Right Place, Right Time, Right Message: Understanding Consumer Behaviour During COVID-19

Right Place, Right Time, Right Message: Understanding Consumer Behaviour During COVID-19
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If you ask anyone who has spent the last few months working from home what they have enjoyed about the experience, the answer is likely to be the lack of commuting.

For many, overcrowded trains and sitting in traffic has been replaced with the short journey from bed to the study.

Additionally, data shows that some 90 per cent of Australians now plan on taking up online video learning over the next few months, while video consumption between the hours of 12pm and 6pm has grown.

And while workers now have far more flexibility around their workday schedule, for marketers, it is indicative of a significant challenge – how can you meet your customers in the ‘new normal’.

In the latest episode of Rethink, a podcast by Think with Google, host Rachel Corbett explores what has replaced the traditional ‘commute’ and more broadly, how to reach a large audience when people aren’t in the places you expect to find them.

Corbett is joined by OMD Sydney’s managing director Laura Nice to discuss how COVID-19 has shifted audiences.

“We’re in this sort of hybrid moment where some people are still having that lie-in in the morning and listening to their podcasts as they’re running and enjoying that ‘me’ time. I think people have really cherished during that time,” Nice said.

“But some of us are actually back on the commute. So I think we’re going to start seeing a shift in how channels are then being consumed as we’re in that hybrid state.”

But with audiences as dispersed as they are in this ‘hybrid state’, Nice suggested the focus should instead be on ensuring the messaging is correct.

“When we’re working with clients, it’s almost reassessing what is your role in consumer’s lives during this time?” she said.

“And I think this has obviously caused a lot of brands to rethink. I think if you have strong purpose and brand value, then you’re already a step ahead in terms of how you communicate and getting the right messaging to those clients.”

Building brands… even in tough times

Also joining Corbett on this week’s episode of Rethink is Analytic Partners managing director Paul Sinkinson.

He revealed that brand campaigns are currently outperforming price and product advertising about 80 per cent of the time. 

“There’s a real opportunity there from switching some of your channels around at the moment,” he said

“It’s a pretty considerable opportunity around brand.”

With Australia now officially in a recession, Sinkinson urged brands to not ‘go dark’ when it comes to advertising.

Past recessions show that just a little bit of brand building during these tough times can go a long way in the future.

Sinkinson revealed that 54 per cent of companies that kept advertising during the last recession managed to improve their ROIs, while 60 per cent of companies that increased their marketing budget did not reach a point of diminishing returns.

“The key thing for me is to fight to keep some of it, you can keep a small amount of budget, but have some brand building activity going on at a low way over time,” he said.

“It’s a real problem to cut purely if you’re not advertising, you’re not getting the sales driven by advertising, but it impacts your ROI as well.”

You can listen to the latest episode of Rethink, by Think with Google on Google podcasts, on Google PodcastsApple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherPodcast Addict or TuneIn.

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