Consumer behavior changes affect brand communication methods’ strategy

The COVID virus has cut us off from the rest of the world and altered our purchasing consumer behavior at a rate we could not have imagined in 2020. Even before the pandemic, there was a clear trend towards digitalisation. We could see that digital channels would increase their share of advertisers, especially in industries like finance, telecoms, and businesses that sell directly to consumers (DTC). But no one thought that the results we see today would happen in less than a year, nor that the changes would be explained by only demographic factors.

As users, we frequently switch between devices, platforms, channels, locations, roles, and lifestyle moments. Six of the top ten most-used contact points by people over 55 are digital, which shows how important digital channels are becoming. Seven of the top ten ways that people aged 16 to 64 in cities get in touch with each other are digital. A direct point of sale comes in second. Television ranks fourth behind social media. Radio ranks seventh after communication applications (the most popular of which is Viber) and OLV. Obviously, the younger the audience, the greater the domination of digital channels, and for 16-to 24-year-olds, digital channels rank eighth among the 10 most utilized contact points. This speaks laudably about how consumer behavior changes their path, right?

The democratization of digital channels and technology has made media consumption fluid and rapidly-evolving, as well as available on a multitude of devices and platforms.

This is a pattern that the epidemic has dramatically worsened. A TV show can be readily viewed delayed on TV, online on the media website, and on social media, but it can also be commented on and shared such that its viewership considerably beyond the initial broadcast. This particular fluidity in media consumption creates significant obstacles to marketing and its objectives: that the brand’s message reach as many people as possible through enough innovation and the channels that customers utilize most frequently.

In this context, marketers confront two crucial responsibilities, the resolution of which will determine the success of their brand’s marketing strategies:

1.To understand the intricacies of their target audience’s media consumption and behaviors.

Already, one in three people between the ages of 16 and 64 who live in cities buy something online at least once a month. In 2021, only two of the top 10 things that people buy online have seen a small drop: Fashion and perfume are things that would be easy to get rid of if we were trying to cut ourselves off from society. All of the other things people buy online are growing, but Food, Home Goods, and Books/Music are the ones that stand out the most. These are all things that fit into the context of social exclusion. Check the consumer behavior during 2020 and 2021 year in category “bought online” :

Statistic and rank for bought online purchases due 2020 and 2021
source: Theuremus

The mix of advertisers in the DTC industry has also changed because of changes in how people shop.

Its democratization and mass changes have made advertisers change their focus, giving them the chance to improve communication through traditional channels that don’t focus on performance. TV plays a big role here, especially in a market like Bulgaria, where it is the most popular way for advertisers to reach their target audience (over 52 percent of net investment in the market in 2021, compared to 34 percent for digital channels) because it reaches the most people quickly and in large numbers.

In the years when the pandemic was going on, e-commerce made TV communication much more intense. In 2021, this growth sped up even more. The big players in the Fashion category, which doubled and even tripled TRP levels in 2021, are the main source of growth (AboutYou, Answear, Modivo, Shoes). As we’ve seen, this is the category that most people buy online. Starting at the end of 2021, the online food store ebag will have TV ads every single month.

In 2020, the common TV market gives all advertisers the same amount of TRP as in 2019, and in 2021, it grew by 10%.

e-commerce and TV presence infographic for 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
source: GARB

The seasonality of the category is very clear in the weeks leading up to Christmas and on Black Friday. This can be explained by the fact that e-commerce shows are the most popular ones on TV. Only in 2021 does the amount of TV communication between the first and second half of the year seem to be about the same.

As marketing experts, we think that each brand and its partner media/communication agency should do their best to know the brand’s consumers and target audience well. This brings us to the second very important task that today’s changing consumer behavior gives marketing professionals who want to create successful marketing strategies for brands:

2.To be able to measure the results achieved by communication campaigns not just through media parameters (RP, CPP, Reach, CPM, CPC, etc.), but through business results.

Here, we’ll talk more about e-commerce, which is a type of business that has grown out of changing consumer habits. People’s routines have been changed by the epidemic, but it has also sped up and strengthened the trend toward digitization and the use of more digital channels and technology by consumers. We were also sure that brands would be able to share more information about e-commerce on TV. We think that opening your digital business to traditional offline media is not a mistake, but rather the result of knowing your target audience and how they use media.

Now, let’s switch points of view and put ourselves in the shoes of the brand.

Including a traditional channel like TV along with performance channels might provide distinct benefits for a DTC business, without claiming to be thorough or vital.

  • Ability to engage and focus on the basic, broad phases of the user experience funnel and disperse the brand;
  • Brand identity and mental availability;
  • Ability to organize channels and optimize their benefits in integrated communication: reaching a wider audience and attracting new users rather than focusing on a few loyal customers;
  • If performance channels convert through TG X, mass channels will convert through TG U. This boosts the brand’s user base.
  • Customize messages on a larger scale using the basic funnel phases through greater audience understanding and segmentation, and produce tailored content and ideas for each section to resonate in its user path.

Using economic regression analysis, the probable brand benefits can be shown. With their guidance, the contribution of each media channel to a brand’s sales may be examined and verified; it is feasible to evaluate and verify on a tactical level which TV channels, spot durations, time slots, and message kinds translate most effectively into sales. On this basis, both brand strategy and TV deal, communication, and presence may be optimized.

Econometric analysis helps organizations and brands answer these questions.

  • How should marketing budgets be allocated?
  • What’s each channel’s ROI?
  • How do channels effect brand sales (or KPIs)?
  • How to optimize marketing mix and media investments based on reliable forecasts?
  • How can I maximize the communication budget’s ROI on a single channel and as an integrated whole?

Brands and marketing managers must have connections with communications firms, share data, and trust their knowledge for this type of analysis. Cataclysms influence consumer behavior, but mobile online purchasing dominates other elements.

Check Year in Search of 2021 -Google.

By Sarah Kuhn

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