One of the key attributes of a successful marketer is the ability to identify changing consumer behaviors and respond quickly.
Ask any marketer to cite a moment in their career where they had to scramble to adjust their marketing plans based on unpredictable or altered consumer behavior. If they have been in the industry for long enough, it’s practically guaranteed that they can cite five or more examples just off the top of their head. In many cases, they will provide positive examples, such as a surprise celebrity endorsement, a viral video campaign, or even a strong few weeks on Wall Street that drove demand for their product or service. But sometimes the examples are negative in nature - or even tragic - including a recession, 9/11, or today’s novel Coronavirus.
Most marketers would like to describe themselves as agile - and with the right tools and processes in place, a determined marketer can respond to market changes in near-real time. Let’s look at the materials that marketers need to properly adjust to a rapidly shifting marketplace.
Changing Consumer Behaviors Require a Nimble Response
With a rapidly changing marketplace comes the need to adeptly measure and update market insights. Almost overnight, consumer behavior will begin to substantially deviate from past behavior. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Marketing Performance Measurement solutions rely heavily on analyzing historical data over a long period of time to predict your target market’s future behavior. This can cause serious discrepancies between prevailing and historical market conditions, making these insights obsolete at worst, and dubious at best. Brands need a Marketing Performance Measurement solution that encourages a higher degree of certainty by being able to:
- Perform analysis in a timely, nimble manner;
- Forget the irrelevant aspects of the past;
- Retain the relevant aspects of the past; and,
- Learn the emerging patterns of the future.
Enter Bayesian Learning and Forgetting
Bayesian Learning and Forgetting provides an exact solution for the transition through volatile market conditions and emergence into a new economic order. At Marketing Evolution, we apply this reinforcement learning framework in our Marketing Performance Measurement solution with automated and scalable proprietary-updating algorithms.
When new data is obtained and uploaded into the platform, the Bayesian algorithm assesses all historical data for its current relevance. Relevant information of the past will be retained, while your organization can begin to shed the less relevant historical information. This will allow your marketing team to start their shift towards these new behavioral pattern learnings. While others may use Bayes Theorem to impose hierarchy and rigidity on media impact measurement, Marketing Evolution uniquely uses it for the nimble collection of pertinent market insights.
In the simplest terms, Bayesian Learning and Forgetting helps marketers confidently and effectively adapt their marketing strategy - including placement, creative, and messaging - to maximize performance during a crisis such as Coronavirus, even though past historical consumer behavior isn’t representative of current conditions.
An Example from the Automotive Industry
An example of how brands are adapting today can be found in the automotive industry. During the Coronavirus crisis, consumers are spending more time at home watching their TVs and browsing the internet. Further, they are becoming more risk averse as their minds are flooded with worry about the health of themselves and loved ones, while experiencing increased anxiety over the state of the economy.
As a consumer, you may have noticed that the automobile brands have responded to these economic and social concerns with the offerings they put forth. Today, automobile dealerships are promoting offerings including 0% financing, a 120-day delay on first payment, and delivery at home. Furthermore, they have shifted their messaging to focus on brand trust to make you feel confident and secure about your purchase. Finally, due to the sudden cancellation of live televised sporting events, automobile brands have had to shift their media spend to other feasible channels and tactics to ensure they are reaching their targeted audience as they turn to other forms of entertainment.
The changing environment posed by the novel Coronavirus is disrupting entire marketplaces in significant ways. This situation will require marketing to put all hands on deck in their effort to resonate with consumers, and the right data analytics can help ensure you’re investing your resources wisely in this uncertain time.
While it is true that crisis situations often represent opportunities for marketers to shine in their ability to adapt, it shouldn’t take a crisis to inspire the delivery of timely, accurate, and effective insights into the business. Armed with a Marketing Performance Measurement solution, marketers can provide insights that drive performance and brand equity far beyond this crisis, and guarantee their organization’s continued success in the long run.