Omnicom Media Group’s report on Covid-19 Gearing up for the Festive Season is an in-depth report that provides insights into the outlook of Indians towards the upcoming festive season, the categories they intend to shop, the tectonic shifts in media & the media channels that brands should deploy in the festive season to win consumers as 2020 draws to a close.
According to the report, in the festive season, consumers will increase spends on Daily essentials, Personal care & Entertainment at home. Subdued cues observed for many discretionary categories like Auto, Apparel & Hospitality.
Kartik Sharma- Group CEO, Omnicom Media Group India spoke exclusively to Medianews4u on the idea of this in-depth research and report that marketers and brand should refer to before making any marketing decisions.
What was the need to do an extensive research on the shift of the consumer from offline to online? Any particular problem statement that you wanted to address?
Like everything else in current times, I think shifting consumer sentiments and habits have also led to some turbulence in A&M. While the larger reason of the pandemic and the lockdown of course explain a lot, we wanted to get a deeper and more structured view of how consumer purchase behaviour was changing. Additionally, with online in itself being such an extensive realm, it became important to know which platforms in particular are doing well and why. This also enables a semblance of predictability in such unpredictable times.
Understanding patterns and making predictions based on them has always been a marketeer’s job after all. To add to all of this, the incoming festive season in the time of a pandemic – This is not something anyone has witnessed before. This made it doubly important to understand the kind of media channels brands need to deploy towards the end of 2020.
What are some of the key changes that a marketer of the 21st century needs to keep tabs on?
I think the 21st century as a whole is too long a time span to consider in such a dynamic industry and with unprecedented years like 2020! However, when it comes to the here and now, as well as the post-pandemic situation, I think brands must adopt a robust Omnichannel approach to marketing. Consumers are increasingly looking for multiple buying options and considering that this past year has seen an upsurge in digital product discovery and online buying, this omnichannel approach is an immediate necessity that will also ensure sustained growth for brands.
Additionally, keeping tabs on media consumption trends is an absolute must. These will keep changing and leveraging them differently at different time periods is important. Within this year alone, such a diverse range of platforms has come to the fore – From TV and OTT to social media. Ultimately, whether it’s buying options or A&M, multiple channels are a must.
According to the findings, what are the changes in consumers that you noticed?
For one, a staggering 70% of Indians are wary of the virus and are taking various precautionary measures to stay safe. Understandably, essential consumer goods are witnessing a rise in demand whereas consumer durables and speciality goods are seeing a decline. Groceries, food and of course hygiene products have seen a rise. Sometimes consumers do surprise some of the research findings i.e. what they say versus what they do could vary and it will be interesting to see how that pans out in the festive period. There also might be a sudden spike in purchase of speciality goods post the pandemic, because a large section of consumers has postponed purchases they intended to make. And of course, one of the most important changes lays in media consumption shifts, which I touched upon earlier as well.
How big and awaited is this year’s festive season? How can marketers make the most by using digital as the medium?
The festive season may not be big in terms of scale or large purchases of speciality goods etc., but we are definitely anticipating an uptick in consumer sentiment. Daily Essential, Personal Care and Entertainment at Home are set to do well. For marketers to make the most of this time, like I said the importance of an Omnichannel approach is both immediate (for the festive season) and a means to ensure sustained, long-term growth.
How will the report help the various clients of Omnicom Media Group?
The fundamental benefit of good quality data is that it helps in decision-making. At a time like this, when it might be difficult for brands to arrive at decisive conclusions, a report like this which dives deep into purchase behaviour and media consumption habits, has the potential to help clients make better decisions, faster. And if there’s one thing that’s important in uncertain times, it’s strong data that enables marketers to act with swiftness that is impactful.
According to the findings, what are the renewed buyer personas a marketer shall be aware of?
Some of the major attributes of renewed buyer personas are a reinvigorated focus on physical and mental wellbeing, hygiene, and safety, as well as a higher level of savviness when it comes to brand knowledge. An overwhelming 65% of Indians follow one or more brands online. That speaks volumes of how important it is to the Indian consumer to stay updated and aware of news, launches and of course discounts. Clearly, it’s time for marketers to realise the importance of social media platforms to increase reach, visibility, consumer connect and credibility for brands.