Unlocking new marketing opportunities for the post-pandemic future
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Marketers today need to focus on a holistic media quality approach, and utilizing insights to optimize campaign perform...

Unlocking new marketing opportunities for the post-pandemic future

Marketers today need to focus on a holistic media quality approach, and utilizing insights to optimize campaign perform...
  • The pandemic led to massive changes in consumer behavior and the way they interact with brands.
  • This change has led to new opportunities for marketers.
  • Robert Kay, Senior Director – Customer Success APAC Region, Integral Ad Science writes about a few of these changes and how they are opening new doors for marketers.
Consumer trends and behaviors have been dramatically transformed during the pandemic. According to McKinsey, consumers embraced five years’ worth of digital adoption just eight weeks into the pandemic. This reflected in the way consumers spent, interacted, and kept themselves engaged.

New consumer trends paved the way for new opportunities, as well as challenges, for marketers. For instance, the ‘e’ in ‘e-commerce’ became redundant with the massive surge in online shoppers, mobile consumption saw an uptick and linear television viewership took a backseat over Connected TV (CTV).

Across Asia Pacific, these disruptive consumer trends are challenging marketers to reimagine their strategies to keep audiences engaged through multiple touchpoints and formats, digitally. Here are some key trends marketers should consider in approaching the post-pandemic future.

Rising dominance of digital-first approach
With consumers moving online, marketers quickly pivoted their ad strategies to integrate new content types and ad budgets to digital channels. According to eMarketer, advertising dollars flowing to traditional mediums such as broadcast, out-of-home), and print contracted by over 15% worldwide in 2020 whereas digital ad spends increased by over 12%.

In particular, video gained prominence as one of the most engaging digital marketing tools for advertisers as the pandemic greatly accelerated consumers’ appetite for premium video content. CTV became mainstream across key APAC markets, providing advertisers the opportunity to achieve the scale of television with the precision of digital. An Integral Ad Science (IAS) study also revealed that 80% of customers are willing to see ads in exchange for free streaming, prompting advertisers to prioritise ad quality and context to boost engagement. However, due to CTV’s nascent stage and the lack of standardized measurement metrics, advertisers are still not fully convinced regarding their spends on the platform.

This digital shift also saw audiences transform from being mere consumers to content producers. Leveraging the engaging power of video, social media giants quickly joined on the Tik Tok bandwagon to introduce short-form videos such as Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. This offered young and local brands better targeting and engagement with their audience in long-term dialogues, with lower ad spends. Additionally, brands have developed multiple touchpoints to stay connected with their audiences, aiming to curate a holistic brand experience in the virtual world.

Acceleration in mobile commerce (m-commerce)

While consumers missed in-store shopping, they were quick to find alternatives. According to Accenture,
about 35% of e-retail transactions were placed from smartphones or tablets. From motivation to product discovery to decision-making and ultimately purchasing, smartphones took over as the primary touchpoint with brands. While previously, consumers preferred big ticket purchases at physical stores, they are now more open to do those from the safe ambience of their homes.

Across APAC, about three in four marketers are expecting their mobile budget to increase this year. It is advisable for brands to prioritize mobile in their digital strategies as the upcoming festive season presents immense benefits for advertisers. According to the H1 2021 Media Quality Report (MQR) by IAS, mobile offered a safer environment and higher viewability for brand campaigns, improving overall effectiveness. This proves to be a great opportunity for marketers in key APAC markets such as India and Australia, which are set to see a surge in e-retail sales during the year-end festive season.

Additionally, this enables advertisers to collect first-party data, giving them an edge in the cookie-less future and help them delivery personalized messages to their audience at a granular level.

Growing confidence in programmatic
Programmatic has grown tremendously across APAC, making the region the second-largest programmatic market worldwide, representing 30% of global spend. This increased demand can be attributed to programmatic’s matured infrastructure and greater capabilities to optimize ad spends by eliminating duplication, thus increasing ROI.

However, with the exponential growth and capabilities of programmatic, ensuring brand safety is more complex than ever. Lack of transparency in supply path remains a challenge, hindering access to quality inventory.

Sales events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday present a huge potential for savvy marketers. Advertisers are strongly encouraged to closely monitor and optimize their campaigns towards quality impressions by utilising pre-bid tools to target away from unsuitable environments. This will ensure that their campaigns have an opportunity to be seen in relevant context and positively influence consumers.

Conscious efforts to safeguard against fraud and risky environment
As ad spending increases on digital, media quality challenges arise, such as ad fraud, unsafe brand environments, and unviewable inventory. According to MQR H1 2021, two key developed APAC markets, Japan and Singapore, registered the highest ad fraud rates on mobile and desktop display respectively.

With the festive buying period here, advertisers are advised to work with third-party verification companies to help protect their campaigns from ad fraud brand risks, and lower viewability, and maximise engagement and ROI.

Brands should also focus on contextual advertising, targeting to match the content of a webpage versus audiences based on cookie data, which has been proven to drive higher brand memorability.

Covid-19 has accelerated a sweeping digital embrace on a scale and speed we’ve never seen before. As advertisers reimagine their playbooks, adopting new strategies, maintaining a holistic media quality approach, and utilizing insights to optimize campaign performance becomes exceptionally crucial in navigating through the post-pandemic world.