The two speed economy and what that means for your marketing strategy

As you have most likely heard, the Australian economy like most other economies around the world is facing a recession, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. With the newest restrictions in Victoria the latest treasury statistics say that this could affect the Australian economy by $10 billion. 

As a Marketing Manager it’s crucial now more than ever to keep up with the changing needs and help the business to adapt constantly. The key is to pivot your strategies and keep moving with your customer. It is vital to understand their head space and anticipate the new behaviour patterns. 

Why is there a two speed economy?

A two speed economy happens when certain parts of the economy are able to bounce back to recover from issues like consumer confidence and stagnated cash flow. In Australia due to the reinstatement of restrictions in Melbourne and Sydney the economy is stagnating. However,  the other major areas Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide are building back up their economic outputs as restrictions ease. 

As marketers we notice this when we are working with certain clients. We can also see how the restrictions are affecting consumers within each of the major cities and regions.

Ola the ride sharing company,  says that in Australia demand for its services has returned to about 90 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. However, customers in Sydney have become more wary since Melbourne went back into lockdown from July 8.

Location data published by Google, shows how Australian mobility has changed over the last few months. 

In May 2020 mobility trends for Australia show that people heading to work have decreased by 18 per cent.

So what does this mean for consumer behaviour?

Australians have made the most of their time cooped up at home, picking up the tools and shopping online. The shift to ecommerce purchases and online payments keeps intensifying, and we’ve seen the transformation of retail accelerate over the past three months.

What we don’t know yet is whether some of the hardest hit industries like the arts and in person events will ever fully recover. We’ve seen trends in fitness and beauty that show that adapted equivalents may take the place of gyms and salons. It will be interesting to see the new normal that Australians embrace after this pandemic.

It is important to note that although these new consumer behaviours are different right now we will not know the long term effects until after restrictions have eased across the entire country.

Our Advice:

It is difficult to navigate a two speed economy, unlike a normal economy consumer behaviour is split. A simple way to work around this split is to segment your audiences by restriction stage. We have the upper hand this time, as we have already been through one lockdown we can anticipate how buying behaviour shifts in and out of restrictions. It is important to look at your data from April and May and analyse the shifts in your consumer behaviour. That could mean reducing spend for Victoria and NSW but increasing it in other locations like Brisbane and Perth. Times are changing, consumer behaviour is shifting. It is especially important now that we ride this wave and ensure that we are still meeting our consumers needs.

Lots of businesses and brands have been greatly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic in the first half of the year. Although the pandemic has highlighted brands pitfalls and areas of improvement, it has also unearthed their strengths. The skincare industry is a good example of where most brands have seen strong and increasing demand. Since the pandemic began everyone’s priorities shifted, we moved away from group activities like sporting matches and began to focus on ourselves. For the Beauty and Skincare industries this was a shift but on the whole a positive change. New focus on health and well being has raised awareness to brand values and additionally helped brands more easily get cut through when promoting their products.

At the beginning of the pandemic everyone was worried that they would see massive market shifts, and no one could predict what would happen next. Although interest in luxury goods decreased a new focus surfaced, attention to health and well being. Articles flooded news outlets and feeds about self-care and how to look after yourself and de-stress during this uneasy time. A main focus of self care has always been beauty and skincare. 

How did Coronavirus affect the beauty and skincare industries? 

Coronavirus harshly impacted all brick and mortar businesses. However, those businesses who embraced the move to digital ultimately saw encouraging results with e-commerce sales skyrocketing. Statista reports that Australian revenue in the Beauty and Personal Care market amounts to AUD $7,417 million in 2020. The markets largest segment is Personal Care with a market volume of AU$3,103 million. They also predicted that in the Beauty & Personal Care market, 20% of total revenue will be generated through online sales by 2020.

Promoting beauty and wellness has also been a strong marketing point during the past few months. CEO of Endota Spa Melanie Gleeson has been marketing wellness from home as a solution to health and wellness needs during this quarantine period. By selling wellness packs on their website their online business has grown “exponentially”.


“People are putting a high priority on their own wellbeing.”


– Melanie Gleeson CEO Endota Spa

Gleeson believes that this pandemic will help  “move wellness from being a trend to being something that is non-negotiable”.

