Consumer Demand for the Rest of 2021

consumer demand

With some economists saying the recession of 2020 is about over and President Biden expecting most Americans to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 4th, what’s in store for stores and brands? Robert Gordon, an economics professor at Northwestern University and member of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee (NBER) told the Washington Post that the U.S. hit rock bottom in April of last year when production fell and unemployment reached 14.7%.

The NBER committee on which Gordon has been a longtime member has historically been one of several respected groups that officially declare the beginning and end of recessions. No such group has yet declared the end of the 2020 recession, but many observers believe an announcement will be made soon. Regardless of when that occurs, it still leaves open the question of when consumers can be expected to return to their old spending habits, if ever.

What Lies Ahead?

A recent study of consumer spending by McKinsey Research revealed interesting results. Research was conducted in China, the UK, France, Germany and the U.S. but this article will focus on the U.S. If COVID-19 is brought under control, McKinsey anticipates a strong but unequal recovery.

The reason, said McKinsey, is that those in the higher income levels will likely emerge unaffected. However, many workers at lower wage levels have been laid off, furloughed and even replaced by automation. McKinsey believes that spending by higher income and older consumers will return to pre-pandemic levels while that of lesser and lower incomes will drop after stimulus measures expire. This difference could also result in increased polarization between both groups.

McKinsey’s findings also reaffirmed earlier studies predicting that certain consumer behaviors would continue in the new normal. The firm reported that e-grocery shopping, virtual healthcare visits, and remote working, in particular, would likely remain high. Conversely, they predicted that leisure air travel, remote learning, and live entertainment would probably return to pre-pandemic levels.

Potential Ongoing Declines

Earlier studies predicted that business air travel saw a 20% decrease during the pandemic. All or most of this may remain because of the anticipated amount of remote working expected in the future.  Uncertainty and/or irregularity over coronavirus and government travel policies like vaccinations could also hamper travel. Similarly, the closure of many movie cinemas and the shift by many movie studios to digital channels may lead to a further decline in the popularity of neighborhood movie theatres.

What Brands Can Do

Brands that market to upper income consumers have a lot more “wiggle room” because little is expected to change in the new normal. More focus on tailoring content and messaging will help the brand differentiate themselves from the competition. However, companies that market to a broader audience need to reconsider their strategy and perhaps even think about promoting more bargain deals and bargain days to reach those consumers who have limited budgets.

Other innovative changes that direct a company’s community efforts to assisting the underserved will also go a long way in fostering customer loyalty and goodwill. Many companies, for-profit and nonprofit alike, did well during the pandemic because much of their efforts were directed to the underserved as well as front line pandemic workers. Finding the right balance can go a long way in ensuring future community support. So too, will communicating the brand’s social values to its audiences.

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Advertising Campaigns to Inspire Marketing Campaigns In 2021

inspire marketing

Advertising campaigns are groups of similar ads that present a unified tone and message. Leveraging multichannel marketing over longer periods, ad campaigns help brands push ideas without being repetitive.

Campaigns are unequal. Though created in a somewhat similar manner, advertising campaigns command different results. Specifically, some campaigns achieve astonishing results fueling inspiration amongst other brands.

With numerous ad campaigns being run daily, understanding what makes a campaign successful helps improve any marketer’s prowess. In no specific order, here are the best ad campaigns of all time and key lessons that marketers should learn from them.

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Frequently Underestimated Crisis Communication Efforts

communications

Most PR professionals frequently discuss the importance of crisis management plans and crisis management teams, which are crucial when it comes to handling a negative situation.

However, there are several crisis communications efforts that are less popular compared to these, that are just as useful, if not more.

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Elements of News and News Writing in 2021

news writing

News is any piece of information about an occurrence that interests a large number of readers or viewers.

While news stories never duplicate, they often fall into categories.

As well, events rarely repeat themselves with great accuracy.

However, they often have similarities.

That said, analyzing news and newsworthy events highlights how key elements recur regularly.

Highlighting news-related elements provides insight into news and news writing.

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Email Marketing Strategy and Automation

email marketing automation

Email marketing and audience segmentation have shown to improve marketing campaign results, especially due to the innovative features with automation. These features make it easier for companies to segment long email lists, and then send out very targeted messages to the right people, mostly based on behavioral data and demographics.

These types of tools continue to get even more sophisticated, and more integration is becoming available between various platforms, tools, and websites. That means the potential of email marketing strategies and audience segmentation through unique data is going to become even more prevalent.

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Happy Days Are Coming For Marketers

happy marketing

“Happy Days are Here Again” was a popular 1929 song that’s since been recorded by numerous artists. It was even the theme song for Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s successful 1932 presidential campaign and has been featured in more than 80 movies and 76 record albums. 2021 marketers may be reviving the song once again as some indications point to increases in consumer spending this year.

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CX Measurement at a Crossroads

cx strategy

Surveys have a long and valuable history which some experts say date back to the beginning of the 20th century. Back then, they were used by researchers to determine the extent of problems like poverty in our society. But as soon as marketers realized its worth in gauging customer experience (CX), they too employed surveys and capitalized on the information gathered to improve their campaigns.

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Going for the Gold with Competitive Intelligence

competitive insights

No one probably comprehends both the depths and heights of competition more than Shaun White. Many people are aware of his heights as a three-time Olympic gold medalist and record holder for the most X Games gold medals, as well as 10 ESPY Awards.

What most people aren’t aware of is that White was born with a congenital heart defect and had two open-heart surgeries before he even got to celebrate his first birthday.

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Values to Stand and Work By

values to stand by

It was 16 years ago that Jim Collins and Jerry Porras came out with their highly-acclaimed book, “Built to Last.” In it, they cited hundreds of examples from successful companies of all sizes that endured through the years and analyzed each besides their competitors over a period of six years.

A couple of the findings of what they referred to as “visionary companies” were that these companies made a lasting impact on the world and were greatly admired by informed business persons.

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Connecting PR to Marketing

communications plans

Companies that are looking to expand their reach and expose their products or services to new audiences would greatly benefit from public relations.

Through public relations, a company is able to communicate with different people, from its customers to its employees, partners, journalists, and even the general public. Regardless of a company’s size, practically any business can benefit from PR.

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