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Lockdown Lowdown #8

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

M.i. Media's round-up of the latest market, industry and media trends.


With happiness apparently on the up, in this week’s issue of Lockdown Lowdown we look at shifting consumer segments, shifts in media behaviours and the importance of accurate media measurement.


The UK is back to happiness levels enjoyed before the pandemic struck

According to YouGov’s British Mood Tracker, 45% report feeling "happy overall", not far behind the 50% reported before lockdown.

As the pandemic has progressed, the numbers claiming to be stressed and scared have also dropped back closer to previous levels though the level of frustration remains high. Interestingly, loneliness hasn’t seen much of an increase despite the lockdown. Maybe all of those Zoom quizzes have been beneficial after all!


Staying in step with consumer sentiment

EY’s Future Consumer Index outlines five consumer archetypes reflecting the ways different people live, make choices and what really matters to them:

1. Affordability first – those focused on living within their means; monetary value of a product is the priority over brand choices

2. Health first – protecting the individual and family health the key choice driver; trust and safety highly important when selecting products

3. Planet first – people seeking ethically sourced, sustainable and local products; happy to pay a price premium to do so

4. Society first – those looking to work together for the greater good; likely to purchase from honest/transparent brands

5. Experience first - living for the moment, seeking personalised experiences/products and less worried about the pandemic’s impact

The segments are not equal in size and unsurprisingly, right now, affordability is a big driver.


Consumer behaviour “wildly consistent” across the globe

According to Nielsen’s intelligence unit (as reported in The Drum), when it comes to spending, this is one of the few times in history when much of the global consumer population is behaving alike.

Firstly consistent in how consumers responded to Covid-19 news events, triggering panic buying and stockpiling. Then while locked down, Nielsen’s sales data reflected higher levels of purchase around products that kept people close to home: more fresh meat, more frozen vegetables and more alcohol.

Consumers are demanding efficacy e.g. does a cleaning product do its job? Right now, they’re less concerned about saving the planet and more concerned about saving their families. Consumers are also increasingly interested in local products and short supply chains with Covid-19 accelerating trends around understanding what you’re eating and where it comes from.

Where consumers are buying is changing too. Offline, consumers are shopping less often but stocking up more when they do, while grocery shopping online has seen years’ worth of penetration growth in a matter of months. And now facing recessionary pressures, consumers are “re-calibrating” what they buy based upon what they find in their wallets.


Is ‘at-home adoption’ of Spotify a behaviour that’s set to stay?

Changing consumer behaviour during the coronavirus outbreak has contributed to a 31% increase in paid subscribers for Spotify. As reported in The Drum, the platform was previously used mostly by people 'on the way to work, on smartphone apps, in-car software or wearables' however usage via connected devices has increased by 40% as users adapted to working and spending more time at home.

Radio has apparently also seen behavioural shifts, with daytime reportedly achieving similar levels of listeners to the conventional breakfast and drive-time peaks. Time will tell to what extent the increase in on-demand audio and flattened day-parts persist as lockdown winds down.


The reopening of physical stores doesn't lessen e-commerce's importance

Covid-19 has accelerated years of digital commerce transformation into a few months. 90% of customers claimed that they avoid physical stores in favour of shopping online reported The Drum. Kantar believe this trend will continue well beyond the era of social distancing.

Social media platforms are adapting to this new trend by rolling out “Shops”, allowing small business owners to turn their profiles into storefronts. The majority of users have changed their online shopping behaviours with 50% buying products online that they have never bought online before.

Many companies will be quick to react, investing in social and e-commerce platforms so they can come out of lockdown having realised some benefit from it.


Measuring media during a pandemic

Wholesale shifts in media consumption have been much reported. Media owners of all kinds have had to be agile to continue to cater to consumers’ evolving media behaviours. If media owners have needed to be fleet of foot, so too have media measurement platforms in order to provide greater reporting flexibility without compromising standards.

Agencies and clients rely on accurate data reporting to help inform the shifting of media investment based on consumer behaviours and channel consumption and it is imperative that reporting data from ALL media continues to be reviewed and scrutinised.

Our poster specialists have been busy supplementing industry standard Route data with an array of sources including Apple, Google and Ada to provide a more accurate picture of real-time audiences out of home. Meanwhile, hot off the press, we’ve learned that the latest wave of Rajar radio data has been put on hold “whilst the research body looks at new options” for reporting on radio listening in the future. A consequence of the much lauded spikes in listenership via digital devices not being picked up sufficiently using existing methodologies?


"TikTok For Business" launched

Seeking to capitalise on its phenomenal recent growth, TikTok has launched their new self-serve advertising platform aimed at giving “businesses of all sizes the resources and flexibility to engage new audiences”. Solutions on this platform include “Creative Tools”, “Flexible Budget”, “Performance Targeting” and “Business Accounts”.

At M.i. Media, we welcome the introduction of self-serve platforms allowing users a higher level of control and optimisation over their ad accounts, giving SMBs the opportunity to test these platforms without committing to high levels of spend.

The platform won't be right for every advertiser. There are growing concerns over the security of the platform, with threats to ban the app in the US and within large corporations. With Facebook set to launch its competitor app “Collab”, TikTok faces significant challenges alongside its audience growth.


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