- According to Global Web Index’s findings, 80% of consumers in the U.S. and UK say they have consumed more content since the outbreak.
- According to emarketer, 49% of marketing professionals and agencies held back a campaign launch until later in 2020 and 45% stopped or paused a media campaign midway.
- Admoik shared that there was a 17.2% drop in week-over-week ad revenues, direct deal and programmatic guarantee being the biggest drops.
- Despite the 8.3% decrease of retail industry’s M&A deals, Apple acquired AR technology startup, NextVR for a $100 million with an intention to launch its AR headset in 2022 and AR glasses in 2023.
- 53% of consumers prefer brands to communicate through TV ads.
- According to McKinsey, UK, Spain, and Italy are least optimistic, whereas the US (37%) and China (48%) are optimistic about their economies jumping back to normal in the next two-to-three months.
- Purchases are up, while average order value is down, resulting in growth returns on a daily basis that exceed the biggest shopping days of the year—even Black Friday.
While the world is Googling a “new way to shake hands”, we combed through a sea of stats, facts, opinions, and insights to give you a quick snapshot of the marketing world this week and how COVID-19 is effecting it:
COVID-19’s effect on consumer behavior
According to Global Web Index’s findings, 80% of consumers in the U.S. and UK say they have consumed more content since the outbreak.
Broadcast TV and online video streaming platforms like YouTube and TikTok are winning more screen time as primary mediums for all generations and genders.
Consumers seeking pandemic-related updates are at a predictable 68%.
The most preferred media consumption across Gen Z, Gen X, and boomers was online videos, music streaming, and online press.
Here is an age group breakdown of media consumption:
Media consumption of Gen Z – 16 to 23 year olds:
- Online press – 21%
- Music streaming – 28%
- Livestreams – 17%
- books/literature – 18%
- Podcasts – 11%
- Online videos – 44%
Media consumption of Gen X – 38 to 56 year olds:
- Online press – 31%
- Music streaming – 27%
- Live streams – 21%
- books/literature – 21%
- Podcasts – 10%
- Online videos – 35%
Media consumption of Boomers – 57 to 64 year olds:
- Online press – 15%
- Music streaming – 12%
- Live streams – 9%
- books/literature – 13%
- Podcasts – 4%
- Online videos – 11%
US consumers (87%) and UK consumers (80%) are consuming more content with a lion’s share going to streaming broadcast TV, online videos, and online streaming. Netflix boasts an 18% rise of paid subscriptions, and Spotify stands as the clear winner of music streaming.
Live streams (30%) and podcasts (20%) are more popular among millennials than other generations.
Men and those in the higher income bracket are more likely to say they’re consuming a variety of content more compared to women and those in the lower-income bracket.
A new Zipwhip survey set out to find how businesses and consumers are coping with the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation across three US states that have been hit the hardest: New York, Washington and California.
The key findings from the study include:
- While sheltering in place, the majority (55%) of consumers are getting their news and alerts from their cell phone, followed by their laptop or computer (21%). And more specifically, 38% of consumers report getting more news and information through texting than they did before COVID-19.
- When asked how they prefer to receive alerts and important notices from businesses during emergencies, like the one we’re currently in, 48% of consumers said they prefer text, compared to 45% who said they prefer email.
- Beyond wanting texts from businesses, consumers also report a desire for local public agencies to adopt texting. During a crisis:
- 77% of people report wanting to receive texts from local health officials
- 59% want texts from police and fire departments
- 57% want texts from government leaders
- 48% want texts from relief agencies like the Red Cross
- The majority of people (56%) have been using their cell phone more since COVID-19 began, and of those people, 46% said they’re using their phone for four or more additional hours each day than before COVID-19
- In this current crisis, consumers are using cell phones as their main source of information, and the majority of people (62%) are responding more quickly to text than they were before COVID-19.
