As the uncertainty of 2020 continues into 2021, consumers are looking for brands that can offer not only the products they need but the sense of stability they crave. They’re choosing the brands they buy and stores they frequent not out of convenience or even habitual brand loyalty but based on trust — trust that they’re dedicated to providing value and to doing their part to keep their communities safe. In fact, Edelman Trust Barometer recently released their “Special Report: Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic,” sharing some fascinating statistics about brand trust and responsibility in the wake of the pandemic:
- 81 percent of consumers consider whether they trust a brand to do what’s right as a deciding factor in their brand buying decision.
- 88 percent hope or expect brands to “keep the public fully informed regarding changes in how the brand is operating and in how to gain access to its products and services.”
- 84 percent hope or expect brands to “use social media to facilitate a sense of community and offer social support.”
So how does a brand go about building this trust with new and existing customers? A key part of that is building customer intimacy by demonstrating awareness of and empathy with the community’s needs and values. While the need for customer intimacy is especially acute in times of crisis and uncertainty, it was a critical business advantage before the pandemic and will remain so once we find our way back to some semblance of normal.
The best way to build this sense of intimacy? By communicating consistently with customers, meeting them where they are to offer them relevant information and personalized value. And that’s where a sophisticated multi-channel marketing campaign comes in.
As you adjust your marketing strategy to build customer intimacy and trust, consider these strategies to ensure your multichannel marketing efforts are reaching your customers with content and messaging that will catch their attention and invite them to engage with your brand.
Start with Digital
Digital marketing is an essential strategy, and it’s a great place to start. Digital marketing includes web content, paid search, display advertising, social media, email marketing, and more — it comes with several advantages: you can control your budget, target your efforts to your ideal customers, easily personalize messaging, and track performance in real time. And research has shown that, by using digital platforms to automate key marketing activities and nurture leads, brands can see up to 50 percent more sales at a third of the price of traditional marketing methods alone.
Add Direct Mail to the Marketing Mix
But savvy marketers know that, while digital marketing is a huge piece of the puzzle, digital alone won’t drive the results brands want. According to research from Swrve, an integrated multichannel marketing program can deliver revenue uplift of 15 to 35 percent. In other words, a truly successful marketing initiative spans multiple channels, both online and off, in order to reach customers across a number of mediums.
One of the fastest-growing marketing strategies today is, in fact, direct mail. Recently, PrintWeek reported that direct mail saw 11 percent more popularity in 2020 than in 2019, and door drops grew by 15 percent. Direct mail and Every Door Direct Mail® have long been considered reliable, cost-effective methods of customer communication, but their increase in effectiveness during the pandemic isn’t all that surprising — after all, consumers are spending more time than ever in their homes, and the very real Zoom fatigue has many of us craving off-screen interactions. Direct mail is a great way for brands to meet that need, delivering their messaging in a way that consumers welcome.
Localize Marketing to Put Community First
As we wrote recently, one of the biggest impacts of the pandemic has been a renewed focus on community. Customers are seeking brands that are close to home and that build trust through valuable community outreach. So, as much as possible, brands that want to rebuild customer intimacy would do well to supplement global content with messaging that’s customized to local audiences. Go beyond simply listing the address and phone number of the nearest store, but use social media channels, web pages, and print marketing to provide information about how each location or affiliate is supporting its unique community.
(Download our e-book to learn more about integrated local marketing.)
We understand that producing and distributing consistent, effective, localized content to build customer intimacy across a variety of print and digital channels is easier said than done. That’s why, at OneTouchPoint, we’re dedicated to providing our clients a responsive marketing supply chain that powers your brand communications, from wide reach digital and local marketing campaigns to direct mail and print marketing fulfillment of every shape and size. To learn more about how OneTouchPoint can help you deliver a seamless, multichannel brand experience, we invite you to contact us today or request a quote on your next project. Our experts will provide insight and ideas to deliver phenomenal results at a great price.