Other personal care companies also fared well this quarter:

These companies all factored in their abilities to stay on top of consumer needs as one of the reasons for their success. Understanding what their customers want and need from them and adapting to provide it is incremental in a successful business strategy.

Google has offered us with some great statistics for those in the E-commerce industry

  • With 81% of Aussies shopping online, having a clear website that’s easy to navigate will gain you more customers.
  • 30% of Australians are spending more time shopping online since the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to have good online advertising to drive leads to your site.

32% of Aussies will increase their online shopping in the future. It is important to keep your customers interested and coming back to you with good remarketing campaigns.

Source: Google Agency Insights Forum #3 – COVID-19 AUNZ

What does this mean for the Beauty and Skincare Industries post COVID-19?

The pandemic has forced the whole world to embrace a new normal. One where digital is the answer. The convenience of the internet has become a saviour to us all, protecting us from the dangers of the outside world and allowing us to continue our lives even though we are confined to our houses. Since the boom of e-commerce it is safe to say things will never return to the way they used to be. Google predicts that:

For beauty and skincare companies this means business as usual, well the new ‘usual’. Continue to promote your products on your online channels and continue selling online. Although stores are beginning to open it is far simpler to purchase online and now that e-commerce has become relatively normal it will never become obsolete.

Next Level’s Advice:

  • Continue to embrace the new changes brought about by the pandemic. New interest in personal care is extremely profitable for your brand.
  • Continue promoting your products online and offer up lots of educational resources like blogs to explain the benefits of your items. To ensure your customer base is constantly informed.

Reference

Statista: Personal Care Australia -May 2020

Cosmetics Design Asia: CEO of Endota hopeful that COVID-19 pandemic will make prioritising wellness non-negotiable -May 2020

Google Insights and Perspectives: Personal Care Industry Trends -May 2020

Google Agency Insights Forum 3: Supporting AUNZ Agencies Though COVID-19 -May 2020

Cosmetics Design Asia: Highs and Lows Beauty Giants Report Mixed Economic Impact Amid COVID-19 -May 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted our lives drastically. The entire world was forced to quarantine and isolate. Due to this Australians moved online, brands shifted to selling through e-commerce and marketing and advertising adapted to digital strategies. Before COVID-19 our nation accepted digital however, now we rely on it. Although we are all on digital media it is important to learn how to execute digital marketing and advertising in a clever way.

Due to the pandemic and everyone being at home Nielsen predicts as much as a +60% increase in the amount of video content we watch daily. As the pandemic continues time spent per viewer – watching the news and entertainment is increasing, as everyone is trying to stay informed.

The use of social media has also increased. People around the world are all trying to stay connected and informed. Nielsen tracked the mention of Coronavirus or COVID-19 through Twitter.

This spike clearly shows the rise of online social media usage. With mentions growing by +90,000 in under five days. Twitter wasn’t the only social media platform that noticed an increase. Facebook noticed a huge 80% increase and Instagram and YouTube noticed almost 40% increase in Covid-19 messaging.

Engagement has increased

With heightened levels of engagement, it is important that your marketing and advertising is relevant to the topics your audience is interested in. We have noticed a global shift in interest, as the pandemic worsened the population became more interested in information versus entertainment. Along with the shift in interest came the shift in viewing times. As workers no longer have to commute home from work the amount of people engaging with your ads increases right after work hours end. It is important to adjust the advertising schedule to accommodate for these behavioural changes.

Looking back at past shifts is important to help anticipate future changes. As we move towards this ‘new normal’ interests will change again. As sport returns to our screens Aussies will tune in with more expectation than ever before. This makes it more important than ever to have a strong and agile media plan. With audiences more engaged than ever before advertisements must be interesting and relevant so that they stick in the minds of customers.

Word of mouth is influencing purchasing decisions

As Australian consumers are engaging more online, word-of-mouth and real life conversations have a stronger influence on consumers’ minds and, therefore, their purchasing decisions. It is important that during this shift to digital to ensure that your brand is focusing on quality and transparency. Australians are talking with each other about what can help their current and future needs. With the inability to measure the quality of what is being advertised word of mouth has become the deciding factor on whether something is worth purchasing. A study by Neilsen shows how important ‘word of mouth’ is for digital marketing and advertising (especially in social media, it’s so easy to share).

