Using influencers, live shopping and purpose-driven marketing to bring tech down to Earth.
Let’s be real, it’s hard to make a hoover sexy. But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Two of 2021’s biggest trends – purpose-driven marketing and purchase value messaging – are both working towards a common goal: to humanise content. 68% of consumers said they want brands and retailers to provide them with honest and personal advice. In other words, they want a relationship. So, whatever you’re selling, customers are looking for purchase to become that much more personal, human and valuable.
All sorts of factors will play into this desire, from tighter budgets to saturated marketing channels and environmental concerns. But one thing is certain: in 2021, audiences want to be heard, not told. No one wants to be faced with corporate, uninspiring, out-of-touch content that makes purchasing boring and difficult. If your audience doesn’t feel like they’re engaging with a real human being, they’ll likely lose connection with your brand and start to look elsewhere for something or someone they can relate to. This is especially true when it comes to tech and electricals. In fact, more than half (54%) of consumers have stopped purchasing [tech products] because choosing the right [one] was too difficult.
Far too many tech brands focus on being exclusive, to the detriment of having a real, human face welcoming consumers. After all, when you’re touting a shiny new flat screen or smart fridge “as the privilege of an exclusive, affluent few, you’re naturally elevating material success over social connection.” There’s a big difference between selling aspiration, and putting people off. To quote Seth Godin, “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.”
In an effort to shed the cold, distinctly corporate image that tech and electrical companies are associated with, brands should turn to marketing efforts that focus on human connection and global wellness. By authentically aligning themselves with sage influencers who can effectively explain the benefits of a product relatably, confusion will be minimised. By embracing the potential for art through tech, creatives will be inspired. And by collaborating with charitable initiatives, or doubling down on emotional impulse, tech brands can make sure they’re approachable and uplifting. Here’s how to do it.
FOCUS ON PURPOSE
Our first trend to be aware of, is non-performative, purpose-driven marketing. Consumers today are more socially aware than ever before. Young folk are actively engaged in all sorts of socially conscious conversations, like mental health, equality, education and climate change. They consciously search for brands with social values that are in line with theirs, whilst avoiding those which aren’t (cue cancel culture). Take Ben & Jerry’s for example, a brand that authentically stood behind the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, and saw hugely positive sentiment as a result. Customers will reward stance, and ignore ambivalence!
Influencers are not just a vessel for bringing your lofty language down to earth, or demonstrating just how easily your spaceship-come-kettle slips into the home. Although, they would be great at that. Influencers are experts in their field and audience, so if you pick the right one, there’s every chance they’ll hold the key to accessing your target market.
Let’s consider idea conception around un-boxing for YouTube videos. In order to create the right packaging for an unboxing experience that is shareable and memorable, the best creative consultant will be an influencer. Why? Because they understand platforms and the gravity of NDAs like the back of their hands. They’ve also created this content time and time again, and therefore know exactly what will get their audiences’ hearts racing.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming influencers have to be external creatives – there’s a reason that behind every major tech brand there’s a human face. Think about it; Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk… the list goes on! According to this Digiday article: “An increasing number of retailers see employee TikToks as the future of their marketing strategies.” Employee influencers could give your brand a human face, and especially on TikTok, where aesthetic is stripped away and the focus is relatability.
CONSIDER LIVE SHOPPING
The 90s are back in more ways than one – QVC style shopping is going social! 86% of women use social media for purchasing advice and all customers are more likely to buy when presented with a streamlined shopping experience, so it makes sense that platforms are closing the gap between discovery and purchase. This is great news for tech. As mentioned above, from someone who knows nothing about specs and gadgets, listing some jargon words and digits to describe an item will get you nowhere. Instead, it’s important to use storytelling and influence to guide customers towards purchase.
In 2020, shopping functionalities via social became far more widespread (for obvious reasons) and in 2021, we can expect that to evolve even further, with two big trends coming together: video and eCommerce. The trend is already underway, with Amazon launching Amazon Live for influencers in July (2020), and Instagram and Facebook launching live shopping features in August (2020). As The Verge writes, this QVC style of doing things is a “fantastic one-two punch of discovery and consideration in one-go, and it naturally is a medium that lends itself to entertainment.” Lauren Beitelspacher also says, that “influencers have already gained their followers’ trust and admiration… making them the perfect salespeople.”
PRACTISE VALUE MESSAGING
71% of consumers consider brand trustworthiness and identity to be major influencers on purchase decisions. So, as consumers look for more ethical messaging, brands must shift to become less product focused, and more holistic, to promote their ethos and value. A Deloitte marketing survey found that one in four people strongly agreed that they walked away from brands they believe acted in self-interest, so audiences are looking for businesses that put human experience at the centre of their operations.
It’s all about temporality; products and items are temporary, but by convincing customers to invest in a brand and products that will last them a lifetime. Promise your customer that if they trust you, and purchases from you, they (the consumer) will get more from their item in terms of longevity and exclusivity, making it a more socially and environmentally conscious purchase, that’s in the best interest of everyone. Make shopping a two-way conversation that is far more about price-per-use and satisfaction, than immediacy.
If you’re looking to bring your tech company into 2021, by tethering it to Earth via influencer, purpose driven marketing or otherwise, drop us a line – email@example.com – and we’d be happy to chat.