CMOs enter 2023 with an imperative to drive efficient growth. According to a recent Gartner report, their strategies and organisations need to be more robust due to unpredictable customer behaviours, burdensome cross-functional collaboration and the erosion of traditional sources of brand value. The volatile environment demands a relentless focus on customer value, purposeful marketing function evolution, and continual evolution of brand value optimisation.
According to the recent Hootsuite Talkwater brand love report, consumer perspectives and expectations have shifted post-pandemic. Brand loyalty took a hit as consumers abandoned brands that didn't create an emotional connection. They're looking for brands that align with their values while providing a wow experience. Only then, once trust is established, will brands be able to build stronger, closer relationships.
How then will marketers be focused on creating brand love and driving cost efficiencies in a privacy-focused digital advertising ecosystem? Let’s explore their relationship goals.
Courting the 'me to we' consumers
Brands are passionately courting consumers to remain top of mind and to keep the loyalty and the flame alive. There will be reciprocity for brands that genuinely understand (and care about) their target audience's values, attitudes and behaviours and will always have an emotional relationship with the brands they're faithful to.
After two years of consumption choices being limited by the pandemic and sacrificing in-person experiences, consumers want to return to normal. However, their perspective has changed; they want a better and improved version of before. According to the brand love report, consumers are navigating purchase decisions on a scale of ‘me to we’, where they want enhanced experiences for themselves but not in silos from broader geo-political, social and environmental happenings, according to the brand love report 2022. The new consumers think about sustainability, ecology, diversity and inclusion, among other considerations, when making short-term or long-term commitments with the brands.
Marketers recognise the importance of building brand love and evolving consumer behaviours. The brands that show a leading edge in customer centricity grow three times faster than the industry average, according to the KPMG Forrester report.
Getting to the heart of messaging
Let’s begin by exploring what sentiment and emotion in content mean. Sentiment is the general mood of the page; it is often inferred as positive, neutral, or negative. Emotion is a feeling caused by your situation, such as happiness, fear, disgust, sadness or surprise.
So why do sentiments and emotions matter when it comes to context? It matters significantly because brands sell to people with emotions and make purchase decisions based on how they feel about or perceive the brand or product. Brands use feelings to get consumers to buy. The technology responsible for discerning content and context must effectively discern emotions, sentiments, and cultural nuances to capture the consumer's frame of mind.
What if the technology could read the page as a human would and understand the mood and feelings contained in a piece? Would that not help advertisers keep emotions at the heart of their campaigns and ensure that the ads are well placed in the 'right emotional context'? For example, the goal of a luxury car ad is to appeal to the reader’s sense of relaxation, luxury, and comfort — and so ads might be placed entirely outside of the automobile context and next to content that evokes those feelings. This semantic targeting lets the brand values resonate in the most appropriate emotional context.
Meet me in privacy-compliant settings, please
There will be increased scrutiny of data that is collected for advertising.
Marketers will need to be very clear about how consumer data is used, shared, and stored, with whom, and for what purposes, in a new era of transparency that gives people more control, and this will build trust. It makes sense for marketers to request permission upfront from the consumers. There’s not a tonne of benefit in being misleading about it because, without permission, data holds little value for a marketer.
Advertisers are starting to substitute that audience data with first-party data and contextual intelligence. Rather than having to support all the data management and privacy regulations that go along with capturing and leaving personally identifiable information, many marketers will switch to advertising in environments that are contextually relevant and use that as a proxy for the audience.
Whilst technology is here to guide marketers to connect with consumers with the right messaging in the proper context, keeping consumers at the core of marketing strategy breeds loyalty and bottom-line growth. Investing in relationships with consumers directly impacts business revenue and strengthens customer loyalty. Sprout Social data suggests when consumers feel connected to brands, more than half of consumers (57%) will increase their spending with that brand, and 76% will buy from them over a competitor.
Happy Valentine’s Day, and stay connected with your consumers and their journeys to make meaningful connections.
Megan Reichelt is the country manager for SEA at Integral Ad Science