The COVID-19 pandemic changed everyone’s lives in 2020, so it should come as no surprise that the impact will be felt for years to come. However, recent studies have shown just how consumer behavior may be affected in the coming years, with new customer segments predicted to dominate by 2023. It is important to recognize these new segments, as segmentation helps marketers understand the unique needs of their audience so that they can develop a winning marketing strategy.
According to the “Future Consumer 2023” study by WGSN, there are some developments over the last year and a half that have affected nearly everyone and led to this shifting in consumer behavior:
- A distorted sense of time. All the self-quarantining, working-from-home, and social distancing have caused a collective warped sense of time, with many feeling a disconnect between their internal clock and time in the outside world. This feeling tends to make people yearn things from their past, leading to binge-watching old sitcoms, dragging out an old video game, or indulging in comfort foods.
- Using numbness to cope. Stress from repeated lockdowns, a longing for things to return to normal, health worries, and continued waves of COVID-19 have made many fearful and apprehensive about what’s to come. Many people are now more carefully choosing where to direct their energies, leading to trends like ad blocking, deleting social media profiles, and unfollowing people and businesses on social media in order to only view content that matters to them.
- Having hope and cautious motivation. The demographic that seems to be clinging to hope during this time the most are Gen Zers, although others are also taking tentative steps towards a new normal.
Overall, everyone is going through a difficult time and, as a brand, communicating that everything is great and wonderful may not resonate with your audience, because not everyone feels that everything is great and wonderful right now. Here’s how you can find common ground with the four newly emerging consumer groups
- The Uprooters. This group was motivated by the pandemic to lead a healthier life. They’re making big changes – switching jobs, moving out of the city, and looking for sustainable products and ways of living. Reel this segment in with messages revolving around wellness, creating a better work/life balance, and connecting with the community.
- The Security Seekers. While we all crave a level of stability, this segment is even more careful about every purchase to make sure they are making the best choice possible. This group is a great match for subscription services and auto-refill options, as they get the security they want while also committing to future purchases and providing valuable data.
- The Busy Bees. You know them – your friend who suddenly has 20 new side hustles since the pandemic started. They’re multi-talented and always on the lookout for the next great opportunity. You can tap into this audience’s energy by creating awesome digital experiences for them to share, as well as offering virtual goods and games.
- The Challengers. This is the segment where building an emotional connection will be critical. Challengers do exactly that – challenge local businesses to stand for something and be clear about their motives and mission. Connect with this segment with opportunities that allow them to do more than just buy your products and services – give them a way to invest in your shared values.
Need help engaging with your target audience? Midwest Marketing is here to help! Contact us today to get started on a marketing strategy that will get the right message in front of the right person at the right time.
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