According to a new study from our partners at Russell Research, concern about the coronavirus is a near universal mindset, with nearly 89% of Americans concerned about coronavirus and 69% believing the situation is getting worse.
These feelings – as well as social distancing restrictions that have many millions of people homebound – are having a profound impact on consumer behavior and media consumption habits. In fact, Nielsen reports that not only is overall media consumption surging, but specific segments like local TV news are gaining significant audiences by providing comfort to consumers during this time of uncertainty.
What does it mean?
As the impact of the virus continues to evolve, so too will the way in which consumers gather information about what’s happening – or seek diversions from all the negativity. That means a continued shift in media consumption habits, and both challenges and opportunities for brands seeking to find an audience for their message.
What should marketers be doing?
Every brand should be reevaluating its media mix to determine how best to stay current with changing media behaviors. Media plans created before COVID-19 are highly unlikely to reach targeted customers as effectively as when those plans were drawn up prior to the virus.
Specifically, marketers should consider reallocating ad dollars into TV, streaming TV and digital channels such as display, social and mobile, and away from sagging audio formats, depending on their goals and target audience.
Before making any media mix shifts, don’t forget to evaluate your current creative first and determine if it’s right for the environment and the channel where it will appear. Having the right message in a less-consumed channel is better than the wrong message where more people can see it.
Does your media plan pre-date the COVID 19 outbreak? If so, it needs some attention.