What Modern Marketing Experts Get Wrong About Today’s Consumers & Clients

Saad Iqbal | 🗓️Modified: December 29, 2023 | ⏳Time to read:9 min

To run any business, be that in the construction sector or further afield, it’s important to know who you’re catering products and services to. In many cases, market demand shapes business life more than any business shapes the market.

However, that doesn’t mean those who spend their entire careers trying to appeal to and understand that market are correct about every perspective they have. In some cases, marketing experts can be more confident of certain necessary truths, and that’s not always a bad thing. After all, a marketing professional’s job is, in some part, to pre-empt what it is the market wants before they even know it.

That being said, this mode of thinking can make it very easy to get ahead of ourselves, while also limiting the objective truth of the clientele we’re looking to help.

In this post, we’ll discuss what those modern marketing experts get wrong about today’s consumers and clients, and how you can use alternative, more grassroots perspectives to help you curate your business as appropriate. When putting together a business plan, outsourcing your needs, and becoming more efficient, it’s always important to understand if you’re oriented in the right direction to begin with.

Let this post assist you in that aim:

Table of Contents

Conscious Consumerism Is The Default

While it’s true that consumers are starting to care more and more about where their money goes and how their wallets vote every time they make a purchase, conscious consumerism is still a luxury for many people.

In other words, if you have the means to select between many providers, you may be happy to pay a little more to ensure an ethical trade. Perhaps you want to support a business that focuses on eco-friendly solutions, prioritizes social justice, or implements other programs to limit the impact of their platform.

All of this is great, and we’re certainly not going to poke holes in that pursuit. That being said, conscious consumerism, and its associated higher price of doing business in pursuit of ideals, will not be affordable to everyone. In some cases, conscious consumerism is a luxury, either for time to understand the issue or the funds to support an initiative worth having. 

If someone has to choose between regularly produced affordable clothes or hemp-woven carbon-neutral alternatives, they’ll choose the option that lets them clothe their children more easily. For this reason, it’s important to be very clear about which market you target, and how to cultivate the best of that transactional relationship.

Influencers Are The New Format Of Marketing

Ultimately, anyone who holds influence over others is a marketing professional in their own right, be that an actor who cares about their public profile or a politician hoping to succeed on the campaign trail.

Another option has become more popular as of late – the rise of the influencer economy online. In other words, those who achieve some form of clout online, perhaps through content released, perhaps through tier personalities, have become a new mainstay of the marketing world.

It’s very simple, and nowhere near a new thing – a company may pay an influencer to promote or review a product and gain traction from that. Many marketers can feel the excitement in using this new channel because it helps you connect with those who are primed to understand and appreciate the product given the specific niche of the audience an influencer has gathered.

That being said, there’s almost nothing new about this whatsoever, apart from the platform being localized online. Celebrity endorsements have been possible for some time, and so it’s also important to create a healthy marketing approach outside of that more promotional investment because a significant profile is nothing without the clarity of design and promotion surrounding it. 

Most consumers can see right through a tacit approval, so make sure to only use such figures for exposure, and then fulfill your marketing approach from there.

Underappreciating The Impact Of Online Reviews

There’s a vast online world out there, and plenty is being said in it. For this reason, it’s important to try and gather that to your advantage. In this respect, marketing is as much about aftercare as it is about convincing someone to buy and use your product or service.

Online reviews are a particular example worth considering because more consumers are likely to listen to one another than they are to take in your expectedly biased promotional content. To begin with, it’s important to let your audience have their say. We’ve recently seen how even multi-million dollar companies can cause reputational damage by trying to publicly dismiss valid criticism.

But you can engage with reviews well, too. For example, replying to reviews on platforms like Trustpilot, either with a heartfelt thanks or apology and course correction, can allow customers to see that while your marketing claims may not have a presence in the review section, you can still offer helpful conduct and show unhappy customers that their needs will be addressed. In many ways, the review section has become an impromptu necessity for companies trying to improve their standing among many discerning consumers. On top of that, you can even incentivize reviews by offering discounts to those who give their honest take, raising your profile, and giving you more feedback to learn from.

Consumers Expect A Squeaky-Clean Image

In providing a sort of professional detachment, many companies have thus far thrived on letting their branding do the talking. There’s a wisdom to this of course, and one worth appreciating in its fullest form. But that doesn’t mean your business has to be squeaky clean or distinct from “the human factor” at all times.

Many in the construction industry know already, that a friendly face, a professional portfolio, and a personal touch can leave customers of all kinds returning again and again. From a pest control business with a personal touch to help you through the worry of pests in your home, to the local contractor more than happy to renovate your bathroom with a smile, being personable and reachable does more for the modern consumer than anything else.

Could it be time to humanize your brand? Putting yourself or your team as the face of your firm brings you down to the consumer level, and in many respects, you can stand out from your competition because of it.

Packaging Is More Important Than The Product

Packaging is important to get right of course, but it’s rare that someone purchases a product simply because of the packaging without looking at details of the item inside. No one picked up an iPhone from the shelf just because the packaging was minimal, without understanding what the specifications of the phone were underneath that.

If you employ a smarter approach, you can often balance the two disciplines. For example, using the packaging of nutraceutical products to showcase the vitamin or nutrient profile in your supplement can be a great benefit, while also offering a sleek and practical design to speak of your product’s quality. 

Packaging isn’t more important than the product, but there’s no reason why both have to be in combat with one another. They should inform, support, and flow into one another’s design principles. For example, if you pack your item in a beautiful sustainable bag only for the internal item to be coated in plastic, a disconnect is present there and mixed messages are given. Working with UX and graphic designers and fashioning several prototypes for success can be a great benefit.

You Can Please Everyone

The utmost goal of any marketing professional is to appeal to as many people as possible. It’s useless to ensure one person thinks the world of your firm because however much you appreciate them, it’s unlikely they’ll give you enough revenue to keep the lights on alone.

That being said, you can’t please everyone. Sometimes, customers will have a faulty view of your firm or have no use of it. Perhaps they’ll have one bad experience and never give you the chance to fix it. Maybe you’ll put out a tongue-in-cheek tweet and someone will take it entirely seriously, swearing off your brand forever more.

Now, in all these cases it can be helpful to reach out and try to fix the issue. But not all customers or clients will be interested in that. For this reason, it’s important to accept that you cannot appeal to every element of the market but to fix it where appropriate.

Construction or contracting firms know this all too well. Perhaps you’ve renovated a kitchen to the exact specifications given, but the client isn’t happy. Perhaps then you implement corrections, fixes, and changes to help their renewed spec come to reality. 

If they’re still not happy, despite the work being of great quality and as explained, it’s important to enforce your rights and willingness to go the extra mile, but not beyond that until the end of time. Sometimes, you have to document and verify that you’ve upheld your end and expect payment all the same. Learning to deal with difficult clients is just as valid a skill as any other.

With this advice, you’ll be able to think more critically about curating a modern client or customer list.

Saad Iqbal is a professional civil engineering and freelance write. He's passionate about structures, construction management, and home improvement topics. He's been working as a Senior Engineer in a consultant firm for over 8 years. Besides he loves writing informative and in-depth content focused on construction and home-related topics. You can catch him at his linkedin page or reach out via our contact us page.

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