Neilsen also found that 56% of Australians say they talk about products, services or stores at least once a week. 

Next Level’s Advice

While we are more engaged online than ever before, the quality of products and services are more important than ever. Understanding the relationship with digital and real life will have a direct impact on the efficiency of marketing campaigns for your brand. 

One positive of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the availability of the internet and everything digital. Thanks to the progressiveness of the digital age Coronavirus has not been able to completely take over our lives. Although greatly affecting the world as we know it, we have still been able to hold on to a sense of normal life through digital. We have turned to e-commerce to buy our groceries and the internet for our meetings. We are still able to keep in contact with our loved ones through video chat services like zoom and facetime. Even those apprehensive about the digital era have learned to appreciate the convenience it has provided during this pandemic. 

There has been a lot of talk about how long it will take for things to go back to normal. However, what most of us fail to realise is that things will never completely return to normal. Instead we are stepping into a ‘new normal’. We have been forced to adapt to a remote form of living, working and being. Due to this we have embraced the convenience of technology and the internet. Now that we have witnessed this new form of living our version of normal will change for the better. The Internet and technology will be more important than ever.

How do you position your brand during COVID-19?

1. How can I build brand loyalty advertising and a steady stream of customers? 

  • Advertising your brand and assisting the community during this pandemic will greatly affect your customer relationship for the better. Another way to stay relevant is by offering your customers tips on how your products will make this time easier for them. It is important to establish your brand as a trusted information source.

2. How can my brand connect with how people are feeling and experiencing COVID-19? 

  • Ensure your advertisements reflect the current climate. Instead of promoting togetherness with examples of large gatherings, promote togetherness from a distance using social media. Host google live events, or public webinars via zoom. Facebook suggests providing an alternative customer experience (online vs. offline, home delivery vs. dine-in, in-store pickup)

As marketers it is important to analyse how the population spends their time online during this pandemic. Understanding how our customers use social media and navigate the online sphere is crucial to creating relevant advertising. A study by Nielsen on how consumers use online sources to find information and recommendations offers some interesting statistics.

35% of consumers are reading, watching, commenting, or posting about products daily and 59% at least once a week. 

People are consuming more social media than ever and the breakdown is:

The majority of people spend their time online and fall into the categories below:

43% of consumers are looking for an interesting read

35% are searching for information/recommendations

33% are just staying connected

It is important to target customers with relevant content and advertising that will reflect their needs. With more customers than ever actively engaging online the relevance of advertising is more important than ever.

So, how should brands and marketers prepare for the ‘new normal’?

To get an idea how practices will change post Coronavirus one must first understand how current practices began. Australia noticed a 45% growth in total weekly e-commerce sales. Retailers were forced to upgrade their customer service and ensure the quality of their products. As we all welcomed the safety and convenience technology provided during the lockdown restrictions we adapted our lifestyles. Now as the situation begins to change for the better it is critical for brands to assist the change back to run as smoothly as possible. Instead of directing all traffic to stores brands should continue to advertise the convenience of online shopping especially for those at risk. A recent Neilsen survey discovered that four in 10 global online consumers said they were already using online shopping subscriptions, and a further 36% said they were willing to do so in the next two years.

It is clear that Australia has adapted to the convenience of the internet and they are going to continue these new practices beyond Coronavirus. It is therefore imperative that digital marketing and advertising accommodates this. Technology is the reason we have been able to maintain relatively normal lives during this pandemic and it is clear it will continue to be instrumental in our day to day lives. 

Next Level Advice:

  • Stay transparent! Which will intern, build trust and increase your customer relationship.
  • Produce creative and relevant advertising.
  • Analyse the cultural climate. See how people are adapting their lifestyles.
  • Do not disregard online advertising and marketing post COVID-19.
  • Embrace the new normal!

Advertising has always been context orientated, to produce good ads you must understand how your audience is using that media. When it comes to audio advertising, context is more important than ever. Your listeners will only pay attention if the information is relevant and intriguing. More often than not, when we hear a radio ad we tend to tune out. This is why it is important to focus on how to get people to tune back in. During the Coronavirus pandemic advertisers are offered a special opportunity. We are all listening more intently to all information sources for news, so if an advertisement is well structured and offers helpful information people are more likely to tune in and listen to it.

