Following a year of widespread uncertainity, planning ahead has become more complicated than ever before for business leaders.
To make their job easy, Deloitte has come out with a Global Marketing Trends Report that offers a timely and insightful look inside the needs of today’s consumer and a tangible resource that business leaders can look to when planning ahead for the year to come.
The report was developed using feedback gathered during the pandemic to provide executives across the C-suite with real-time tools that can help guide brands through uncertainty and respond to customer needs as they unfold.
The Deloitte report polled 2,447 global consumers, ages 18 and above, in April 2020. The survey was launched in the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, China, South Africa and the Middle East.
"It would be an understatement to say that 2020 has been a challenging year. While the future has always been uncertain, now more than ever, connection and trust are paramount," remarked Rushdi Duqah, Deloitte Digital Lead Partner, Deloitte Middle East.
"Our Marketing Trends research attempts to understand how human behaviors are changing and in doing so, help the C-Suite across organizations in the Middle East lead with a human-centered approach in order to thrive into the new normal," he stated.
The major findings from the Deloitte report include:
*Positive brand actions have led to 1 in 5 people shifting buying behavior to support brands, in the Middle East region, and negative brand actions have led to 1 in 4 people walking away from brands that acted in their own self-interest.
*Almost 4 in 5 people could cite a time a brand responded positively to the pandemic and 1 in 5 strongly agreed it led to increased brand loyalty on their part.
*More than 25% of those who noticed brands acting in their own self-interest walked away from those brands.
*More than 70% agreed they valued digital solutions that deepened their connection with other people, and 63% believe they will rely on digital technologies more than they did prior the pandemic even well after it subsides.
*Nearly 58% of respondents could recall at least one brand that quickly pivoted to better respond to their needs, and 82% said this led to them doing more business with the brand.
Shakeel Sawar, the advertising, marketing and commerce partner at Deloitte Middle East, said: "Customers have made it clear they have high expectations from brands, and amid the current pandemic those expectations are heightened. Both consumers and companies are confronted with a global disruption that touches on every aspect of their day-to-day lives."
"Companies that are succeeding are typically those acting with transparency and clear intention, rooted in trust and the human experience, while also reacting in real time with the agility to meet the rapidly-evolving needs of their core consumer," he stated.
The 7 trends identified by the Global Marketing Trends (GMT) report include the following:
*Purpose: As customers align with businesses that share their values, companies that act with purpose are more positioned for success.
*Agility: The current environment has tested business models in unprecedented ways and made clear that agility is a crucial, cultural mindset for organizations.
*Human experience: By deepening their understanding of their customers, employees, and stakeholders, companies can create tools, solutions and devices that make peoples’ lives better, not just always on.
*Trust: Trust is built on a brand’s promise and the delivery of their product or service. Even in the most turbulent of times, when delivery meets expectations, brands build trust.
*Participation: Companies are thinking about customers strategically, as brand ambassadors, influencers, collaborators, and innovators in their engagement strategies. Companies are tapping into this passion to broaden their focus for more collaborative engagement with customers.
*Fusion: Organizations can better help the people they serve by creating innovative experiences through cross-industry partnerships, creating ecosystems that more holistically address human needs.
*Talent: As ways of working have shifted, marketing organizations have focused on ways to make their most valuable asset, their talent, a strategic force. Technologies like AI liberate marketers from mundane, tactical execution freeing them to innovate and generate the big, creative ideas.
"In the height of the pandemic, we saw that many of the respondents from the Middle East were highly aware of the brands that stood up measures to protect employee wellness," remarked Sawar.
He said this really speaks to the impact of human-centered and purpose-driven organizations in the region.
On October 22, Deloitte will be hosting an exclusive Global launch event, to deep dive more into the seven trends and understand how they will impact organizations globally.
"In the near future, we will also be hosting a series of events to deep-dive into the trends will have an impact on organizations across the Middle East," he added.-TradeArabia News Service