The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed consumer behaviour with more people working from home and staying indoors.
The coronavirus pandemic had a severe impact on the global out-of-home (OOH) market in 2020 and with renewed lockdowns worldwide in early 2021 the understanding of behavioural changes and consumer expectations will be key.
Lessons From 2020
With the OOH market being one of the hardest-hit media by COVID-19, a lot of lessons were learnt. Advertisers were forced to re-evaluate the way they think regarding how audiences are reached and engaged. It has also reminded advertisers to be prepared for the unexpected and to never stop adapting as many unexpected events can still occur.
Covid-19 has fundamentally changed both business and consumer behaviour which means advertisers will need to make changes to their products and services as well as their messaging. Remaining close to consumers and staying in touch is essential. The pandemic has also reiterated the importance for brands of striking the right tone with consumers.
Changing Consumer Behaviour
With people adapting to new normal consumer behaviour is rapidly evolving and this may continue as different facets of the pandemic plays out. Consumer behaviour typically evolves over years but with the pandemic, it only took a few weeks for massive changes to take place.
A change in consumer behaviour means the way companies reach their audiences change. Brands need to reconnect to audiences they have lost and need to find innovative ways of reaching new audiences by identifying how these audiences’ needs have changed.
The pandemic has changed when and how consumers shop and the amount of time they spent outdoors but also their sentiment as they respond to the crisis and try to adapt to the new normal. Consumers’ loyalty to certain brands have changed and they may place more emphasis on value or convenience and availability.
Opportunities and Challenges In 2021
OOH is expected to still play a very prominent role in terms of public information and informative messaging as the pandemic continues. Understanding and keeping abreast with behavioural change is key and keeping up with new trends.
The continued digitization of OOH and new technological capabilities means OOH will stay a preferred medium which enables advertisers to change and tailor messages in real-time. 2020 has seen a boom in creativity due to the pandemic and lockdowns worldwide and it is expected that this will continue into 2021.