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PR in 2023: The pandemic’s impact on consumers

By Bright Ewuru

A changing consumer landscape and new consumer segments will emerge in the near future

 

A couple purchasing something online.The COVID-19 era is a critical point in everyone’s lives, and it has shaped our lives, thought processes, and perceptions. But it doesn’t stop there.

 

Due to multiple lockdowns, health panics, the desperate hope for a return to normalcy, as well as multiple waves and virus variants, the pandemic will leave a lasting impression on consumer behavior in years to come.

 

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Notable elements that affected consumers during the pandemic

With the lockdown and the news saturated with reports of high death rates all over the world, these elements typically affected everyone. Let’s consider these elements.

 

The first element is a distorted sense of time. The pandemic and everything that came with it put life as we knew it on pause. It ended the fusion between our personal time and social lives.

 

Secondly, there was numbness and insensitivity propelled by a concern about what might come next. This insensitivity, in turn, spurred the understanding that not everyone can be helped. Consequently, the masses focused their strengths on areas where they would make the most impact.

 

Following the element of insensitivity was hope as the vaccine roll-out commenced.

 

Finally, there was cautious motivation. It prompted people to make experimental moves in hopes that things would return to normalcy.     

 

Emerging consumer segments

Different consumer segments will emerge from the tumult with various sentiments, demands, and drive. Let’s examine the consumer segments.

 

One segment of consumers that will certainly emerge is those who want very minimal interference with their lives. They prioritize stability, comfort, and security among other factors. This is the segment of predictors.

 

The second group is that of new romantics: people who are making significant adjustments to their lives. They are intent on making their post-pandemic lives better than before. Their focus is on work-life balance, health, and hygiene in a bid to gain new experiences in life.

 

The third group is the conductors who make the most of the pandemic and redirect their energy to new courses. They will be champions of a new economy where people can profit from doing what they care about. They’ll prioritize productivity instead of time and have more flexible working days.

 

The fourth emerging group is the impossibles who will burn with the desire to use technology to create anything possible. They are driven by what appears to them as government and organizational ineptitude during the pandemic.

 

Factors that will change the customer terrain

The next few years will demand businesses to forge an emotional connection with consumers. Also, they need to give attention to four trends that will scale limits in terms of transforming the customer landscape. These trends include:

  • Predictability: this involves simplifying consumers’ lives to instill a sense of protection
  • Diversification: this emphasizes creating a variety of products and services that cater to consumers’ novel needs
  • Shopper entertainment: this prioritizes making business more engaging via new platforms and experiences
  • The metaverse: this is a collective, shared space that will transform how people live and work in the future

The possible effect of the situation on PR in 2023

Because of the new consumer groups that will emerge in the near future, PR professionals need to leverage the segmentation, according to WGSN’s Future Consumer 2023. This will help them understand the expectations and needs, emotional and otherwise, of various consumers groups. Consequently, their marketing and PR campaigns will be properly planned for optimized results.

 

While you do this, you need to be sure your PR and communication efforts are not going to waste. Listen to our webinar to find out how to measure what matters in your communication endeavors.

 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels


Topics: PR tips

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