The key to successful marketing hinges on understanding what truly resonates with consumers. For businesses seeking to make a lasting impact, it’s no longer just about the products or services you offer – it’s about how these align with the desires and expectations of their target audience. Getting to the core of what consumers want is something brands have strived to do for years, and when they do it successfully, it can lead to long-term brand loyalty and a positive reputation. So, how can you make sure your marketing efforts are not just seen but truly felt by your audience?
As a digital marketing agency that keeps an eye on industry trends and consumer insights, we’re always interested in modern consumer needs and ways brands can give themselves a competitive edge in their niche. From the basic expectations to the more nuanced desires, here we’ll explore what consumers want from brands, particularly online. Whether it’s the authenticity they seek or the psychological factors that influence their buying decisions, any business aiming to thrive in a competitive online world needs to understand its customers from day one.
It isn’t just about boosting your visibility in the SERPs, it’s about forging meaningful connections with your audience that foster loyalty and drive business success. Whether you’re looking to refine your existing SEO strategies or are seeking fresh, innovative approaches to engage with your audience, hopefully, these insights can help.
At the core of every consumer’s decision-making process are a few fundamental desires. From seeking value for money to craving a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience, these basic needs form the foundation of any successful marketing strategy. With over 80% of the UK population making ecommerce purchases, it’s not just about the product or service brands need to provide – consumers are increasingly looking for brands that align with their values and beliefs. In fact, 82% of shoppers want to buy from brands with values aligned with theirs, so brands that showcase their values stand a better chance of keeping hold of customers in the long term – as long as they are aligned.
How consumers interact with brands has been completely revolutionised by the digital age. Today, the expectations are not only higher but also more diverse. Consumers are not just looking for quality products – they seek an engaging, personalised customer experience, especially online. They want to feel connected to the brands they support, expecting responsiveness, transparency, and a sense of community. 68% of consumers primarily use social media to keep informed about new products and services and 57% will increase their spending if they feel connected to a brand. It’s important your marketing helps build connections with your consumers to be able to stay competitive. So, how can brands adapt to meet these evolving needs?
Being authentic is not just a trend – it’s what consumers genuinely seek from brands. The importance of authenticity in brand messaging and its impact on consumer engagement cannot be understated. Authenticity is what consumers really want, and as they are becoming increasingly savvy, they can quickly sense when a brand is not being genuine. A staggering 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. If your brand can’t demonstrate authenticity, then it can provide a potential problem for moving forward and driving revenue.
Social media changed the way brands communicate with their audiences to the point it has now become a necessity. It’s no longer just a marketing tool but a crucial channel for user engagement, feedback, and building community. 91% of people believe social media has the power to connect people, with 78% wanting brands to use their platforms to connect people.
Having consistent, engaging, and responsive communication is important and rather than just simply broadcasting content, brands need to actively engage with their audience. This can be done by simply responding to comments, participating in conversations, and creating interactive content like polls and Q&A sessions. This feedback can be invaluable in crafting better experiences and services and tapping into what consumers really want to see.
Maintaining a consistent brand voice across all social media platforms also helps in building a recognisable and reliable brand personality. It can help revenue too, as being consistent across channels can help increase overall growth by 10-20%. Using a mix of content types such as videos, images, blogs, and live sessions will go a long way to keeping your audience engaged and interested. Tailor your content to suit the unique features of each platform too, with User-Generated Content (UGC) a big opportunity to connect especially on platforms like TikTok, which has a huge influence on purchasing. By encouraging and sharing UGC, this not only engages your audience but also provides authentic material for your social media channels.
Another way to drive engagement is to post content that is timely and relevant to current events or trends, while still being true to your brand’s values. This can help you focus on building a community around your brand and fostering discussions. You can then use targeted advertising to reach a broader audience and drive specific actions, such as website visits or product purchases.
By delving into the mind of the consumer, brands have the potential to gain invaluable marketing insights. This crucial understanding can help create impactful and resonant marketing strategies that actually work, bringing the success you’re looking for.
Consumer psychology is the study of why people buy things and reveals that our purchasing decisions are influenced by a complex blend of emotional, psychological, and social factors. We previously looked at the psychology of Black Friday shoppers and touched on many of these factors too.
Emotions, particularly, play a significant role. A consumer might buy a luxury product not just for its features but for the prestige and confidence it offers. Similarly, the phenomenon of social proof demonstrates that people often look to others when making decisions. You only have to look at TikTok and how 46% of consumers search the platform for information about products and services before buying. If a product is popular or endorsed by someone they trust, they’re more likely to choose it.
Armed with this knowledge, how can marketers harness these psychological insights to understand what consumers really want? Firstly, emotional branding is key. By forging an emotional connection with your audience, you can build brand loyalty. Take, for instance, a brand that positions its products as not just items to buy, but as a lifestyle choice, appealing to the consumers’ aspirations. This can build a connection between ecommerce brands and their audience.
Another strategy involves leveraging social proof. As we know, user reviews, influencer endorsements, and UGC can significantly influence consumer behaviour. Showcasing these elements in your marketing can enhance both credibility and trust and also help show authenticity.
Lastly, understand and utilise cognitive biases. These subtle decision-making influences that everybody has can drive what consumers want, so if you create marketing messages that align with these biases, this can drive conversions. For example, limited-time offers can create a sense of urgency, encouraging quicker purchasing decisions.
Staying attuned to consumer needs is not just beneficial, it’s imperative for ongoing success. Living in a dynamic world, with consumer preferences and technologies constantly changing, businesses must be agile and proactive in adapting their strategies to stay relevant. This means keeping a close eye on emerging trends, investing in ongoing market research, and being open to innovation. 52% of brands adapt their strategies and tactics based on customer interactions and feedback, so listening to your audience and adapting where necessary can be effective.
For example, the rise of visual search and AI-driven personalisation are trends that are shaping the future of consumer interactions. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your marketing strategies in response to these changes ensures that your business remains aligned with consumer expectations and ahead of competitors.
Predicting future consumer trends is challenging, but there is a growing focus on sustainability and ethical practices, for instance, that shows a shift in consumer values. 78% of consumers say sustainability is important to them and 84% will feel alienated by brands with poor environmental practices. Additionally, the demand for more personalised, immersive experiences suggests that technology like AI could play a significant role in future marketing strategies.
Taking a proactive approach not only prepares brands for what’s next but also positions them as a forward-thinking leader in their industry.
From understanding the fundamental needs of consumers to embracing the power of authenticity, social media engagement, and consumer psychology, there are various areas that are crucial for creating marketing strategies that resonate and deliver results. These insights can help you build stronger connections with your audience, enhance brand loyalty, and drive business success.
If you’re a business looking to refine your strategy or seeking fresh, innovative approaches, we can help. Contact the team today and we’ll see how we can help you achieve your marketing goals.