COVID-19 impact on media-buying
According to emarketer, marketing professionals and agencies have taken an obvious hard hit, but the numbers are concerning:
- 49% held back a campaign launch until later in 2020
- 45% stopped or paused a media campaign midway
- 38% paused all advertising until later 2020
- 34% scrapped campaigns pre-launch
Majority of advertisers don’t have the spending power to buy additional impressions which has resulted in extremely low CPMs.
Admoik shared that there was a 17.2% drop in week-over-week ad revenues, direct deal and programmatic guarantee being the biggest drops.
Real-time bidding also dropped by 15% and CPM by 14.8%
B2B buyers count on vendors to provide more quality, accurate buying information, and more confidence.
Businesses that sell non-essential products and services can expect the dip to continue till the next few months and shall be careful of not hardselling.
Acquisitions and mergers
Total retail industry M&A deals in February 2020 worth $2.05bn were announced globally, according to GlobalData’s deals database. The value marked a decrease of 8.3% over the previous month and a drop of 59.5% when compared with the last 12-month average, which stood at $5.06bn.
However, despite this, there have been some significant movements in the acquisitions space recently.
Apple acquired AR technology startup, NextVR for a $100 million. NextVR holds 40+ patents and Apple is reportedly planning to launch its AR headset in 2022, followed by AR glasses in 2023, according to The Information.
Given the fact that Facebook’s Oculus Quest only hit 705,000 shipments last year, the industry isn’t very enthusiastic about investing in AR technology. However, Apple sees potential in NextVR’s technology to use it for an augmented extension of Apple TV, Apple Arcade, and Apple Music.
Location platform and data intelligence company, Foursquare announced its plan to merge with Factual, a data location company. Foursquare CEO David Shim had confirmed that this merger was in the process before COVID-19 struck the world. However, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
53% of consumers prefer brands to communicate through TV ads. 35% of consumers are more interested in hearing about online retail (excluding food) than they were before.
As per the research conducted by AI software company Remesh, 97% of people are using social media for at least one to three hours a day.
Despite targeted advertising, these were some statistics the research discovered
- 64% of people ignore paid ads
- 49% blocked those ads
- 79% of people urged brands to have ads that are positive, caring and inclusive
Contrary to common behavior, it’s time to apply common business sense and invest money into ROI positive channels. Now is a good time to invest in ads and webinars for the new normal post COVID-19.
According to emarketer, the much-hyped 5G connection would become available this year and has a potential of growing up to 3.1 billion by 2025.
With people using VR for gaming, and virtual travelling, they’re seeking more human interaction and hence moving to VR social platforms like Rec Room, AltspaceVR, Bigscreen, and VRChat.
According to a research, people touch their phones 2,600 times per day, and, out of the “Corona-scare”, people will move more to voice search and technology in order to reduce the touches and possible spread within households.
Hubspot also recently unveiled the first finding of their weekly survey on how COVID-19 is impacting sales & marketing and here are the key findings:
- The weekly average of deals created decreased globally by 17% the week of March 16 and fell by 23% by the week of March 30th
- Average marketing email volume increased 29% the week of March 16th, while open rates increased by 53% the same week – and across the month, open rate increased by 21% overall
- Average monthly website traffic increased by 13% in March, compared to February
- On a per-week basis, companies sent 23% more sales emails the week of March 16th compared to prior weekly averages in Q1 – response rate to those emails began falling the first week of March, with a total decrease of 27% in March compared to February
The third ‘State of Agile Marketing‘ report by Agile Sherpas found that agile marketing adoption is up from 32% in 2019 to 42% in 2020. Almost all of the growth in agile comes from a reduction in the percentage of marketers identifying with the “traditional” model of marketing management.
Agile marketers can handle fast-paced work better. They are aligned on strategy and vision better and can take advantage of emerging opportunities better. In fact, 74% of agile marketers reported they are satisfied or very satisfied with the way their marketing department manages work.
