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BizReport : Advertising : March 16, 2021

IAB/PwC identify brand challenges post-pandemic

While the pandemic may have resulted in higher-than-average ecommerce and m:commerce revenues, saving many merchants from despair, ongoing lockdowns and change consumer habits are also forcing brands to adjust on the fly to consumers' needs. That is a key takeaway from a new report out from IAB and Pricewaterhousecoopers.

by Kristina Knight

Researchers have released several trends they believe will have a big impact on the digital space even as lockdowns from the 2020 pandemic ease and life returns to pre-pandemic normalcy.

First: consumers are itching for added value in their content.

Researchers believe that as the customer journey changed from browsing in-store or relying on recommendations for the latest gadgets consumers also changed how they engage with branded content. For example, more people are opting out of brands' data collection initiatives, and are looking for interruption-free content sessions - that means no advertising, even when content is subsidized by advertising.

"The old value exchanges just aren't enough. The model is broken. Publishers and media companies have to reimagine reciprocity or risk the flight of consumers to competitors," said Sue Hogan, Senior Vice President of Research & Analytics, IAB.

Because of this change, IAB and PwC believe we will see more walled gardens and higher thresholds to those gardens moving forward. Which means publishers need to rethink how they connect the right consumer with the right content.

Second: consumers are comfortable with 'retail media'.

All of the online shopping in 2020 pushed consumers' comfort levels in finding everything online, from clothing and gadgets to groceries. That change, say the experts, isn't going to change even after mask mandates are lifted and most people are vaccinated against the disease. In fact, they believe merchants need to adjust parts of their strategies to provide content surrounding their products.

"Where consumers first learn about a product, choose brands, and complete the purchase are all converging -- and very measurable -- in retail media," said CJ Bangah, Principal, Technology Media and Telecommunication, PwC US. "As brands demand more accountability, the center of gravity has begun to shift in favor of retail media and formats that clearly demonstrate ROI."

More data from the IAB and PwC report can be accessed here.

Tags: advertising, advertising trends, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, IAB, PricewaterhouseCoopers

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