Welcome to the Weekly Wrap for the week of April 20, 2020. From new consumer trends and segments that have emerged as a result of COVID-19 to Google further tightening the ‘leash’ on advertisers, get some coffee and absorb the marketing insights and news from this week.
Google Makes Advertisers Submit ID for Verification (Ad Exchanger)
In a move to increase advertising transparency, Google expands its political ad transparency policy.
- Starting in the U.S., Google will require advertisers to submit personal ID or business documents to prove who they are and where they’re operating.
- Beginning this summer, users will start to be able to see who the advertiser behind an ad is.
After a decline in listenership during the beginning of the lockdown, it has now stabilized but ad spend has shifted depending on the brand’s vertical and listener behavior is difficult to predict right now.
- Downloads ( the podcasting quasi-term for ‘plays’) is now spread more throughout the day : Weekday mornings = – 29% month over month; however, +9% during peak hours on Saturday and +20% on Sunday.
- News podcasts surge (between 14% – 30%); True Crime = -6% ; Sports podcasts that have refocused content around pandemic or are airing classic games = + 8%
- Brands selling ‘life-at-home’ products or services are increasing podcast ad spend
- Auto, Travel, Events have either pulled spend or pushed it to later on in the year
Connected-TV Impressions Continue to Rise (MediaPost)
Aggressive promotions offered by fashion retailers will still yield results.
- Auto = + 18%; CPG = + 15%; Retail = + 145% (all for most recent week)
- Broadcast publishers account for 82% of CTV impressions
CVS Forms Digital Ad Network (Marketing Dive // Digiday)
CVS Media Exchange will have display and search ad formats, as well as placements on Google, FB, and Instagram.
- The launch date for CVS Media Exchange is unknown.
- Digiday reports that CVS will be leaning on first-party data from its loyalty program and will be creating an enclosed measurement system in order to attribute sales with ads.
- Reportedly, the exchange will also have a dynamic creative platform.
- Are currently pitching advertising capabilities to Kroger, Target, Walmart, and Amazon.
EY Consumer Index finds Four Consumer Behavior Trends Emerging during Pandemic (EY Future Consumer Index)
According to EY, the pandemic has been defined by four distinct consumer behavior segments: “Cut Deep” (27.3% of consumers); “Stay Calm, carry on” (26.2%); “Save and stockpile” (35.1%), and “Hibernate and spend” (11.4%). The report also finds other interesting trends and consumer sentiments.
- Cut deep = Consumers who are 45+ years old and may have lost a job (nearly 1/4 have had job suspensions either temporarily or permanently). They have cut spending across all expense categories.
- Stay calm, carry on = Consumers who do not feel impacted by crisis and so are not changing their spending behaviors (neither up nor down). Only 21% of them have increased spending on groceries compared with 18% that are spending less.
- Save and stockpile = Consumers who are concerned for their families and are looking at the ‘long-term’. This segment represents the majority of consumers. More than 1/3 of these consumers are spending more on groceries; 72% of them are spending less on clothing; 85% spending less on leisure.
- Hibernate and spend = Predominantly between ages 18-44, these consumers are the most worried about the pandemic but – on the whole – are not shopping less frequently (only 40% are). Interestingly, 46% of them say that brands are now more important to them.
- 42% of respondents believe that COVID-19 will fundamentally change the way they shop.
- 34% of consumers indicate that they would pay more for local business products; 25% for trusted brands; 23% for ethical products.
- Trust for brands does remain relatively low though: 17% trust them completely. However, that’s just better than media companies who come in at 16%.
While trust for brands remains relatively low, EY’s finding that a segment of consumers find brands to be more important to them now is promising for marketers and advertisers. While the study doesn’t make it clear what ‘more important’ means, it could speak towards increased social-cause messaging by brands who aren’t considered essential to surviving the pandemic as well as to the brands who fulfill the practical needs of staying home (e.g., Clorox).
CVS’s planned launch of the Media Exchange clearly is part of the omnichannel trend where brands want to connect online activities or ads to offline purchases or actions. This also shows how first-party data garnered from enclosed systems or walled gardens is going to become increasingly valuable.
Podcasts are continuing to be a great channel for brands that sell ‘at-home’ related products and services.
CTV ad spend will continue to rise so long as the Shelter in Place order is in effect.
Insights from the Frontline (from client campaigns)
⬆️ Clients are seeing the value in having a diversified portfolio of marketing channels.
✅ Hyper-targeted display campaigns for local businesses are seeing a great CTRs.
✅ Hobby and at-home brands are maintaining solid CPAs with display ad campaigns even as the strategies move towards prospecting.
✅ If you’re an ‘at-home’ brand, consider testing podcast ads.
✅ Retailers – take this time to evaluate your omnichannel marketing strategy and attribution model
✅ Invest in CTV now before it gets too expensive.
And that’s a wrap for this week!
Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below or provide your thoughts in an email to us.
See you next week! Stay healthy and stay strong.