The number one reason marketers adopted agile, cited by 58%, was because it improves productivity. But the number-two reason, cited by 54%, was because it enhances the ability to manage changing priorities.
Consumer spending during COVID-19
According to McKinsey, UK, Spain, and Italy are least optimistic about their economies bouncing back to normal. Whereas, the US (37%) and China (48%) are optimistic about their economies jumping back to normal in the next two-to-three months. People are showing a positive only for groceries and at home entertainment.
McKinsey data insights for UK consumers:
- Less than 20% of British consumers have an optimistic view of the economy – a decline from last week
- Nearly half of UK residents plan to continue reducing their spending in the next two weeks
- Consumers are spending more time connecting virtually and consuming digital media
- Consumer intent is only positive for groceries and entertainment at home
McKinsey data insights for US consumers:
- 46% will reduce spending over the next two weeks
- 44% are delaying purchases given the uncertainty of the coronavirus
- Consumers expect to focus this spending online.
- shift to online channels is being driven primarily by Gen Z, millennials, and higher-income consumers.
- Aprroximately 76% believe their finances will be impacted for the next 2+ months post the COVID-19 situation
- Positive intent for groceries, entertainment at home and household supplies
Grocery sales have a 23% spike as compared to pre-pandemic sales, indicating that people are entering a new pattern of “home-confined buying”.
Retail and ecommerce
Delivery drones, robot workers, telemedicine – virtual healthcare and wellness advice are sure to emerge in ecommerce post the COVID-19 phase.
Even though websites may see a drop in their sessions and conversions there still would be users who are possibly browsing sites doing their research on different brands and preparing to buy in the future.
Quick temperature check brands can do to ensure they don’t sound tone-deaf or insensitive:
- Audit your marketing
- Email newsletters and their sequences
- Home page
- Overlay messaging
Reduced spending capacity and paranoia of the safety of receiving things from delivery people are going to continue to keep ecommerce on a slow track.
According to Steelhouse, advertisers are pushing as many discounts as possible, and consumers are responding by buying more for less.
Purchases are up, while average order value is down, resulting in growth returns on a daily basis that exceed the biggest shopping days of the year—even Black Friday.
The week many Americans started self-isolating at home saw an explosion in purchases across multiple segments. And as rapidly as they increased, they fell just as fast, indicating many people immediately maxed out on buying what’s most important in a crisis.
Food, mental health, music, and the well-being of loved ones (both family and pets) all benefited from people’s need to stock up on the essentials.
A survey by MomentFeed found that while concerns around contracting COVID-19 are high in the US, with 94% of consumers expressing concern and 93% altering their daily routines as a result, consumers are still willing to support brands that go above and beyond to meet their needs.
In fact, 86% of consumers highlighted one or more ways local restaurants and stores can earn their business amid COVID-19.
Other key findings from the survey include:
- “Free delivery” was the top way survey respondents reported stores and restaurants could earn their business, with nearly half of all respondents selecting this option.
- 41% of respondents highlighted “Take-out” and “Easy online ordering” as a way to earn their business.
- “Curb-side pickup” was a service appreciated by 38% of consumers.
- While “Commitment to local jobs” was lower on the list, with only 30% of respondents citing this as a way to earn their business, it is still good to see consumers taking notice.
- 73% of consumers use proximity-based search to find local businesses when they need them.
- Proximity-based search was the top consumer preference by a wide margin. In fact, consumers were 121% more likely to use the proximity search to find local businesses than they were to go to a local business website.
Industry leaders speak about COVID-19
Volvo’s Trevor Hettesheimer will be discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the automotive industry on a 30-minute free Zoom session.
A 20 year veteran in the automotive industry, Trevor manages the KPI, Search, and Planning metrics at Volvo and will look at some key issues including:
- What has been the impact of COVID-19
- How has this changed your short, medium and long-term marketing plan
- Specifically, search planning what is changing
- Tips for others in the automotive industry and other industries