We teamed up with @CBSNews to gauge American's perception of vaccine passports and found overall support: 68% support the need to show proof of vaccination for flying on a plane, 57% for going to work, but only 46% think it’s necessary to enter a store. https://cbsn.ws/3mN98Z1
Our recent study with @Instacart found that some of the consumer pandemic behaviors will endure post-pandemic. Dive into the findings here: https://bit.ly/3mKMMqZ
This week in our series with @CNBC we looked at how the impact of student loans are holding many Millennials back as they transition to adulthood https://cnb.cx/2OTESPC
I found out two weeks ago that a friend bought not just one but three houses this pandemic. Yes, he has a high-paying Wall Street job. Yes, he is worried about inflation. Yes he knows he is incredibly fortunate. And oh yes, I immediately flicked my thumb to Zillow after hearing about his property purchases, because I was feeling pretty jealous.
There’s no way I can afford to buy three houses right now. (Or maybe ever.) But I have been wondering about where I might be able to invest in real estate in some way. That is why I was so thrilled to read this piece on where to buy investment property now, by Bloomberg Opinion’s Alexis Leondis.
Alexis breaks it down, offering suggestions on which cities make sense right now for people who want to buy homes and rent them out. (She also points out which city to avoid.)
Any of my fellow real-estate junkies will get a kick out of the piece. One takeaway that surprised me: investing in property close to home may not be the best idea. Think about metrics, she writes. These include property prices, rental trends and even local landlord legislation.
This week we also wrote about a different investment trend: Black Americans are actually more receptive to holding cryptocurrencies than other groups in the U.S. A new Harris Poll found that 30% of Black and 27% Hispanic investors own cryptocurrency, compared with just 17% of White investors.
This pleases a new generation of Black financial advocates who think it’s going to take a lot more than budgeting and saving to shrink the staggering U.S. wealth gap. But bolder steps — including crypto — come with risks. — Charlie Wells
Read the full story at Bloomberg.
Adweek partnered with Harris Poll to survey Mediaweek attendees on the latest industry trends
By KATHRYN LUNDSTROM | Adweek | April 16, 2021
While the past year was far from typical, the way that brands shifted spending during the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing economic downturn offers some insight into how they manage during crisis—and what trends can be expected during recovery.
In the lead up to Mediaweek this week, Adweek worked with Harris Poll to conduct a survey around agency and brand relationships, what changed in the past year and how marketers are approaching advertising in a post-cookie world.
A pandemic wave of in-housing?
Based on a survey of 83 Mediaweek attendees, 48% said that they had a client terminate an agency relationship in the past year, and 45% said they had a client bring digital advertising or marketing services in-house over the past year.
And while only 14% said those actions were directly related to the business impact of Covid-19, respondents said that the number one challenge in maintaining agency-client relationships was a difficulty in proving return on investment—something they say has intensified over the past year.
Of agency professionals who responded to the survey, 81% said at least half of all client goals are currently tied to ROI metrics like sales leads, clicks or conversions, compared to 71% one year ago.
But given the past year, it’s hard to know whether that spells a broader trend. Agency m/Six CEO Belinda Smith said that renewed focus on ROI was likely a result of a pandemic panic fueling decision-making in an uncertain and quickly changing environment. “People had to quadruple down on digital distribution channels, whether they were ready for it or not,” Smith said. “Moving that much of your business digital that fast, you have to focus on ROI, because that’s the only way you learn how to create the best experiences in that channel.”
Moving forward, though, Smith expects brands will find they need both the big-picture brand-building and specialized expertise that’s hard to maintain in an in-house team.
Josh Palau, chief media and activation officer at media agency PHD USA, said the reality of in-housing can mean an opportunity for agencies to better tailor their offerings to meet client needs. “While the rate at which it is expanding may ebb and flow, in-housing is here to stay,” Palau said. “For agencies, that means evolving our service model to offer clients solutions that balance the value of agency representation with the perceived benefits of process ownership.”