More people are listening to streaming services like Spotify to stay informed or to pass the time at home. Spotify is the most popular global audio streaming subscription service with 248 million monthly active users. 141 million of those users are ad supported listeners, meaning that they don’t pay for Spotify premium. With 141 million users receiving advertisements Spotify offers a large audience with customisable demographic targeting options to choose from. This offers brands the opportunity to reach a higher level of engaged audiences. Following best practice, the advertisements must be tailored to the audience and respect the present situation. Spotify knows that delivering the right message at the right moment is more important than ever.

As more people are streaming from home the advertisements should feel relevant to the listeners current situation. It is important for brands to understand where, what and why people are streaming right now.

Top categories people are tuning into right now:

·       COVID-19

·       Health and Fitness

·       Lifestyle and Health

·       Family and Kids

With the right message delivered to the right audience your ad will perform. As more people are listening, now is a great time to seize the opportunity, do it well and optimise your messaging to suit.

A common theme behind listeners’ decision to tune in has been to “relax” and to “set a certain mood. Another common theme Spotify found was family listening. This has been due to parents adopting home schooling practices and many have turned to Spotify’s streaming services to assist them. Connected listening offers a new way to feed their kids curiosity and allows them to learn new things.

The best ads reflect the current situation, as we are all adapting to social distancing the ads should feel relevant to the activity at hand. Brands are taking cues from their listeners and shift to a more relaxed version of advertising, matching the tone of the moment without disrupting the experience.

So how do I adapt my audio messaging and advertising?

The listening context has changed, and it is more important than ever to understand and respect the mood. It’s recommended that brands ask themselves the following before creating and publishing their advertisements;

How can we show up in useful, non-disruptive ways right now?

It is important to be hyper aware right now as everything is continuously changing. There is a stark difference between the messaging you would offer you customers during a normal situation vs now in Q2 2020.

Brands also need to check and double check their phrasing;

·   Carefully consider explicit references to COVID-19, and whether your brand is in a position to make them.

·   Steer clear of words or phrases that could have double meanings, like “heating up,” “sick beats,” and “going viral.”

·   Broad brand themes such as “togetherness, escapism and adventure” are best reserved for different times.

With more people tuning in, brands are offered the opportunity to speak to their audience in a novel way. Customers are looking to stay informed, grounded and entertained. If brands focus on the context behind what and why their audience is listening, and cater to that tone they will be more engaged.

So how can I use audio ads to assist my audience and meet my goals?

Spotify offers options to assist those who want to advertise on their platform. Depending on the level of investment Spotify’s streaming intelligence can identify when someone is viewing the screen or if they are listening. The ads are programmatic, which means they are appropriate for that moment. It is important to focus on the different types of ads. When creating an audio ads, make it exciting and to use storytelling to take your customers on a journey.

Due to the increase in people using audio to keep them up to date with COVID-19 a well placed audio advertisement could offer listeners a welcome change in the intensity of the conversation. It can transport them on a journey and give them a break for a few moments.

It is important to look at your brand and see what you can offer your audience during this tough time. Think about how your brand can alleviate stress, offer a moment of pause or promote wellness.

Our advice:

Discover what people are listening to, find out what they want to gain from listening (productivity, information, relaxation), cater your advertising to the situation and offer a balanced and helpful break to your listeners streams. Make your ads to blend in with the lives of your audience, be there to offer advice or continue the calm mood. Now more than ever the context of your ads are important and when executed correctly you will notice the difference.

Coronavirus changed the world as we know it, we went from being able to buy what we want whenever we wanted, to making one trip a week to the shops and hoarding as much as we could. However, where there is change there is opportunity and brands in the FMCG industry now have opportunities to help their customers, now and beyond COVID-19.

So what can brands do right now?

The unique situation of Coronavirus has put us all in an awkward position, as customers we are in constant need to know what is going on with our food and groceries. Restrictions on shopping and shipping have greatly affected our lives, however, this offers brands the unique opportunity to build their relationship with their customers and gain trust. Brands can build trust by being transparent about their current situation and practicing messaging based on their customer behaviour.

