COVID-19 has not fundamentally changed advertising, but it has accelerated the pace of change.
As an industry, we have been slowly evolving technology to make ads more personal and relevant to the consumer. Our current reality is forcing retail brands to revisit their priorities, roadmap, tech stack, data collections and, most importantly, their communication with consumers.
As consumers, in a natural way to adapt to this temporary new reality we are building our own new schedules, priorities and preferences. Everything is done online, mostly from the same devices, and the same location, our homes. We are consuming information, products and entertainment on very specific channels, services, devices and specific times of the day. We find new structure in the chaos. But also, we are now more than ever exposed to an increased overload of mixed types of information — and in between it all: ads.
As a retail brand, you have fewer opportunities, and less time, to communicate with each consumer or prospect. Data has been the core currency of advertising for some time, but mass messaging has still been the norm. Suddenly, though, the most critical thing is how well a brand’s offline and online data has been streamlined and connected. Every brand must honestly ask themselves how much they know about each consumer: their preferences, affinities, engagement behavior with digital experiences, what devices they use when and what time of day they are most open to what kinds of messages.