Adapting to consumer behavior changes
For Anheuser-Busch, which launched in-house agency DraftLine in 2018, in-house capabilities benefited the world’s largest brewer during the pandemic—but it still has strong working relationships with outside agencies like Wieden+Kennedy.
A strong majority (81%) of agency professionals surveyed said clients have shifted budgets or team resources to account for changes in media buying in the past year. But, according to Paolo Provinciali, head of U.S. media at Anheuser-Busch, that was sorely needed as consumer behaviors and habits were upended by the pandemic.
“Our media strategy follows a people-first approach, and as we see consumer behavior changing, we adapt our tactics,” Provinciali said.
“In the past year, we have seen fewer people commuting and the need of greater flexibility, so we have shifted some of our traditional OOH buys to digital OOH to allow for more agility, targeting and contextual relevance. Similarly, we have seen people watching less TV and streaming more, so we have increased our focus on CTV and digital video.”
The post-cookie world remains a foggy one
Less than a third of respondents (30%) said they have a “very clear” understanding of the impact of third-party cookie deprecation.
That’s “unsurprising,” said Ben Hovaness, svp of marketplace intelligence for Omnicom Media Group North America. “It’s a technically complex topic that touches many areas of media, including planning, investment and measurement.” To address that education gap, Omnicom launched an education series for clients around the topic to help them better navigate the new landscape.
As a result of cookie deprecation, 57% reported using the “walled gardens” of Facebook and Google more often in the past year, and 54% said they’ve used first-party user data more.
The opportunities post-cookie
Still, the death of the cookie offers an opportunity for marketers, according to Dave Gaines, cofounder and CEO of Media by Mother.
“Cookies made everyone lazy. Money is thrown into the internet and we allow a piece of code to tell us where it should go. Half of an adult’s digital time is spent in apps and they never had cookies,” said Gaines.
“Yes, walled gardens, differing identity types and questions around how much cooperation across the industry make it hard to predict what will be the next third party solution to commit to,” he added.
“But the interim solution is for marketing teams to make the generation of first-party data a bigger part of advertising activity, rather than relying on cost-per-action ads. A bit of effort, iterative learning and some math and statistics, and we may all just find we don’t really need the next universal ID as much as we thought we did.”
Moving forward, shifting to first-party data will only serve brands well considering current trends in favor of ecommerce, according to James Townsend, global CEO of ForwardPMX.
“A performance approach that puts customers and first-party data at the heart will enable better experiences that can drive positive brand sentiment and set businesses up for success coming out of COVID,” he said.
Read the full story at Adweek.
Plus, how they feel about paying for content according to a new Adweek-Harris Poll survey
By KATHRYN LUNDSTROM | Adweek | April 16, 2021
The conversations swirling around the media and ad-tech industriesthese days hinge on consumer privacy—but in the midst of several changes to the way data is collected, it’s likely to be a while before consumer sentiment related to data collection responds to those changes.
Consumers don’t feel in control of their data
A new survey conducted by Adweek and Harris Poll showed that despite significant shifts in favor of consumer privacy over the past year, only 23% of more than 1,000 U.S. respondents said they feel they have more control over how their data is collected, stored and shared versus this time last year.
That sense of control varies greatly by age, though—while 36% of Gen Z said they feel more in control of their data now than they did last year, that slightly drops to 35% for millennials and plummets to 7% for baby boomers.
Most consumers don’t pay for news subscriptions—but sentiment varies by generation
Of those surveyed, 75% said they don’t currently pay a subscriber fee to access news content online, and 54% said they’d be unlikely to pay if a previously free platform put up a paywall. Still, an overwhelming 84% of those who do pay a subscriber fee feel that it’s fair based on the content they get access to.
The survey also showed that millennials are by far the most likely to pay for their online news—44% of that cohort pays, versus 30% of Gen Z, 23% of Gen X and 9% of baby boomers.
But if a news site switched to a subscription model, it’s Gen Z that’s most likely to pay the fee. More than half (52%) of Gen Z respondents said they’d pay a fee if a paywall went up on content they currently consume, while 32% of millennials, 27% of Gen X and just 6% of baby boomers would as well.
