By Kumar Doshi, SVP of Marketing, Lucid
It’s no secret that the pandemic altered the forecasted growth trajectories across many industries. This left marketers with the unique challenge of learning to understand the seismic shifts in sentiment and re-adjusting strategies, often on the fly, to try to market to their core intended audiences most effectively.
Unfortunately, with this came the realization that the one tool missing most often from brands’ marketing stacks, however, is in fact the most critical: research technology (ResTech). As we begin to map out work and life post-pandemic, implementing ResTech is a vital and necessary solution for every marketer to include in a marketing strategy. Let’s explore the what, the why, and how.
How did the pandemic influence our marketing strategies?
The pandemic caused an accelerated shift in consumer behaviors and habits. Consumers became concerned with how they would be impacted from a health and economic standpoint. As the world went into crisis mode, everyone began to live, think and purchase differently. Through the disruption, we learned the importance of quick pivots and agile strategy adaptations.
Moving forward, marketers must anticipate that the shift in consumers’ priorities are here to stay, but still keep in mind the rapid pace in which consumer sentiment can change. As consumers grapple with the big issues and concerns plaguing their lives on a seemingly daily basis, accurately targeting them has become all the more challenging.
However, in a world where agility is the new competitive advantage, not every marketer understands how to shift to that mindset so effectively. Enter ResTech.
What is ResTech?
ResTech is a comprehensive term for the software and tools that help platforms, agencies, and brands target, deliver, and analyze their insights initiatives. It is an agile solution that marketers can utilize to better understand what makes consumers tick. Through it, marketers have the ability to accurately extract specific data that allows them to pinpoint shifting sentiments and capture how their target demographic is feeling at any given moment.
The integration of ResTech is vital to a successful marketing strategy. We see reports being released on a consistent basis that shows big brands and consulting firms looking to understand the shifting sentiments around impactful moments of our time. Brands that don’t make it a priority to effectively tap into and understand these sentiments will become out of touch and operate in a vacuum. Marketers must use actionable consumer intelligence data as a point of reference and leverage it to adjust and optimize their campaigns.
How does a marketer successfully integrate ResTech into the marketing tech stack?
The simple answer is for marketers to start to better leverage their first-party data. We’ve touched on evolving consumer sentiment; that is a problem that will only continue to evolve in magnitude as the nation prepares to enter its next wave of a new normal. We are facing the depreciation of third-party cookies. Now is the time for marketers to take a level-headed look at how they’re currently capturing, tracking, and analyzing consumer data, and turn that data into actionable insights.
Marketers need to prepare to meet their audiences where they are — to sit in their feelings with them and approach targeting with more intent, compassion and understanding than ever before. Use the insights gathered to develop authentic messaging that will resonate. This is where data has a chance to really empower brand marketers. Campaigns that are tailored and target what matters most to consumers will be the ones that have a lasting impact.
If we learned nothing else from the pandemic, it was that attitudes and behaviors can be unpredictable and change without a moment’s notice, especially during a crisis. ResTech essentially boils down to active listening; a successful marketer will not just speak, but listen and pivot course as needed.