How can brands truly connect with their customers coming into the second half of 2021?

How can brands truly connect with their customers coming into the second half of 2021?

There’s a lot changing again right now, and for the first time in over a year, it might actually be changing for the better.

After nearly 15 months of being in and out of lockdown, however, and marketing teams needing to make a complete overhaul on their comms strategies, are we going to see these change once again as restrictions lift?

Over the last year, brands have been required to think more deeply about what their customers actually care about and be selective with the conversations they get involved in.

People have been spending unprecedented amounts of time online and have become wise to brand’s marketing strategies (especially those related to Covid-19), so deeper thinking has been essential in order to build up communication and relationships with customers.

But, with shops, businesses, bars and restaurants all opening back up over recent weeks, are customers now going to go back to being somewhat distracted by their own day-to-day lives?

Looking at where consumers’ focus have been over recent years, such as with sustainability, it’s easy to see brands previously say something because they feel like they should be talking about it due to how high it is on the public and cultural agenda.

But actually, they get it wrong because they try to talk about too much, rather than the areas they can offer value in. You wouldn’t play darts in a dark room and hope you hit the bullseye – and it’s now exactly the same with comms strategies.

In more recent times, brands have needed to avoid getting involved with conversations and topics just to see what sticks and resonates because customers became more aware of the tactics marketers use.

Throughout Covid-19, we have seen customers affiliate with brands that know them and know what they care about.

I predict this is going to change slightly now life is getting (more or less) back to normal.

People won’t care as much about what brands are saying online because they’re out and about again, seeing their mates and going back to the office.

We know what we need to do in order to capture the attention of our audience. We need to carry on realizing who our audience is and what they care about and reflect that in all of our communications – from daily social media posts and weekly newsletters to big-budget TV campaigns and OOH.

Let’s not forget it was those strategies that saved businesses from falling apart over the last year. So, to answer the original question around how brands can truly connect with their audience in 2021...

Carry on caring about your customers and caring about what they care about because, at the end of the day, that’s the only way you’re going to continue driving connection and customer loyalty – through relevant, authentic communication.

Charlotte Tomlinson, media director at Hallam, added: “The brands who have had the most success with this tactic are the ones that have stepped back and taken the time to build a community, to the extent that consumers become advocates.

“Through some basic analysis, brands can find out what their customers care about, what trends they are aligning themselves with, and what national or international issues resonate with them, and can quickly build up a clear picture of how they can connect with them.”

If that’s what you’re doing already then you should have no qualms about how the latter half of the year is going to change. You’re already staying ahead.

If you want to find out more about Hallam’s digital-ready culture and how customer loyalty has evolved, you can download the full eGuide here.

Siobhan Congreve is head of content marketing at Hallam.