A narrow majority of consumers remain in favor of personalization
Over half (56%) of consumers surveyed reported that they want the news and content they get from platforms to be personalized based on their interests, tastes and online activity. An even higher majority (65%) said news and media platforms are doing a good job of personalizing content. But for the 28% who don’t want personalization, around half (49%) said it’s because they don’t want their online activity tracked.
Read the full story at Adweek.
Plus, toot toot goes Josh Groban's Bean Song
By JESS ZAFARRIS | Adweek | April 16, 2021
Last June, Budweiser released an aspirational ad showing its most adorable mascots—Clydesdales and their puppy friend—reuniting (responsibly) to the tune of “Don’t Stop Me Now.” Now the ad is running again, but this time their reunion has a more specific goal: to encourage people to get the vaccine—so they can grab a free beer. Watch the inspiring ad and learn how to redeem the offer.
- Related: This campaign from agency Hanson Dodge and Milwaukee health org HealthyMKE is going local, leveraging residents’ stories to encourage its community to “show up” for one another and encourage vaccines.
It may come as no surprise to those of us who have binged most of the shows on Netflix and Disney+ in the past few months that streaming is soaring while linear TV got slammed. But it’s not just the platforms that are growing amid this shift—the entire connected TV landscape, including advertising, has skyrocketed as cord-cutters give way to cord-nevers. At Mediaweek yesterday, leaders at Vizio and NBCUniversal explained how the shift has impacted advertisers. Find out how advertisers are “breaking legacy” and getting what they need out of this new connected TV landscape.
More from Mediaweek:
- The Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media (PRAM) is made up of trade orgs and companies across the industry. The ANA, IAB Tech Lab and Venable LLP’s Stu Ingis discussed PRAM’s work and what’s next for cookie alternatives as ad targeting shifts.
- Marketers are increasingly embracing strategies tied to customer acquisition, retention and more. Saleel Sathe, vp of performance marketing at Walmart dived into Walmart’s best practices to reach customers in organic, yet unexpected ways.
In a major restructuring, CBS is uniting the journalistic and businesses resources of CBS News and CBS Television Stations, and tapping Wendy McMahon and Neeraj Khemlani to jointly run it. The news comes after the surprise departure of McMahon from her role as president of ABC Owned Television Stations the day before, and after news that Susan Zirinsky would be stepping down as the CBS News chief. The restructure and leadership change seeks to shift CBS’ trajectory, repositioning it “for the future.”
Also in TV news:
- NBCUniversal had thus far held out on committing to a return to upfronts week, but yesterday the company said it’s joining the frayonce again. However, The CW will be sitting out the event for the second year in a row.
- Last week the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), which represents major networks, accused Nielsen of undercounting overall TV use. Now the organization is demanding a third-party audit to verify the measurement company’s accuracy.
Adweek worked with The Harris Poll to find out how brands and agencies are working together and how things have changed amid the pandemic. Proving ROI has long been the crux of agency-client relationships, but the pandemic has only exacerbated pressure to do so, with 48% of respondents saying they had a client terminate an agency over the past year and 45% saying they moved marketing in-house this past year. Discover more data.
More in agency news:
- Audrey Melofchik joins Wunderman Thompson as CEO, responsible for overseeing all of the agency’s operations in New York, including Wunderman Thompson Health.
- TBWA announced several changes in leadership for its New York offices, including the promotion of Nancy Reyes from president to CEO of TBWA\Chiat\Day New York.
- Rebecca Routs, formerly senior account director for Google initiatives at S4 Capital’s Firewood agency, has joined MDC Partners as its senior director for key client relationships.
Amazon Prime now has 200 million members, a significant leap over the 150 million Jeff Bezos said it had 15 months ago. Bezos announced this in his 24th and final shareholder letter yesterday, which is hefty and filled with news about the ecommerce giant. Here are our top three takeaways, including his thoughts on how employees are treated.
