Opportunity knocks for those who dare – Metrix Consulting’s Pulse of WA report charts changing customers in the ‘new’ market
Since mid-April, Marquis Pohla and his team at Metrix Consulting have been tracking how West Australians feel about the impact of the coronavirus with their weekly COVID-19 Pulse of WA report. It reveals the changes that are emerging as people stay at home more, rethink their work-life balance, and seek reassurance about the future. Pohla says the snapshot shows that in a market based on the survival of the fittest, the fittest will be those owning the mental space of their customers.
Slashing the marketing budget to help protect short-term profit may be tempting right now, but brands that skimp could be missing out on a golden opportunity. COVID-19 is forcing us all to think differently as we navigate what is likely to be a bumpy road ahead for some time to come.
The competition will be intense in a shrinking market, and no doubt, there will be casualties along the way. But with fewer players in the game, brands that talk effectively and meaningfully to their customers will stand out.
And therein lies the opportunity.
Understanding the new market and effectively positioning and investing in your brand will set a business apart from those who are merely in survival mode, following the old rules of engagement with a token – or zero – budget.
Why? Aside from the fact that not spending could have severe consequences for long-term brand health, we can no longer assume the market is the same now than it was before or take the old rules for granted. The world has changed. People have changed. Not only are customers tightening their belts because of economic uncertainty, but they’re also displaying new values and new beliefs because of the behaviour changes forced on us by COVID-19.
Amid the concerns about job security, health, paying the bills, and changing plans, many of us are thinking long and hard about what we’re spending our dollars on and with whom. And that means many brands are getting to get to know their customer all over again.
Lockdown. Isolation. Recession. Redundancy. Community. Family. Working remotely. Unemployment. Travel bans. Social distancing. Shopping online. What are customers thinking and feeling today? How does it differ from yesterday? And how will it shape the choices they make tomorrow?
If your competitors have slashed their marketing spend, but your brand is still investing – even if it’s not quite as much as before – then the opportunities to grow market share are significant. Supply and demand dictate there are likely to be some attractive media deals around, making the marketing dollar stretch even further.
If you are brave enough to take advantage of this opportunity, here are some things to consider or revisit. How should you position your brand during these uncertain times to build a competitive? How has the customer journey changed, and how well equipped is the brand to deliver on those changes? What emotional and functional benefits are customers seeking? From your product or service?
In this new environment, thinking that a pre-COVID formula is going to work is too big an assumption. Good market intelligence will not only uncover what emotional and rational drivers are steering consumer choice, but the insights that accompany the research can also empower decision-makers as they build a successful growth strategy.
Marquis Pohla, Founder and Managing Director, Metrix Consulting.
Check out the COVID-19 Pulse of WA dashboard HERE.