Value. This is the hot topic of the season – at conference main stages, in one-on-one conversations and even across phone screens. The news of the Federal Reserve's actions to combat inflation reminded us all of the challenging months ahead.
Post Prime Day, heading into the back half of the year, now is the time to reflect and discuss the ways in which we can create and enhance value for consumers. As we move into a harsher economic reality, brands will need to tackle greater scrutiny from shoppers when it comes to making purchase decisions, even on major shopping occasions like Back to School and Holiday.
The conversation around value comes in three forms: the marketer's mission – value creation; the consumer's angle – the search for value; and our job as market makers – value exchange.
Brands’ Quest for Value Creation
Creating value is key to staying within consumers’ consideration sets for the remainder of the year – making sure not to be perceived as just a transactional brand, knowing that people will be faced with more difficult consumption decisions soon. Both manufacturers and marketplaces need to think about the consumer as one person, whether online or offline, in order to offer an omnichannel experience. Through this mindset, the friction of re-identification and preference setting is taken out of the ‘costs’ associated with a commerce experience. Marketers today can focus on snackable, smaller opportunities to provide value—be it through relevant promotion or reduction of friction through added services or convenience. Making the smaller things simpler will be the name of the game. Commerce leads face an uphill battle in Q3 and Q4 as economic circumstances tighten and the year comes to a close, all the while being compared side-by-side with an explosive 2021. The winning formula will be to pick the right tactics to create value for consumers through smaller, snackable and more frequent actions, powered by a strong brand and reframed KPI to support long-term consumer relationships and profitability.
Consumer Search for Value
Consumers are looking for value now more than ever, and retailers are ramping up their efforts by promoting their own store brands in order to meet these value-driven consumer expectations. This also means competing with all the efforts of big-name brands to capture sales. The advantage major manufacturers have here is the names they've built. Brands must flex their credibility and functional benefits to drive clear differentiation. This is a time to talk up unique R&D by investing in full-funnel brand efforts to ensure the traffic you generate leads to a sale of your brand rather than the off-brand version of your product.
A great starting point here is to connect deeply with communities. Thanks to great advances in social commerce tech stacks, the shift from demographic to attitudinal groups is accelerated as we can tap into existing conversations and even hand off a portion of marketing to trusted creators who are able to bring a compelling proposition to their own micro markets. Each consumer can then receive a message through a credible and aspirational source, increasing perceived value.
Finding True Value Exchange
Once brands re-work their omnichannel experiences to have less friction and include more snackable moments that generate value, and consumers are shown more value through brand-specific benefits and creator narratives, the goal is to broker the right exchanges. Connecting brands with consumers efficiently is where commerce platforms like Profitero can do all the heavy lifting. Through this technology, we can help brands reach the right groups, pinpoint which marketplaces to invest in and help determine which levers to pull in order to climb in seller rank.
The broad theme here is to turn marketing dollars spent into data. Either we are creating shopping occasions where we build relationships and learning preferences, or we are driving purchase which generates a data set of its own. The end goal is to build loyal, trusted relationships which involves redefining what value means within an organization. Owning the consumer, crafting for omnichannel experience and thinking long term is the key to moving forward successfully. The aim should be to experiment within the marketplace and measure each activity on value created and exchanged, with consistent assessment and adaptation.
This article is part of the Adweek Commerce Week Trends Report 2022 – download the full report here.