Matt Scotton
Mar 15, 2021

How brands can win in the second 'roaring 20s'

With pent-up consumer demand for experience, content and connection, the upcoming years could see enormous growth. Initiative's APAC chief strategy officer explains what brands need to do to capture it.

(Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

Back in the 1920s, the Spanish Flu had significant ramifications to the economy. After a pronounced recession, there was enormous growth and a quick rebound. Many economists are calling out the parallels in the economy then, with the 'second Roaring Twenties” now, including massive consumerism, democratized entertainment and technological advancements.

With pent-up consumer demand for experience, content and connection, the world is now moving at a far more accelerated pace than we have previously experienced. Agility is incredibly important in today’s economy—the more brands are relevant, the more it drives incremental growth. In the second Roaring Twenties”, how do we capture demand while being relevant?

Know your customers ready-to-go

Understanding your customers is important, but it is more important now than ever before. And it’s not just your customer base; have a think about customers who have never considered your category before. Rather than narrowing in on the static definitions of demographics and psychographics, block data will come to be the more prudent solution as we can establish their purchase intent through real-life behaviors.

With that, we can identify shoppers who are most likely to purchase your product, whether they are past converters or new-to-brand shoppers. After identifying the variables on purchase intent, we can then assess the audience segments for incremental growth. According to Salesforce, 52% of customers expect shopping to be more personalized—but in addition to a tailored experience, it is crucial to show customers what they want to see, what they want to know, and also what they didn’t know they wanted.

E is for easy ecommerce

Many brands have made strong headway with omnichannel ecommerce experiences this past year. But the most critical question to ask ourselves is, 'How do we stand out in the crowd and make our products easy to buy?'

Instead of thinking of media as the sole driver of online sales, a broader point of view needs to be adopted—that is, to adapt marketing strategies beyond driving media. This includes implementing a robust e-commerce strategy along with establishing an online presence that is retail-ready.

Once you identify where the pre-existing demand sits in your category, take a look at different marketplaces and assess your performance on each of them and direct-to-consumer websites. There are tools that can be employed to help unlock potential areas of improvement and give us a basic level of insight on both areas.

Retail readiness goes hand in hand with retail excellence. Empower your consumers to create a seamless flow between media, content and experiences. And ensure that you are leveraging the opportunities that marketplaces are providing with the help of ad solutions. These solutions not only help us to become a new media investment channel, but it also helps us reach customers who are already on the platform. Don’t forget to remove any form of friction that may hinder your shoppers from checking out: the more seamless the user experience, the better.

From 'me' to 'we' experiences

With the pandemic causing a social recession, there is an innate desire for consumers to feel connected to people once more, whether it’s people in real life or in the digital realm. Earlier this year, millions of people paid $40 to watch K-pop girl group Blackpink’s livestream concert—proof that this has become a powerful tool to drive sales. In 2020, GlobalWebIndex found that one-third of consumers filled the void of many experiences with livestreaming. Brands have turned virtual experiences into their new storefronts, from making runway shows shoppable to turning e-commerce pages into clubbing experiences.

Don’t be too quick to write virtual experiences off as a fad: 91% of marketers have already confirmed that they will prioritize live streaming in 2021. Even Netflix, which has found success with on-demand, is already experimenting with new formats such as live television.

The beauty of live experiences is that they provide a collective moment for all of us to share. Instead of focusing on engaging each customer on a personal level, build meaning for your brand by doubling down on live experiences. At the same time, embed a shopping element into the moment to capitalise on positive emotions. When Carlsberg launched limited-edition cans after Liverpool’s Premier League win in 2020, Facebook groups were found trading these cans after it sold out.

Brands that capture demand most effectively will truly win in this decade. While the 1920s were a decade of economic growth and widespread prosperity, we hope that this parallel decade will bring us a similar decade of growth—one that is of hope and positivity.


Matt Scotton is APAC chief strategy officer at Initiative.

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