How well do you know your customers?

Aside from what they buy from your business and their demographic information, do you have an idea of what matters to them? Sometimes digital marketing involves more than keeping an eye on marketing trends. It requires looking at changes in the world at large.

After a year like 2020, we’ve learned that people are taking an interest in key areas such as sustainability, inclusivity, and goodwill. This is proving to be more than just a fad— ignoring these topics means you risk alienating and losing customers.

Sustainability: What it Means to Your Customers and What You Can Do

Sustainability can refer to a few different things: recycling, environmental concerns, and clean energy sources. Depending on your business, one of these might be more actionable for you than others.

You might start an in-store recycling program, a commitment to use recycled products in your day-to-day business, or begin donating to an environmental organization. Whatever initiatives you want to incorporate, be clear.

If you’re donating money to an organization, how are you doing so? Is it through a portion of proceeds throughout your store, or is it limited to specific items?

The more specific you are, the higher the likelihood your message will resonate with your customers. Across generations, sustainability has become an important factor for consumers. According to a recent Nielsen study, 81% of people believe businesses need to help the environment.

As far as marketing is concerned, be sure to mention it in your emails, your social media profiles, and of course on your website. If possible, keep customers updated by sharing your achievements, such as how much you recycled in a month, or how much you were able to donate from sales proceeds. This helps your customers feel involved and invested in what you’re doing.

Inclusivity: How Your Business Can Support Social Justice

More than ever, people are embracing their true selves, and they want to spend their money in places where they feel accepted and included. In a study conducted by Accenture, 42% of racial minorities and 41% of people in the LGBTQ community reported they would switch retailers to shop somewhere they felt accepted. So, what can your business do to recognize the need for inclusivity and diversity?

Try stocking products that will appeal to diverse groups of people if you’re a retailer. For instance, if you sell hair products, be sure to stock options for different styles and textures of hair. Consider carrying products sourced from culturally authentic brands, as well. Whether it’s a hair care product, a food item, or a piece of clothing, offering selections from diverse communities and culturally appropriate companies will mean a lot to your customers and likely increase your client demographic.

If you’re able to create your own advertisements, take advantage of those to indicate who you welcome as patrons. Show people who are diverse in race or are part of the LGBTQ community.

Most importantly, you need to mean any efforts you undertake. If you advertise diversity, but people don’t feel this translates into their experience with your brand, you could face negative consequences.

Take advantage of your social networks and email newsletters to let your customers know that you’re interested in supporting diverse groups of people, and most importantly, let them know you’re open to discussing how best to do so. An active dialogue goes a long way, and people react positively when a brand is trying its best to be better. Give updates, and if an idea came from a customer, let your audience know that a fellow patron inspired this change.

Goodwill: Helping Your Community

The pandemic has brought people together even though they might be physically apart. As possible, use your business to give back to members of your community; your customers will see this and appreciate it. You may choose to support local teachers or health care workers, or another deserving group in your area.

People want to help other people, and they feel a connection from doing so. That feeling of goodwill extends to their shopping experiences: Shopping at a business that gives back to the community is better than shopping at ones that don’t.

Similar to what we’ve said before, transparency will be key here. Let customers know how they can help you support the community, exactly how much of your proceeds will go to any given cause, and how successful the efforts are.

Marketing for goodwill efforts like this could include pictures of any donations you receive if you run a charitable drive, updating your company blog and email newsletters, and sharing follow-ups with any recipients you helped.

Regardless of how you want to get involved, or which of these you want to focus on, a feeling of connectivity will be important in your 2021 digital marketing efforts.

If you’re looking for the best way to connect to your customers, but aren’t sure how, please reach out to us today! We’d love to help you determine which causes are near and dear to your customers’ hearts.