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Rethinking the Who, What, Where and When: How Marketers Can Lead Brands to Success in the Wake of Inflation

Over the past few months, inflation has reached all-time highs. COVID and stimulus savings, which initially relieved the burn during the onset of the inflation, have depleted, forcing consumers to rapidly shift their spending habits amid rising costs.

As gas prices soar, and discount chains like Dollar Tree have been forced to increase prices over 25%, and consumers are increasingly becoming more value-driven.

For marketers faced with increased pressures from leadership to drive a return on investment (ROI) and revenue for their brand, the second half of 2022 marks a critical moment and requires real attention to refining one’s marketing approach and messaging.

Here’s how your brand can navigate these obstacles:

The Who & The What: Give Your Messaging a Value-Driven Glow Up

55% of shoppers are buying more discounted items and 46% noted they are buying more private label products.

InMarket Inflation Insights, June 2022

As a result, it is crucial for marketers to identify and target loyal customers that may be at risk and prospective audiences that provide a new opportunity.

Look at key motivators to adjust your strategies accordingly. For example, consumers of all ages are seeking value, giving brands the opportunity to hack viral trends and drive awareness for their products. 

On TikTok, Gen Z and Millennials are turning to their peers to find cheaper alternatives for trending products. From drug store dupes of pricier makeup products like Charlotte Tilbury’s viral Pillowtalk lipstick to Amazon’s dupe of the lululemon Align Tank, younger generations that were motivated by brand loyalty are beginning to prioritize value over brand names. 

Even older generations with higher household incomes are switching to private label brands to account for the stark increase in prices across categories like grocery and packaged goods. In a recent report, InMarket found that consumers spend nearly 50% of all spending on private-label dairy products, nearly 20% more on private-label frozen foods, and about 10% more on private-label beverages and snacks. 

inflation insights inmarket
Inflation Insights

Don’t shy away from these trends. As consumer behavior becomes increasingly unpredictable, ensure your brand is highlighting the value to show customers why they should choose your brand over a cheaper dupe. 

Messaging plays a pivotal role in increasing value proposition. Whether it’s highlighting bigger packaging with more product, offering coupons in saturated categories like canned cocktails, or launching a membership-only sale for loyal customers, strategize tactics that ensure consumers associate the brand with the most value across its competition.

The Where & The When: No Cap, Rewards Programs Boost Customer Loyalty

As consumers place less emphasis on just a brand name, value-based programs can dramatically influence the purchase and act as a catalyst for customer retention. 

Promotions like special birthday gifts, exclusive early access to sales, limited coupon codes, and rewards points provide regular touchpoints with customers that both enhance the value proposition and the overall customer experience.

Along with rewards programs, exclusive discount codes are an innovative way to tap new markets through trusted influencers. By engaging with influencers on platforms like TikTok, your brand will be able to harness the reach of trusted content creators, while simultaneously increasing the value proposition for prospective customers.

When faced with the challenge of leaving trusted brands behind due to cost, consumers are inclined to look to others for their favorite dupes. It’s a clear opportunity for brands to align themselves with key influencers that will showcase the value of a product to their followers, offering unique discount codes brings it one step further.

You don’t have to give away a car or hyper-target extreme couponers to bring these programs to life—it’s simply about enhanced value for loyalty. Be strategic with the deals, specials, and freebies that are most attractive to your target audience, and you’ll see its impact on loyalty, even in difficult times.

Test & Invest: Be the CEO of Optimization through Attribution & Analytics 

Evaluation and measurement are keys to success in moments when consumer shopping patterns are rapidly changing to meet economic pressures. 

As tactics like creative and value-based messaging play instrumental roles in attracting customers, it’s essential to monitor the success of each campaign to ensure your advertisements are driving the most ROI. 

Along with insights an evaluation of the creative, media and offer and the ability to change or optimize the campaign inflight can dramatically impact the overall efficiency, effectiveness and ROI of the program. 

Consumer goods categories are bound to feel the burn of this economic downturn. While it undeniably poses new challenges, there are a few simple questions that help you get started:

  • How can we expand to new audiences through value-based messaging?
  • How are competitors shifting their strategies to meet evolving consumer habits?
  • How can you engage consumers through the purchase process to build loyalty by rethinking the new Who, What, Where and When? 

From there, you’ll be able to assess the principal considerations behind current consumer shopping habits, enabling your brand to rise above its competitors and expand its reach.

Download Inflation Insights from InMarket

Michael Della Penna

Michael Della Penna is Chief Strategy Officer at InMarket. Michael has over 25 years of experience working in the data, digital advertising, and marketing industry. Michael has been recognized as one of B-to-B Magazines “100 Most Influential People in Business-to-Business and Interactive Marketing” five times for his ongoing contributions to establishing digital marketing best practices.

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