The future of marketing and how to make your brand stand out

Imagine being part of a generation who grew up with the ability to get anything they wanted from the touch of a button. That’s Generation Z. Now imagine trying to market to them.

When considering the future of your marketing methods, it is important to not only consider current spenders, but future spenders as well. On average, a loyal customer is a lot more valuable to a business than a new customer, with many sources saying it costs 5 times more to attract a new customer than to sell to an existing one. With this in mind, it is vital to build a meaningful relationship with your customers from the first point of contact, which will likely be when they first start spending.

Generation Z are the cohort born after 1996, meaning the eldest of which will soon be turning 20. The late teenage years are the time when people start to take control of their own finances, and with many heading to university at the age of 18 or 19, this might be the first time that they have had to consider things like gas and electric providers, internet companies, bank accounts and credit cards, as well as getting their first job and having full access to shopping without parental oversight.

That being in mind, there is a huge opportunity for these businesses to commence potentially lifelong relationships with these consumers, but how do you stand out from the crowd when the crowd is so huge? There are 37 Gas & Electric providers listed on Which? in the UK alone, and 131 internet providers on the ISPA. To get a customer on board with you from the beginning, you need to tailor your approach to give them what they want and what they need.

This generation have grown up with personalisation being standard among services like Netiflix and Amazon that it is increasingly expected as the norm. They don’t want a bank that will block their card because they are abroad longer than they said they would be, they want a bank that can recognise that they are stuck in Egypt following the ban on flights to and from Sharm el Sheikh and extend their overdraft to help them out while they are there. Personal touches like this can mean the difference between that customer being long-term and loyal, and leaving you for a bank that will make them feel more valued.

 

So how can you make this happen?

Personalisation seems like a great idea, but how do you actually go about it? The good news is that this generation has grown up with the internet, as have many Millennials, meaning that there are vast amounts of data available to utilise in order to better understand your customer base, all you need is the right tools. 99% of consumers are happy to share data with brands in return for personalised communications, provided that they do it with their consent.

Big data analytics tools provide a particular advantage in that they take into account all available digital data with the consumer’s consent; they don’t scrape social media, and they are not social listening. This poses huge benefits for consumers and businesses, by offering more privacy and decision-power to consumers, and providing more detailed and predictive insight to businesses.

An easy mistake to make is personalising the acquisition process, for example through targeted marketing, without following through the consumer journey. Understanding consumer behaviour based on personality, interests, and life events gives you key indicators of what products and services they might be interested in. Imagine you are a T.V. and internet provider for example, with real-time insight into life events, you can identify if one of your customers is going back to university and therefore market your services as a student bundle, ideal for multiple users streaming at once. Likewise, a coffee shop can identify which of its customers have upcoming exams and offer them a revision deal of a ‘skip the library: get your 2nd coffee free for a stress-free revision session at Coffee World.’.

By harnessing the power of big data you can personalise the user journey from sign-up, throughout the entire relationship and adapt alongside your consumer’s ever-changing needs. Personalisation isn’t just offering a football fan football tickets, its offering a football fan tickets to their favourite team on their birthday.

Author Clare Palmer