Advice from a Marketing Consultant: Embrace Change

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Embrace ChangeSkin care entrepreneurs who are waiting for life to revert to normal have a long wait ahead. Many experts believe that things will never go back to where they once were. The best marketing consultant will recommend accepting the “new normal” and redesigning marketing strategies around this. Markets have passed the stage of undergoing change and taken on new forms that involve increased customer participation.

In the past, businesses were responsible for production, marketers did the talking, and consumers listened. Roles are now overlapping, with customers participating in creation and sharing in marketing conversations. Some are referring to this as a sharing or connection economy and note that we are only in the beginning stages of this new world. Empowered by the Internet, customers are placing new demands on businesses and their behavior, forcing companies to care more about their target audiences.

Value creation has become intertwined with trust, innovation, and the provision of useful information. Every industry in every part of the world is affected by this shift. Consumer thoughts and opinions are steering the direction of the economy and marketers must listen and respond. It is a role reversal of sorts and it requires many marketers to step outside their comfort zones. Experts recommend several steps to avoid being trampled by target audiences.

Tuning into customer interest requires determining what customers like about the business and what would make them like it even more. Improved technology is the answer for some companies, which are embracing quick response codes and RFID devices. Others are discovering that their pricing is not aligned with consumer budgets and are adjusting their price points or product lines in response. Some are revamping their entire approach, making their products or services more convenient to target audiences.

The flip side of learning what customers love most about a business is finding out what they do not appreciate and addressing it. Starbucks discovered that its customers were displeased with the amount of waste generated by its beverage products. In response, the company began offering reusable plastic cups for a dollar, providing a discount of ten percent for each reuse.

Marketers also must consider what makes the business more attractive than the competition and take steps to reinforce this appeal. This often involves viewing operations creatively and developing innovative ways to resolve current issues. An experienced marketing consultant recognizes the importance of asking “What if” and considering new approaches that embrace change.

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