketing evangelist, speaker, author, coach, consultant, and adviser. He is the founder of Jorge Diaz Online and digital agency Larry Jacob Internet Marketing. He's leading a movement dedicated to transforming small business thinking. Having spent 20+ years in corporate software development and 8 years building small business online marketing systems making use of marketing automation platforms like Infusionsoft, Jorge has worked with hundreds of owner led businesses to increase revenue, systematize lead generation and grow their businesses.

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