Source: Google Agency Insights Forum #1 – YouTube COVID-19 Support Seminar

From our regular catch ups with Google, we have a diagram that helps explain customer behaviour, this diagram  ranks businesses by their necessity or opportunity to bring value during this pandemic.  Also providing some guidance on how each brand should act depending on where they rank on the scale.

Determining your position on this scale will impact your customer messaging. Being in the FMCG category you sit in a very interesting position according to Neilson Australia, grocery sales have increased by +45% in a few weeks.  Some basic foodstuffs recorded significant rises in sales in four weeks finishing on February 22 2020, these include; 

  • pasta (+76%)
  • eggs (+72%)
  • canned meals (+71%)
  • tea (+62%)
  • rice (+58%)
  • flour (+55%) 
  • shelf-stable milk (+50%)
 

FMCG brands are in luck right now with high demands on the majority of products but how can we predict how long this will last?

What can brands do to better prepare for the future?

Source: Nielsen ‘COVID-19: TRACKING THE IMPACT ON FMCG, RETAIL AND MEDIA’

Right now, Australia is still in threshold #5 restricted living. Although it may seem like this pandemic will never end, it will and it is important to be prepared for when the change comes. 

You can do this by predicting customer behaviour; China, Italy and Spain are slowly moving into threshold #6 living a new normal, so what does it mean for customer behaviour? During this global quarantine people have heavily relied on e-commerce, in Italy e-commerce levels were up by +158% compared to a year ago in the week ending April 5th. It is predicted that these levels will stay up. A Nielsen survey showed that 60% of people say they are eating more at home than prior to the pandemic. Due to this it is expected that consumers’ food and drink purchase items will be focused around healthy and long term pantry essentials.

So what does this all mean?

It is important to stay educated about the current global climate and analyse changes in other countries’ consumer behaviour as the situation evolves. Embrace your opportunities, customers are looking to brands for information on how they are operating during this crisis, this is your chance to build their trust. 

Google has provided us with some great statistics about current opportunities for those in the FMCG industry.

  • With 81% of Aussies shopping online, having a clear website that’s easy to navigate will gain you more customers.
  • 30% of Australians are spending more time shopping online since the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to have good online advertising to drive leads to your site.

32% of Aussies will increase their online shopping in the future. It is important to keep your customers interested and coming back to you with good remarketing campaigns.

Source: Google Agency Insights Forum #3 – COVID-19 AUNZ

Our Advice

There is a new normal, consumers are expecting more from their brands not just in terms of products. We recommend being transparent with your customers, constantly update your websites and social media channels and be clear about your efforts to assist them during this crisis. This will help build your relationship with your consumers and establish trust. It is also imperative to keep up to date with the current climate and to look at the data around how other countries are reacting to the current pandemic. Looking at countries one step ahead of us and their buying habits can help us predict the next stage of normal here in Australia. 

Stay educated, stay relevant, stay transparent and you will earn a new level of trust in the eyes of your consumers.

 

How can retailers adapt and change.

Now and beyond COVID-19

The Coronavirus has affected all Australians and the economy; self-isolating, social distancing, avoidance of public places, is having a negative impact on the bricks and mortar retail market as we know it. However when there is a risk there is an opportunity.

Take a look at the Google Data that shows the disruptive shift is occurring in the retail sector. 

Now is the best real time opportunity to manage the scale of your online and delivery response. Adjusting to the disruption and vastly different needs for consumers for this year. People are adjusting to an entirely new way of life, isolating, working, connecting with others and shopping with different intent and with different ways. As a Google Marketing partner we are keeping up to date with all the Google data and support available to our clients. At a high level we are seeing five main behaviours play out across Australia: 

As an online marketing agency we know that online shopping is important with the current change in the market more people have moved to spend online. This can help revive businesses whose bricks and mortar sales plummeted due to the pandemic. The evidence speaks for itself (according to Google Trends, Kantar and GWI

  • 56% of Australians have decreased shopping at physical outlets (compared to the previous month).
  • 81% of Aussies are now shopping online.
  • 30% are claiming to spend more time shopping online since the covid-19 outbreak.
  • 32% claim they will increase their online purchasing in the future.
  • 11% say they will be shopping online more once the outbreak is over.

