Whilst Covid19 continues its destructive path around the world, the economic impact of the virus is being felt across every industry. In the advertising industry, some of the world’s largest advertisers are revising their sales forecasts and shifting budgets. The Organization for Economic and Development warned that the escalation of the virus could cut global economic growth in almost half from 3% to 1.5% in 2020.
As part of ‘The changing behaviour series’ Blis conducted a range of analyses across Asia, to understand the impact of the virus on real-world behaviour and provide key insights to businesses.
A region of distinct markets with different challenges and realities, Asia was hit first by the initial wave of the epidemic. With many Asian nations leading the recovery and now lifting restrictions, the rest of the world is looking to the region for hope and inspiration. In this feature we take a deeper look at Hong Kong to better understand how audiences there are interacting with their mobile devices, and what brands should take note of.
One of the first markets in the world to feel the effects of the virus, Hong Kong implemented social distancing and quarantining in early February.
According to a study by YouGov, 99% of Hong Kong consumers reported a change of behaviour as a result of Covid-19. This topped the ranks of 8 Asian Pacific markets in March, when the crisis was reaching a peak in the region. Despite far fewer reported cases in the UK and US at the time, the two countries were included to understand the global effects and identified that consumer behaviour was already beginning to shift in both markets.
These changes in behaviour included avoiding crowds, the use of face masks and working from home, which came into effect on Jan 28th, 2020 when the Government of Hong Kong ordered civil servants to work from their homes. The orders were widely adopted and mobile and online traffic rose considerably in residential buildings across the country.
The team at Blis ran an analysis on 1,127 buildings, across 12 districts on Hong Kong Island. The results showed an average of 314% increase in mobile and online traffic.
With a large percentage of the population working from, and staying in their homes, the choices of media to reach people became greatly limited. However, with such dramatic increases in online activity there were greater opportunities for brands to serve hyper relevant ads to receptive audiences.
As the population in Hong Kong continued to limit physical contact over these extended periods, their digital expectations increased, with many brands adapting their businesses models to deliver the benefits of e-commerce and digital space. In addition, observations from Blis data identified that people were moving in a more ‘concise’ manner between home and essentials.
How should brands behave during this time?
Helping to reach people specifically where they are is key, with carefully targeted messages to ensure the right audience is served a relevant ad that makes their journey more efficient.
Using historical data to understand the consumer behaviour patterns over the previous 6 months proves an impactful method for brands to keep in contact with their audiences, whilst the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on communities around the world.
Brands that adapt to the challenges by understanding how their consumers behave in unprecedented times will be able to provide real value to their audiences, ultimately driving positive business results.