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BizReport : Advertising : May 08, 2020

Reports: Consumers ready to move on, looking to social to connect

New reports underline the dichotomy surrounding most consumers at this point: they are ready for life to return to a more normal state but continue to worry about the risks associated with in-person shopping, worshipping, or working.

by Kristina Knight

Researchers would Mitto polled consumers to see how they felt their favorite brands have handled the COVID-19 pandemic thus far.

"The crisis has been a challenging time for all businesses around the world, and marketers are required to be mindful of how, where and how frequently they engage with their customers," said Andrea Giacomini, CEO of Mitto. "Fortunately, marketers have more technologies than ever before at their disposal to better understand the pulse of their customers and, as our survey showed, they have generally been quite successful with their communication approaches during such a complex period. As we move out of this crisis, brands and their marketers must not underestimate the value of building strong customer relationships during 'normal' times that get tested during tough times."   

Mitto researchers found that 73% of consumers agree that the increase in emails from their brands was appropriate during the initial weeks of pandemic and most (77%) say that the emails they've gotten thus far have made them feel as if their favored brands cared about them. But, now that many countries are returning to business as usual, nearly half of shoppers say they're ready for non-COVID related communications to hit their inbox.

Just over 40% say they are ready to start getting non-Covid emails now not at a future date. As to what they'd like to hear, some old favorites are still at the top of the list: discounts and coupons.

Meanwhile, Fast researchers have found that despite many businesses and restaurants reopening, many consumers are leery of going back to 'business as usual'. In their new poll more than three-quarters (89%) of those surveyed said they are concerns about shopping in physical stores, and the worry is crossing demographic lines.

According to the Fast data concerns about proximity to other people while shopping is a concern for more than 75% all adults. The data is also crossing regional lines with more than 85% of consumers from the Northeast, though the South and Midwest and into the West concerned about in-person shopping and the risks to their health. In addition to being too close to other people in-store, fears about overall store cleanliness is the leading worry for people as the world returns to pre-pandemic status.

More data from the Fast report can be accessed here.

As to where consumers will look to find new products and services, data out from Sprout Social indicates social will be a big attention getter. Their recent study found that 89% of consumers 'will buy' from brands they follow on social media and that most (75%) plan to increase spending with brands that they can follow online.

"While social media is a powerful channel for brand awareness, it's also a proven business accelerator. In fact, a strong brand presence on social media can drive consumers to purchase and give brands a leg up over their closest competitors," said Jamie Gilpin, CMO at Sprout Social. "This is especially true in today's environment. Brands who fail to stand out on social or lack the ability to analyze social data are missing a big business opportunity, which can be crucial for future success."

They key, of course, is to find the right messaging mix and to be timely. According to the Sprout data 79% of consumers expect a response from brands on social within 24 hours of contacting them.

More data from Sprout Social's 2020 Index can be found here.

Tags: advertising, advertising trends, COVID-19, Fast, Mitto, social marketing, Sprout Social

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