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The Lowdown: 26.08.2020

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


The value of "share of search", what's next for OOH post-lockdown and magazine publishers withholding ABC audits...all this and more in the latest issue of M.i. Media's Lowdown:


Does share of search predict market share?

Les Binet, Group Head of Effectiveness at Adam&eveDDB, talked to Contagious about his research into finding a reliable predictor of share of voice in the digital era.

‘Share of voice tells advertisers what percentage of all advertising within a particular category is theirs. It’s useful because brands that set their share of voice above their share of market tend to grow."

Digital advertising is difficult to quantify however, and therefore increasingly, so too share of voice. Binet is finding that share of (branded) search also correlates with share of market. People will search on a brand they already own / use but also if a brand has a high share of voice relative to its size, it is likely to grow.

M.i. Media are delighted to see share of search being adopted as a proxy for market share, having used it as a core metric in our IPA Effectiveness award winning work for 32Red, recognising that it bears closer relation to revenue growth than softer brand health metrics.


Will the Facebook advertising boycott reveal its true effects?

Gracious Economics has noted the wide variance in the effectiveness of social media advertising ('Social media is effectiveness marmite'). "For some brands it is really very effective, but for others it isn't effective at all."

Source: Demand Generation, Nov 2019

Their data on Social suggests generally that:

  1. High interest categories (beer, TV, and video games etc.) perform well but low interest categories (insurance, toilet paper, banking etc.) significantly less so.

  2. Target audience matters too with younger people more likely to be persuaded by Facebook advertising but older audiences less likely to be influenced by the channel.

Gracious Economics concludes that for all the different advertisers who have recently boycotted Facebook, this should be a useful testing period to assess the platform's impact.


Big tech platform e-commerce innovation

As reported in The Retail Gazette, e-commerce is booming, with online sales in the UK set to increase by an additional £4.5 billion in 2020 and 17.2 million Brits planning to make permanent changes to the way they shop. The large tech platforms are looking at innovative new ways to tap into this e-commerce spike by linking up with new partners and launching new features as reported in Econsultancy's E-commerce Quarterly :

Shopify will partner with Affirm to launch a ‘buy now pay later’ instalment scheme hoping to reach more GEN Z and Millennials looking for flexible ways to pay. The demand for such schemes has increased since the pandemic with consumer finances being hit.

WhatsApp is set to roll out a new feature allowing its users to send money to friends and family or pay businesses right from their chats. Enabled by Facebook Pay (linked to Visa or Mastercard), it will help Facebook to extend revenue generation beyond ads. The feature launched to its 120 million users in Brazil in June.

Google launched ShopLoop at the end of July. A Video shopping platform that aims to bring the features of Instagram, YouTube and Brand Site into one experience through 90 second videos.

Pinterest meanwhile announced in April that it would be adding new products from small and medium sized sustainable brands onto the Pinterest shop. Giving increased exposure and visibility to these businesses during a crucial time (and capitalising on the 351% increase in searches for ‘support small business’ on the platform).


What next for Out of Home?

Covid-19 has meant a tough time for outdoor advertising, seeing a substantial shift of advertising budget away from out-of-home towards media consumed in-home. As lockdown relaxes, The Drum talked to outdoor media bosses about their plans for recovery.

The picture is nuanced by environment. Many erstwhile commuters seem likely to continue to work from home for some time yet but road traffic levels in some regions have surpassed pre-Lockdown norms.There is light at the end of the tunnel as advertisers return to certain formats, but with the prospect of different areas of the country going in and out of local lockdowns, with little notice, it's going to require astute and agile planning.

M.i.Media’s outdoor specialist, Talon, are focusing on DOOH for just this reason – the flexibility it gives. Helpfully, they have just launched their new automated DOOH platform, Atlas, which is designed to help marketers extend online strategies into DOOH:


How have Door Drops and Direct Mail performed during lockdown?

Jicmail have released their Q2 2020 results, which reveal record levels of consumer interaction with mail during lockdown. The report shows that although Direct Mail and Door Drop volumes declined during the pandemic, those advertisers who did continue to run activity have benefited from recipients spending more time at home. Jicmail figures show double digit increases in how much consumers were interacting with their mail during this time. Interaction rates with mail have increased across almost all categories.

Source: Q2 2020 JICMAIL Lockdown Results Analysis


Magazine publishers pull out of ABC half-year reporting

Campaign reports that there has been a significant drop in consumer magazine publishers, including Condé Nast, Hearst UK and Future, reporting their half-year ABC versus a year ago (just 17 compared to 36 last year). Due to Covid-19, volumes at many consumer magazine distribution points such as the high street and travel points have been adversely impacted. As a result, many publishers plan to incorporate the January to June figures into a full-year release set to be published in February next year.

Some publishers such as Bauer (who are reporting their figures) are more bullish, noting '"We saw home-delivered and digital copies grow through our subscriptions channels, and sales in independent shops rise as more of our readers sought out copies closer to home."

Jo Blake, M.i. Media's Trading Director comments, "Covid has meant that people have consumed media content in different ways. However, delaying the reporting of audience numbers until next year lacks transparency. We are being told that subscriptions are up for magazines, by double figures in most instances, so why not report that?  A big shout out to Bauer who have been brave enough to report on their figures warts and all!'


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