We have seen spend and availability of supermarket delivery impact online shopping behaviours in a major way. “Home delivery” has gained interest in a big way since March, just like with “Online shopping”.

As you will have noticed in the news the increase in panic buying and hoarding, think toilet paper, hand sanitisers,facemasks etc. Whilst 89% of Australians think that hoarders of food and essentials need to stop, a large portion are hoarding themselves. 43% of Australians have more supplies than usual. 

According to Neilsen Australians are now in Stage 4 of the consumer cycle. The most notable growth is +45% Online Shopping in FMCG. Stocks of hand sanitisers, medical face masks and toilet paper are the most in demand in stores, with no clear indication of when supplies and demand will return to normal.

There are a number of examples of brands that benefit by maintaining their ad budgets during economic downturns. The least affected businesses are those that have been online. The data and insights indicates that providing the right kind of value at the right time can be a major growth period for some businesses such as when Amazon grew by 28% in 2009 during the recession.

Of course no one can predict the future but you can understand the drivers and precedence for where we are going next and setup to launch out of this lockdown into stage 6 when it comes. Your natural inclination to cut back on advertising during a recession should not be driven by emotion it should be driven by facts and data. As you can see in the examples from Bench those brands that maintain their ad budget and/or change their messaging can see a long-lasting boost in sales and market share.

Next Level Advice

Whilst it can be overwhelming for retailers to constantly keep up to date with the ever changing consumer demand. We know that brands who stay the closest to their customers find it easier to bring in the most value for their new needs. As well as provide the much needed services in high demand during this period. Those brands who know both their market and their customers will be ahead of their competition and cater directly to their customers. Therefore they have the most to gain, now and in the future.


Source: GWI, Global study from GlobalWebIndex across multiple markets, Date: March 31-April 2

Source: KANTAR, Kantar Global Barometer Wave 2 Report, Date: March 27-March 31

Source: Google Trends, KANTAR, Kantar Global Barometer Wave 2 Report, Date: March 27-March 31


Consumer Behaviour Is Changing – Social Media

As a Facebook Marketing Partner we are receiving constant updates on how changing behaviour and the new normal is impacting social media consumption. 

Every month about 15 million Australians turn to Facebook.

Facebook is responding to COVID-19

In March, to aid in COVID-19 response, Facebook pledged unlimited ad credits to the World Health Organisation for related outreach. Mark Zuckerberg committed “as many free ads as they need.” 

Facebook has also offered ad credits to other health organisations and is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UNICEF, and national ministries of health.There are also grants to support small businesses through the changing landscape, checkout the Small Business Grants programme to see if you’re eligible. 

Many people are turning to social media predominantly as a way to stay in touch with friends and family and to check in to their community (ANZ taking on covid-19 6th April 2020).

  • 62% of users are using social media to stay connected with friends and family.
  • 58% of users are using social media to check in on friends and family. 

We are also seeing Mateship growing in response to helping out their community. More than 100,000 people in Australia are members of over 400 COVID-19 local support groups on Facebook.

Also In the first week since launching, the Stay Home sticker was used over 100 million times globally on Instagram (ANZ taking on covid-19 6th April 2020).

People’s habits revolve around community

People’s social media habits have adapted, staying informed and connected to adapt to the new normal. (between Mar 26-30 2020)

  • 68% Social Media users are staying up to date on the latest news and information on COVID-19 
  • 54% Check in with friends and family more often 

People are finding creative ways to connect

  • Globally, we’ve seen the most significant increases in Messenger usage across group calls; 70% more people are participating in group video calls, and time in group video calls has doubled globally, week-over-week. (Facebook internal data, Mar 17 & 27 2020)
  • In Australia, Instagram Live views have doubled within a week of the 27th March.
  • Globally, we have also seen messaging increase over 50% and time in group calling (calls with three or more participants) increase by over 1,000% during a month.

Brand Expectations

People’s expectations of Brands are also changing, the expectations for every category are increasing. They believe that the most important things for brands to focus on are (23 March): 

  • 77% for Super markets to provide was availability for products and services. 
  • 69% expect affordable pricing, deals and promotions. 
  • 54% Products and services that are safe to use.

