Advertisers pride themselves on knowing their customers. But what happens when their customer is suddenly not where they expected?
As work and school shifted online during early stages of the pandemic, advertisers had faced this exact scenario and were initially slow on the uptake. While consumers faced the convergence of their work and personal lives, advertisers’ trend data was suddenly stale. Historic consumer behaviour could no longer be relied upon.
However, recent research from Forrester found that brands are adapting through challenging times with renewed focus on search. 75% of advertisers stated search engine advertising is now “more important” to consumer trends than before.
The emergence of the the Workday Consumer
Two years on from the start of the pandemic, online shopping habits remain strong. Hybrid work has instigated new consumer behaviours still prominent today. Advertisers are poised to make the most of this new customer persona – the Workday Consumer.
New research from Microsoft Advertising found that 60% of global consumers now complete a mix of work and personal tasks during working hours. 59% believe their work and personal tasks to now be of equal importance.
The Workday Consumer is an individual who unapologetically switches between employee, personal, and consumer modes throughout the day online. The adoption of hybrid working patterns quickly changed most of our habits.
Consumers now expect seamless digital experiences and an easy way to engage with relevant content along their purchasing journeys. What can brands do to meet consumers where they are?
Adapt to capitalise
In order to now capitalise on the digital-first experiences, brands must align their budgets with the digital channels that have grown in prevalence over the last few years.
Brands reported that 70% of paid media budget will now go to digital. This is a 12% increase on pre-pandemic levels. Furthermore, 75% of brands reported that search had become more important for their company’s online advertising strategies.
As the advertising industry adapts to new customer behaviours, cross-channel marketing becomes ever more important. This is particularly significant considering the increasing focus on consumer privacy. As the use of third-party cookies and mobile ad IDs declines, advertisers must find other ways to reach their audiences online.
To attract, convert and retain workday consumers, it’s important to craft messaging, content and ads that are optimised for PC search and native. Programmatic native is one such way to navigate the oncoming challenges. Contextual targeting and first-party data usage prove pivotal in future-proofing advertisers’ strategies.
Ultimately, the more empowered advertisers are to better understand their target audiences’ behaviours, the more likely they will be to reach them. Brands must seek to enhance their data and analytics capabilities to define, understand and target the workday consumer.
Savvy marketers know that new consumer behaviours offer them an opportunity to build better strategies, which in turn, can have a measurable impact on their bottom line. They simply require the software and tools that can enable them to do that.