We’re all in agreement that 2020 was “unprecedented”, “disruptive” and “once-in-a-lifetime”, and we are all looking at how to navigate the changes that came with it. One of the things we have been looking at with our clients is how new habits have formed in consumers since the beginning of 2020 and what that means for their marketing strategy. We are choosing to look at this from the perspective of James Clear who wrote one of our favorite books, Atomic Habits.
Consumers Are Changing Their Habits
As consumers, we typically purchase out of habit or regular tendency whether it’s the grocery store we always go to or restaurants we frequent because of familiarity. We choose products and services that align with them, and we make decisions using our habits in a generally predictable manner. Once we entered into the pandemic, our routines changed and that affected the habits we created. For example, a large number of people who typically would shop for groceries in-store switched to shopping for groceries online. This is important for us now because it changed an existing habit and businesses are pivoting to accommodate that.
Changes Happen In 66 Day Cycles
James Clear references numerous studies in his book that highlight the 66-day average. One of these studies states that it takes 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. We are approaching our fifth ‘66 day cycle’ since the pandemic began meaning we’ve been through multiple cycles to figure out how we prefer to buy groceries, change our meal and dining preferences, replace in-store experiences with online shopping, work from wherever and more. This has caused multiple people to change their minds, habits and routines.
What This Means for Marketing
It’s time to revisit the customer journey. Start looking at how your customers are purchasing goods and services in your market. For example, if you find that you have more online traffic than usual, it might be time for you to up your digital marketing efforts to accommodate your consumers.
Some of you may have customers that only buy every 3 years for example. Remember that their journey includes approximately 2-4 months of pre-purchase research. Look into how your customers might be researching other purchases they make in the meantime. Chances are that they have shifted to an online research experience. This means your online presence needs to support the customer through their research process further and the customer will likely be visiting your location further along and closer to a purchase than before.
Have you considered what this shift means for your business or your team? Are you prepared to accommodate or convert consumers in a different way that aligns with their newly formed habits?
As the pandemic ends (whenever that may be), we believe that some of our habits will revert to the “old normal” and some may stick to the new habits. At the end of the day, a successful business has the responsibility to create the best experience for its customers, so it is time to reconsider how they are creating their journey no matter what changes have occurred.
If you are interested in more information on this, feel free to reach out to our team. We are always happy to help you create meaningful and purposeful experiences.