Additionally 11% of global consumers said they only bought products manufactured in their country while an additional 54% “mostly” bought local products.

Brands that are able to deliver purpose in an ethical way are seeing their value grow twice as much than average. Brands that are adapting to meet the new needs of their customers, they are reevaluating how they deliver real value at this time and also, acting responsibly and doing the right thing by the community and employees. 

There are opportunities to make the most of products like Facebook and Instagram Live.

Mobile Consumption Data

According to imobi social distancing and isolation has resulted in a 65% increase in mobile usage. (2nd wk of Feb vs March)

The top app categories seeing major growth are: 

  • + 211% In social media consumption. 
  • +113% Lifestyle consumption of media and entertainment
  • +78% News and media consumption

Successful brands that communicate proactively with their customers maintain  proactive and frequent contact with their customers, remain authentic, set realistic expectations, constantly monitor feedback and the changing needs as well as focusing on marketing relevant products. 

If you’d like to look deeper into the available coronavirus support that facebook is offering checkout some of the global resources. 

If you’d like some advice on your digital marketing strategy, get in touch. 


From Facebook: ANZ taking on covid-19 6th April 2020

From Imobi: ANZ_NL_2020/ANZ_Covid_19_Newsletter_Final, March 2020.

Consumer Behaviour is changing – Search

COVID-19 is changing the landscape for all of us. While the challenges of each business are unique, we are all being impacted in some way. Google recently announced a (USD)$800+ million commitment to support COVID-19 response efforts. This commitment includes Google Ads credits and more ad grants for government, health and relief organisations.

Social movement towards isolation presents new reality and may have ongoing effects throughout the year. 45% of Australians believe they would stay safe with precautions and good hygiene (however those aged between 45 – 54 are most concerned). 

Australians have ranked the top most important things to them right now are

  • 70% My family’s health and wellbeing
  • 43% My long-term financial security
  • 41% My mental wellbeing

We recognise that this is a rapidly changing event. There have been big shifts in consumer attitudes towards the coronavirus situation in the 2 weeks prior to 23 March 2020, in line with the rapidly changing situation and increased restrictions.

Product affordability, safety and availability are most important to Australians. Amid widespread health concerns, federal travel restrictions and local movement limitations, the economy is facing the greatest, and fastest change in consumer behavior. The most notable changes to consumer behaviour have impacted the financial, health and retail industries.

Changes in Search behaviour

There is no doubt that Search behaviour is changing, the interesting thing is how. In Australia overall shopping has held up well, mostly due to groceries and pharmacy needs. Consumers are diverting discretionary spending stocking up and temporarily reducing spending on non essential goods. People are also fearful of financial impacts further limiting their discretionary spend.

Google trend data below shows the trend lines for key search terms important to Australians during the Corona Virus pandemic. We would know these key needs well – face-masks, hand sanitiser, toilet paper and hand wash.

Talking with our Google partners we have seen some interesting statistics on search trends within Australia (2 weeks from 8th March 2020) the most notable being year on year growth for: 

  • +239% FMCG – Household Supplies
  • +124% Finance – Investing, Loans and Shares
  • +123% Online Food Shopping & Delivery
  • +94% Cosmetics & Beauty Products
  • +74 Hygiene & Toiletries
  • +61 Medical Equipment 
  • +54% Health Conditions 
  • +25% Shopping Portals & Search Engines

Undeniably this pandemic is changing the way consumers think, feel and act, in all aspects of their lives and across industries. This situation is rapidly evolving and it is increasing the amount of digital media bringing BVOD ratings through the roof as well as media consumption on social media as well as online enquiries. 

If you would like to find out more about what we are seeing in these times or would like to start a conversation about how you can make the most of these potential opportunities to provide value for people. Get in touch with us to set up an online chat.


From Kantar Australia: AU_COVD-19_Infographic_VD.pdf by Kantar, March 2020. Based on online survey of 500 Australian consumers between the ages of 18 and 90.

From The Lab & Nature: COVID-19 BRAND NAVIGATOR Real-time insights into the rapidly evolving landscape. 2 April 2020.

From Google vertical trend data – first 2 wks in March 2020.