Be more multi media

Bethaney Larkman, marketing manager at Distinction Doors, explains how you can engage with the new-look consumer.

The pandemic accelerated technological and digital advancement, and it’s as if we have jumped forward ten years to 2030.

This has been driven, in part, by our appetite for digestible digital content during the months of lockdown; from streaming services to online shopping, and from sharing TikTok videos to consuming news.

Across all markets, customer services, business development and marketing are set to benefit from the rise of digital consumption. Yet, we must be aware that digital is becoming more complex; we need to adjust and respond to changes in consumer behaviour and acknowledge newly formed habits. For this, we must take a multi-media approach.

Throughout the pandemic, consumer media consumption increased across all channels. Unsurprisingly, linear and on-demand TV consumption increased dramatically as we turned toward the television for entertainment. Yet, it’s the surge in online activity that’s so striking.

The consumption of social networks was up (+41%), as was: online videos (+42%); websites (+44%); email (+37%); and and internet surfing (+52%). It was also good to see the resurgence of print media as newspapers (+14%) and magazines (+9%) also benefited.

This multimedia approach may present a challenge but it’s also an opportunity to engage audiences through earned rather than paid-for media. The pandemic has levelled the playing field when it comes to those with and those without advertising budgets. The challenge now is to identify the most effective platforms for impact.

There will be those who have already embraced the digital world, and yes they may have a head start but let’s be clear, this isn’t about throwing everything out and going 100% digital. Lockdown behaviour has proven there is demand for a multi-channel approach. It’s about communicating our messages effectively, in a format that engages and attracts the right audience.

After a faltering start with far too many saccharine television adverts, household and consumer brands sought new modes of communication as lockdown unfolded. They wanted new formats to engage with their new-look audience. The result was content that allowed consumers to read, listen, see and even participate in. The challenge, post-lockdown, is to maintain the audiences gained during this time as consumers return to catch-up and mobile devices.

The one constant from our time in lockdown to our return to work is our smartphone. These devices provide us with a plethora of online content. They represent our increased reliance on digital technology.

“Insights from our TGI Global Quick View consumer data across 25 markets worldwide show that 47% of adults feel that the coronavirus crisis has helped them embrace technology, with this figure up to 80% in some markets,” according to Kantar, How Covid-19 changed earned media and PR.

Regardless of our target market – retail, trade or commercial – our target audience is likely to use a mobile device. We must learn to go where our customers are and this means adapting for a mobile audience.

The joy of this change in consumer behaviour is that it doesn’t rely on a big marketing budget. Consider how your content can multiple; a video, for example, can be posted on YouTube, edited for social networks, support print media content, and embed into your website.