According to Kantar’s newly released Media Trends and Predictions 2021 report, audience behaviours will be more complex and difficult to decipher than ever in the coming year.

While consumer confidence and ad spending declined during 2020, in-home media consumption grew, as a decade of media evolution took place in a few short months. Boomerang subscribers will migrate between video-on-demand platforms and subscription services, increasing the need to understand and monetise the total audience.

The report noted that influencer-based content will become an increasingly important feature of the advertising landscape, while e-commerce capabilities will seamlessly integrate with social media to deliver a tangible and immediate revenue stream.

Pablo Gomez, media domain leader for Kantar’s Insights division in Asia Pacific, described 2020 as “a very challenging year” for the media and advertising industry.

“Nobody could anticipate or predict what was going to happen. During COVID-19, 93 million households in the Asia Pacific region bought FMCG products through e-commerce for the first time,” he said. “E-commerce is now a reality in our region.”

As a result, e-commerce will be more at the centre of the media strategy in the Asia Pacific region. Consumers will also view more influencer-based content than before, which in turn will lead to the seamless integration between e-commerce and social media to deliver a tangible and immediate revenue stream.

Gomez said that understanding consumer behaviours in the region will be more complex in an environment in constant flux and it is now more important than ever to look at the future and see what brands can expect in 2021.

“The storm is far from over, there are still very challenging times ahead in our region, but also enormous opportunities for those who are bold enough to embrace them,” he added.

In addition, other habits thought long consigned to history will experience a resurgence: for example, as viewers reprioritise the importance of family relationships, the TV will once again become the gathering point for shared social time – even as the sources of content grow.

The expectation of quickly adapting to new consumer behaviours is also highlighted in separate research from WARC's Marketer's Toolkit, which states that almost three-quarters (74%) of marketers believe the effect of COVID-19 on consumer behaviour will have a significant impact on their marketing strategy for 2021.

In response, advertisers, media owners and social platforms will have to re-evaluate how media strategies are formulated. Ensuring that a brand remains relevant while generating demand will necessitate a new level of data-driven marketing. A purposeful data strategy for owned data within the organisation will require integration with reliable and validated external data sources.

To maximise restricted budgets, Kantar believes analytics will be infused through all aspects of marketing and campaign management, from creative and media mix optimisation to broader elements like channel strategies and innovation plans. Brands will need to adapt quickly to hybrid methods of ad effectiveness measurement and ROI.

In addition, brands will move up a gear in understanding how activism plays into brand strength; their purpose and beliefs will be illustrated in their specific media choices as well creative strategies, and a greater importance will be placed on the context of where ads appear and how they are optimised for those environments.

Sourced from Kantar