90% of marketers think Metaverse offers an exciting way to reach potential customers

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The marketing landscape is constantly changing. Various factors and trends affect how marketers adapt their strategies to reach and attract consumers. RRD recently conducted research to understand recent macro trends affecting consumers, marketers’ perceptions of trends, and their approach to reaching consumers. Discover the discoveries.

The marketing landscape has continued to evolve in recent years. Several factors are driving these changes, such as accelerated digitization due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the slow erosion of third-party cookies due to increased demand for privacy, and the advent of the metaverse. Changing customer behavior and expectations, factors like the ones mentioned above, and new trends force marketers to adopt various strategies to reach and attract customers.

So what are some marketers’ perceptions of the macro trends affecting consumers today? And what approach do they take to reach customers? RR Donnelley & Sons Company (RRD) recently conducted a study to find the answers to these and other questions. Here are some insights from the study.

Consumers prefer social media and digital ads to learn more about brands

The study revealed that the main channels preferred by consumers when discovering a new brand, product or service are social media, digital advertisements, word of mouth and cable television. Although marketers understand this about consumers, they underestimate consumer preference for cable TV and word of mouth.

Top preferred channels to learn about brands, products and services

Source: The macro market report | 2022

About 52% of consumers discovered a new brand, product or service using social media, word of mouth and digital ads this year. The results were consistent with those of 2021.

Social media and online ads are becoming increasingly important for marketers

The study found that social media, digital ads, streaming services, and the Metaverse were becoming increasingly critical for most marketers. Direct mail, print ads and cable television have also grown in importance for a few marketers. That said, a higher percentage of marketers said the importance of these channels remained the same.

Similar trends are expected over the next few years. Most marketers expect social media, digital ads, and streaming services to grow the most in importance.

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Marketers and consumers are getting excited about the Metaverse

According to the study, 90% of marketers agreed that it was an exciting way to reach potential customers. About 77% planned to integrate Metaverse as a channel in the coming years. Business services/consulting (67%) and retail (62%) are the two sectors that strongly agree that Metaverse offers new and exciting ways to reach potential customers.

About 15% of consumers said they are currently engaged with the Metaverse. Although this seems like a small number, 36% planned to get involved or were interested in the Metaverse although they are not there yet. In addition, 27% of the consumers concerned belong to the age group of 18-25 years.

The study further revealed that consumers are open to seeing brand communications inside the metaverse, with 43% saying they are somewhat or very interested.

More Marketers Think Consumers Are Interested in Direct Mail

About 73% of marketers in the study agreed that consumers are increasingly interested in direct mail. According to marketers, direct mail has several benefits, such as delivering personalized messages and campaigns that relate to and complement a digital marketing strategy.

Perceived benefits of using direct mail

Perceived benefits of using direct mail

Source: The macro market report | 2022

As if to agree with marketers, 41% of consumers are more excited about direct mail today than they were years ago. People aged 18 to 41 were particularly likely to be more excited than older generations. Consumers prefer direct mail to email when receiving product/service catalogs or localized messages and offers.

Direct mail receipt also gives consumers the benefits of having a physical copy of the information, having a copy they can refer to, and better recall than email. Consumers also find direct mail to be more personal (+11%), more likely to grab attention (+17%) and more trustworthy (+17%) compared to email.

Marketers believe that many factors will influence their approach to marketing next year

Marketers believe that several factors will affect their company’s approach to marketing over the next year. Some of these factors include inflation/economic issues (93%), shifting purchasing power to younger generations (89%), sustainability/ESG concerns (84%), changing climate politics (80%) and workforce changes (78%). %).

Recent data privacy concerns influenced the marketing strategies of 85% of marketers. This is especially true for the retail industry, with 93% of marketers agreeing. Of those whose marketing strategies are impacted, 76% said they reallocated their digital marketing budget to direct mail.

About 90% of marketers also felt that there was a need to make adjustments to marketing strategy as purchasing power shifted into the hands of Gen Z consumers. Marketers realized the need to change their strategies to keep up with generational changes. More than 60% felt visual communications, tone of communications, and channel strategy needed to change as buying power shifted to Gen Z consumers.

Most marketers think it’s necessary to solve political and social issues

Most marketers (91%) strongly agree that addressing political and social issues is necessary as part of marketing efforts to connect with consumers. This importance is growing, given a shift in purchasing power towards younger generations.

Most consumers agree with merchants. Around 63% of consumers agree that brands should take a stand on political and social issues. Around 59% said they were more likely to buy from brands that take a stand.

Key brand attributes haven’t changed much since last year

Consumers find a product’s value, a company’s reputation for quality, and how it treats employees to be important attributes when considering buying from a brand. And those attributes remained similar to 2021. Sustainability, commitment to diversity, and philanthropy are also somewhat important to them.

About 82% of consumers thought inflation was affecting their shopping behavior, and 85% thought it would in the next year. Around 55% of consumers also believe that brands have a responsibility to adjust to inflation and offer promotions/discounts (66%) or payment plans (14%).

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Many marketers think the economic downturn will impact budgets

When it comes to marketing budgets and strategies, 77% of marketers said their budgets have increased over the past year. However, 84% expressed fears that they could be affected due to a potential economic downturn. Companies have had to make certain changes to their marketing strategies to accommodate budget changes, such as taking less risk, reducing headcount, and reprioritizing target audiences.

Marketers’ top priorities include growing their organization, with 83% rating it critical or very important. Around 81% said it was essential or very important to work on digital transformation, and 80% said the same about improving supply chain efficiency.

The top priorities of marketers

The top priorities of marketers

Source: The macro market report | 2022

When it comes to challenges, improving customer experience (CX), improving data management, and data-driven decision-making are ranked among the top three issues marketers are currently facing. confronted.

When evaluating vendors, marketers use a wide variety of sources, such as online reviews, vendor websites, customer testimonials, product demos, and ROI calculators.

Look forward

The results show that marketers are aligning with consumers across various channels and trends. That said, they also underestimate the power of certain channels like cable TV and word of mouth. With changing customer preferences, purchasing power slowly shifting to younger generations, and economic uncertainties affecting buying behaviors, marketers are expected to adjust their strategies and approaches over the course of the year to come. By adjusting their strategies and approaches and investing in technology that enables them to make better data-driven decisions, marketers can improve customer experience and revenue in the coming year.

What do you see as the big trends that will affect marketing strategies over the next year? Share with us on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.

Image source: Shutterstock

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