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The Lowdown 2021 #March

A year has passed since the UK first went into lockdown and all that came with it. Google reflects on how marketers have pivoted, C4 'super serves' young audiences and L'Oreal predicts another roaring 20s - time to dust off that frock?!


What has Google learnt from the past year?

It's now been a year since the UK went into lockdown on the 23rd March, changing consumer behaviours. Google reports on the biggest changes and what they have meant for marketers in 'Pivots from the pandemic that are here to stay':

  1. Consumer habits saw tectonic shifts - With shops closed, food shortages, missing loved ones and concerns about personal income, consumer habits and searches changed rapidly and dramatically over the last year. Advertisers have needed to develop new ways and processes to analyse and adapt to quick changes in data.

  2. Events went viral - when allowed, events in-situ will need to wow. That's not to say that virtual events were wholesale successes - they served a need at the time but let's face it, virtual meeting fatigue is real.

  3. Work went home - Due to the length of time that people have had to work from home, some work-life behaviours and expectations have changed for good.

  4. Online shopping became the norm - pretty much anything you need can now be delivered to your door from your everyday groceries to cars and that is set to stay.

The ability of brands to stay on top of their customer data will remain key to continuing to meet the needs of customers as we emerge from such a challenging period.


"Fiesta" time?

As reported in Marketing Week, the latest GfK Consumer Confidence Index shows that the overall index has increased by 7 points in March, showing that consumers are much more optimistic about their economic situation.

Source: Marketing Week: GfK Consumer Confidence Barometer (March 2021)

The Major Purchases Index has jumped up 8 points and is a clear indicator that confidence is returning quickly. Indeed, the Personal Financial Situation score for the next 12 months is 7 points higher than March 2020 and the highest it has been in 3 years - in part due to the 'accidental savings' accrued by many over the past year.

The positive figures are further backed up by the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, suggesting that people might 'go for it' once the economy was allowed to reopen (as reported in The Guardian). In the same article, L'Oréal's Chief Executive, Jean-Paul Agon, more flamboyantly described the post-pandemic period as another "roaring 20s" and has predicted a "fiesta" in the beauty market. Agon notes:

“This will be like the Roaring 20s, there will be a fiesta in makeup and in fragrances. Putting on lipstick again will be a symbol of returning to life.”


Channel4 builds on its 'Future4' strategy with TikTok partnership

In The Drum's article, 'Channel 4 partners with TikTok to ‘super serve’ young audiences', they report that Channel4 continues to forge ahead with its 5 year 'Future4' digital strategy.

The channel has launched into the TikTok world of short-form video with two dedicated accounts - @channel4 and @E4. Through the platform it will be releasing 150 videos of its most popular stars and shows, with exclusive content from Hollyoaks, Made in Chelsea and Pete & Sam's Reality News. Channel 4 has also vowed to produce original content under the #LearnTikTok banner to encourage self-development. Head of 4Studio Matt Risley comments:

“Reaching and engaging young audiences is an integral part of our Future4 strategy and creating and commissioning content purely for TikTok will be a hugely valuable opportunity for us to do just that.

This partnership certainly helps elevate TikTok in the content space but as reported on Social Media Today, it needs to keep developing monetisation tools and options with creators otherwise it will swiftly lose top creators to Facebook and YouTube. As reported in the FT, TikTok has shared news about 3 new eCommerce integrations with advertisers in the US. It will be interesting to see what filters through to the UK market.


Customer Lifetime Value - why's it important?

As reported on WARC, the CMO Council has recently released research which suggests that 80% of marketers don't fully understand customer lifetime value. In his article for WARC, 'An introduction to customer lifetime value' Rohit Arora mirrors M.i.'s own work in this area:

"Strategies to maximize CLV can not only help improve prudent marketing investment decisions, but it can also spark better data collection and collaboration, a more holistic view of the customer base and think beyond the short-term transactional gains."

If you want to make sure that your own marketing is up to speed in this area, then get in touch with your Business Director at M.i. today.


Mail Metro Media to sell print advertising for Telegraph Media Group

As reported in Campaign, from 4th May print advertising for The Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, Telegraph Magazine, Stella and special/ad hoc premium magazines will now be sold by Mail Metro Media. TMG have said that the move is to:

"...allow The Telegraph to focus on the growth of its partnerships team, who will work more closely with brands to support the delivery of their corporate and marketing objectives through their premium audience via print, digital and live journalism.”

The chief executive of TMG suggested that the move allows for an easier route to purchase and ultimately to enable the business to focus on their subscription-first strategy which has a target of one million subscribers by 2023.

The collaboration of national newspapers has become more common place, especially as advertising money has shifted online to Google and Facebook. Indeed, the Ozone Project (a joint digital ad sales house) was launched in 2018 and is an alliance between TMG, News UK, Guardian Media Group and Reach.


We end on mind boggling stats about "bad actors"...

As reported on The Drum, Google has released it's annual Ad Safety Report. It's not a happy read - as Scott Spencer, VP of ads privacy and safety at Google notes:

“In 2020, our policies and enforcement were put to the test as we collectively navigated a global pandemic, multiple elections around the world and the continued fight against bad actors looking for new ways to take advantage of people online.”

The sheer numbers involved are incredible:

  • 99million Covid-related ads were blocked

  • 3.1billion ads were removed for violating policies

  • 6.4billion ads were 'restricted'

In response, Google have had to make ad products based on geography, local laws and in 2020 launched certification programmes to police placements in health and pharma. They also have plans to scale up their verification programs and it looks like with good reason.


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