More Big Tech News: Google unveiled a new brand safety featurethat enables resource-strapped media buying teams to create “dynamic exclusion lists” that can be updated seamlessly and continuously over time.
Read the full story at Adweek.
Increasing expectations and hybrid living
By JESSICA HENRICHS & BEN KLAASSEN | Adweek | April 13, 2021
As Covid-19 vaccines roll out and restrictions are lifted, there’s a growing sense of optimism among consumers indicating a post-pandemic surge in spending.
Historically, an economic boom begins when a pandemic ends—and strong indicators show that this time around seems to be no different. Recently, Goldman Sachs upped their 2021 GDP growth estimate to a whopping 6.8% and the unemployment rate is expected to drop to 4.1% by December.
What do brands need to do to prepare? Here are five steps marketers should take to prepare for this boom.
Be ready to join the party
As we reemerge from Covid-19 seclusion and social gathering spaces become increasingly repopulated, a resurgence in brand experiences and out-of-home (OOH) advertising is likely to follow. Events, malls and movie theaters are a few places that come to mind for brands to play in. Brands can celebrate the return to these spaces with timely messaging or by bringing added value with digital utilities or experiences to help people get even more out of their return. As we travel and return to urban centers again, brands can invest in experiential activations that include additional layers of digital utility, entertainment or an IRL experience that ensures consumers share their memories. Brands that create magical experiences to build connections will reap the rewards.
Tap into the pent-up demand for travel
People have been longing for travel and just under half of Americans are planning a vacation this summer. Brands can find immense cultural relevancy by tapping into travel, especially outdoor experiences that are hugely in demand. Mountain Dew is a great example of a brand finding an adjacent role and avid community among new anglers and boaters who discovered these passions amid the pandemic. And even if there isn’t a direct connection to travel, brands can still appeal to the higher-order longing for freedom, fun and exploration. Like North Face’s fall campaign that encouraged consumers to reset their lives through exploration and the company is dedicating $7 million to initiatives that make the outdoors more inclusive.
Promote brand benefits for self-expression
As the restrictions enforcing isolation and small bubbles lift, we’ll remember self-expression through discovery and appearance. The things that make us feel good will be in high demand. Many new trends will emerge to reflect the identities that underwent a metamorphosis during lockdown. The fashion, footwear and cosmetics sectors are ready for a rebound as consumers spend money on personal style again. Adidas, for example, is bullish on growth over the next five years. Brands have an opportunity to connect with new consumers willing to experiment and to dial up targeted marketing to capture those dreaming of a new and improved versions of themselves.
Hybrid off- and online-living and the consumption of digital video and content will continue after the pandemic. According to a Harris Poll, digital has gone from the next generation to the only generation: Americans of many kinds are shopping, working and entertaining online. During Covid-19, appointment viewing continued to decline and smart marketers should rethink the user experience rather than dump all investment in these areas. Investing in digital video remains a smart way to go since viewership of connected TV is increasing. Streaming audio is growing too, with nearly 75% of all U.S. adults expected to be streaming audio in some way (podcasts, live terrestrial radio online, etc.) by 2025. Even when we’re on the go, traveling or otherwise away from home, those subscriptions and digital videos come with us wherever we go.
Increasing expectations on social issues
As the pandemic winds down, we’ll have the time, space and capacity to consider other important matters or social issues that may have taken a backseat, like the environment and sustainability. Brands should be prepared for increasing expectations (and scrutiny) from consumers on these issues. 2020 has confirmed that they could face backlash if they don’t but be rewarded if they do. Brands that take the time to develop a brand citizenship framework to address the issues that are important to their consumers will nurture credible advocacy and neutralize reputational threats that might arise.
Addressing these five areas of opportunity can set up brands to thrive during the Roaring 2020s. This time of great change should inspire a great reset for brands. Consumers have fundamentally changed, and they are not going back to pre-pandemic brand expectations. This is the time for brands to experiment and explore new ways to connect and engage with consumers as they re-emerge ready for new experiences.
Read the full story at Adweek.