Sales and Marketing Should Prepare for the Not So New Normal
Our circumstances may have changed dramatically due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, but not everything will be subject to such a drastic shift.
While our immediate context both socially and economically is unrecognisable and the brand and business landscape will likely be reformed, what buyers demand from their suppliers will remain essentially the same as it did before Coronavirus.
Not because buyers are immune to or unaffected by the impact of COVID-19 but because buyer psychology is constantly evolving and has been experiencing a period of sustained, intense change for some time. Change that was ushered in by the birth of the world wide web and driven forward by the ubiquity of internet access and the informational and communicational boon that has resulted.
People are more clued up, more discerning, and are better equipped to reject irrelevant messaging/marketing and overblown/suspect sales patter than ever before.
We are seeing the result of this discernment in the metrics of previously dependable marketing activities. On Facebook only 1.16% of adverts get interacted with. Online, 95% of content achieves little to no engagement. Public trust in advertising is at an all-time low (25%), having halved since the early 90’s.
The reasons for this are myriad.
Frustration over irrelevant advertising experiences. Content bombardment. Loss of trust in institutions. Greater awareness of the impact we are having on our environment. Not to mention that consumerism has been on the ascendency for close to 100 years and it was only a matter of time before it hit its apex.
The result is a desire and a demand for more meaningful relationships with businesses and brands and a rejection of those that fall short. We are looking for authentic, empathetic, and relevant experiences that are more reflective of us as individuals.
A recent video on YouTube that demonstrated the cookie cutter, and for many, disingenuous approach that advertisers are taking to the Pandemic, coupled with the disdain showcased in the comments that it provoked, is an indictment on the poor state of the relationship between brand and consumer.
These changes in psychology didn’t happen overnight. They’ve been evolving for years as we’ve adapted to the not so new normal of our digital transformation.
It’s a process that started over 2 decades ago. And it’s one where we are only just starting to understand the impact it is having on our behaviours, beliefs, and values.
What has remained relatively static, however, is the way that businesses have responded to these changes. While people have become more in touch with what’s important to them, more empathetic about the needs of others, and more demanding of meaningful, emotionally charged experiences, most marketing has remained logical and rational.
Certainly, in B2B, many have been slow to respond and will likely pay the price over time, if they don’t start to change their stance.
This new buyer psychology and the sales and marketing challenges that it brings with it won’t be replaced in a post-pandemic world. They’ll intensify.
It is the ‘Not So New Normal’.
The good news is the groundwork for what B2B and B2C businesses need to do to be successful has already been laid. There already exits a strong foundation of proven principles, approaches, systems, and processes that businesses can use to engage and attract their markets.
What we need as B2B/B2C business and brand owners is a better understanding of the psychology that is driving buyer behaviour, so that we can respond in a more effective and impactful way.
And that is where I and my good friend, mathematical psychologist Martin Lucas are going to focus our attention.
On the Not the New Normal Podcast, we will be looking at the sales and marketing environment through the lens of buyer psychology and discussing:
How Buyer Psychology has Changed and the Factors Driving those Changes
The Challenges Facing Sales and Marketing Teams and How They Should Respond
Case Studies of Businesses that have Responded and the Results they’ve Achieved
The Key Principles Behind Successful B2B and B2C Brands Operating in the Market Today
Immediate Actions You Can Take Position Yourself as Your Market’s Perfect Partner
You can check out the first episode here.