Marketers need to understand the current economic, political, technological and social environment that affects their audiences’ behaviour and consumption. This article describes the impact that polarization is having on audiences, how it is affecting organisations and what marketers can do to exploit current trends. The author argues that organisations need to tailor their marketing mix to remain healthy and relevant. Through offering unique, real-time experiences, responding to behaviour such as ‘cocooning’ and clearly communicating their brand position, marketers can respond more effectively to the needs, wants and motivations of their audiences in a turbulent time of societal change.
Value for money includes the whole of the visit – transport, food and drink etc. Marketers can respond by emphasising value for money, not cheapness. They can attract attention with offers, as long as they maintain the top prices so there is a gap. A bargain has to feel like a bargain, after all. The recession means that people are taking a second look at what matters to them, they’re not cutting down on luxuries, and they just look to get them for less.
How are we going to respond?
This is about decisions: are you the cheap and cheerful day out or the self-indulgent treat? What we can’t be is middle of the road. We have to give people a reason to leave the house, which ties into their sense of self and place. We have to make it unique and worthwhile going out for. Decide where your brand fits. Be one thing or the other, don’t be middle of the road.
How do we respond to cocooning?
• Coax people out of the house by reducing the risk
• Be the space that people can escape to – a safe place to think, ‘to wander, to use their imaginations’
• Talk about the real reasons why people go to museums and galleries rather than giving them an art history lesson