New research from marketing solutions firm Vericast affirms that consumers are spending money—and plenty of it—despite inflation and recession fears. But brands and businesses in multiple industries are having a tough time figuring out how to engage them to drive optimal performance.
The study, recently conducted by Forrester Consulting, surveyed more than 300 marketing decision-makers at companies in the U.S. to better understand how geopolitical issues such as inflation, rising interest rates and supply chain disruptions are affecting consumer spending decisions. Among the companies surveyed include retail, grocery and consumer product goods, restaurant, and financial services.
“Consumers are spending in more focused ways with an eye toward cost savings,” said Susan Lee, group president, digital marketing & technology solutions at Vericast, in a news release. “Specifically, they’re scaling back on leisure spend and doubling down on last-minute deals. Brands have an opportunity to adapt their strategies to accommodate these changes, with a goal of understanding customers better and creating more relevant marketing experiences. Taking this approach will lead to success in 2023 and beyond.”
Top research findings highlight how brands are pivoting:
Reaching out in new ways
Most survey respondents said they have significantly altered their advertising programs to align with the current environment.
- 59 percent are experimenting with new engagement techniques
- 49 percent have changed their target audience
- 41 percent have changed the types of products and services they advertise
Serving up deals
Companies have pivoted messaging to focus on value and increased efforts to offer deals consumers demand.
- 67 percent have created more targeted promotions
- 61 percent have changed their messaging to focus on cost savings
- 52 percent have released more promotions and deals
Keeping pace with change
Brands are struggling. Of the companies polled:
- 54 percent find it difficult to interpret customer data and understand the needs of the moment
- 53 percent grapple with creating personalized advertising experiences
- 47 percent say it’s hard to deliver the right message at the right time, and 42% struggle to find the right channel
- 23 percent are unsure what promotions will be most effective
- 19 percent can’t change their strategy quickly enough to respond to unforeseen events
Charting a new course
To overcome these challenges, companies are rethinking where and how they engage customers. They are looking to lean on data to inform new strategies that allow them to deliver more relevant marketing experiences and drive growth.
- 68 percent seek to optimize customer data to help build loyalty
- 63 percent believe it is necessary to use data to better understand customer preferences
- 61 percent seek to leverage customer data to personalize engagements and create more relevant offers