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The Lowdown: 04.08.2020

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


Who do people think have done well from the pandemic, why are Twitter's users up but revenue down and in which sector is Amazon flexing its muscles in now?

Find out in our latest Lowdown.


Has COVID-19 been all bad?

As reported by YouGov, while the majority of Britons feel as though they have been negatively impacted by the outbreak (57%), one in five Britons say that in spite of the pandemic they have been positively impacted.

This varies by demographic with YouGov's data showing that more of the British public think that groups such as key workers and those working from home have been positively impacted by the outbreak.

BUT is society’s perception the same as reality? YouGov’s economic recovery tracker found that the majority of those likely to be key workers (by proxy assumed to be those whose ‘working hours increased’) felt that their finances remained unchanged.

Although Finances are only one measure of impact, it is important to look beyond perceptions and use actual data to determine real impact. From a marketing perspective, understanding the true impact on each segment is key to delivering the right messaging.


Marketers need to stay in step with consumer behaviour

WARC and McKinsey have published a report that looks at 6 consumer behaviours that have emerged or have been accelerated by COVID-19:

  1. E-commerce is here to stay - a challenge for Marketers to stay on top of the data and use the insight wisely.

  2. Consumers are much more comfortable with e-services. Marketers need to think about the best way to make their brands available in these interconnected platforms.

  3. More importance has been placed on the home. Tap into targeted home-based smart devices without being intrusive.

  4. Focus on local - manage the hyper-local experience and brand engagement.

  5. Putting health and affordability at the centre of the shopping experience.

  6. Bold brand statements need to be backed up. Actions speak louder than words!


Gen Z - how can brands adapt their e-commerce strategies to connect?

Gen Z consumers [born between 1995-2010] will face several challenges in the coming months and years, many of which are only just emerging. Campaign Live highlights three areas that we can expect to see changes in Gen Z behaviour in the future. These include:

  1. Accelerated adoption of online shopping, with the potential for more “social” shopping experiences online.

  2. Accelerated news media fragmentation, as users increasingly distrust traditional news sources.

  3. How brands with online products that have a strong social element can help reconnect isolated consumers.

The report concludes that brands which embrace these will be on the front foot with these consumers.


Twitter - Users up but revenue down

As reported by WARC, Twitter posted some pretty stonking growth in usage figures in the first half of 2020 across the US and internationally. It added 34m to its daily users in H2 2020 (total now 186m). A record breaking 20m of that was in Q2 alone, largely due to the platform providing access to the latest news, information and conversation during this "unprecedented" period. Despite the platform's popularity, ad revenue fell by 23% in Q2 2020 as the brand advertising it relies upon failed to follow.

With a sharp uptick in e-commerce, Twitter have said that direct response advertising is a (necessary) company focus, as is testing in subscriptions and managing paywalls.


Can Sky's TVSquared partnership help pave the way for more addressable TV spend? Advancements in technology and consumer habits pique the interest of M.i. Media's planners and many of the clients we work with. One challenge we have been grappling with is how best to measure the impact and effectiveness of clients' activity across Broadcast VOD and Addressable TV to provide a fair comparison against linear activity? Without a good sense of performance, it's hard to recommend further spend. This is what makes the recent announcement of Sky and TVSquared’s partnership so interesting. Jumping from rival Adalyser (citing On-Demand and Addressable TV), suggests that Sky realises that providing marketeers with a better tool to understand the effectiveness of these platforms should help grow spend from performance oriented advertisers.


Amazon Fresh expands geo-coverage

Grocery delivery service, Amazon Fresh, has recently been trialled in 300 London postcodes. However, Fresh is reported to be increasing its coverage to include Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield, Portsmouth, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester. It will certainly be an attractive proposition to customers - particularly as the service will be free to their existing Prime members and will offer delivery slots within 1 - 3 hours.

As retail expert Richard Hyman told The Guardian, “A new kid in town with immediate muscle, no need to make money, and the best data-driven logistics in retail has been the incumbents’ nightmare for some time, and it’s about to come true.”


The Potential of Programmatic Digital OOH

As the country starts to return to some form of normality following COVID-19, VIOOH says it is time to unlock the full potential of Programmatic digital Out Of Home (or 'prog-OOH' for those who like an acronym). Outlining its cost efficiency, premium inventory, lack of location restrictions and targeting possibilities, it is certainly an opportunity for the right brands. It works best when the advertising is contextually relevant, responsive, and reactive. "Programmatic ads which are triggered by predetermined conditions can be bought with dynamic creative that directly references the current environment, increasing relevance and effectiveness.

DOOH was driving the revenue growth of overall OOH pre Lockdown and will inevitably continue to do so as audiences return. It generally commands a premium price versus more traditional "paper and paste" formats. However, advertisers need to make sure that they are using the right sites in the right way for each campaign.


M.i. Media is the media agency for clients seeking greater performance, impact and return from their advertising spend. If you would like to learn more, click here, as we'd love to talk to you.