Advertising collapse due to Corona? Purchase intent-based advertising in response

Shopping planning apps offer good access when it comes to purchase intent-based advertising in a mobile context. The corona pandemic highlights the effectiveness of such formats.

The corona crisis has severely affected the advertising industry. In April alone, advertising spending fell by more than 20 percent, according to the ZAW, and the association is forecasting a decline of around 40 percent for 2020. TV, print, online: They all came and are coming under massive pressure from dramatically reduced advertising bookings. This was primarily a consequence of the economic uncertainty of many advertising companies. In many places, demand collapsed – for example due to the collapse of purchasing industries such as gastronomy and the closure of large parts of the retail sector. On the other hand, purchasing power and willingness to consume decreased – short-time working and the fear of unemployment made many consumers more cautious. Even if the worst seems to be over for now: The uncertainty remains great and the future is difficult to plan.

The consequence: companies remain reluctant to invest massive sums, which also affects advertising spending. At the same time, products need to be resold and consumers need to be encouraged to buy them. Classic advertising is often expensive and complex, but also necessary. This leads advertisers to look for alternatives. More targeted and more flexible platforms and formats were and are in demand. Cost-effective marketing that can be implemented quickly without wastage corresponds to the current needs.

Against the trend: Purchase intent-based advertising increases significantly during Corona

And so there are formats and channels that even grew during the crisis: Purchase intent-based advertising, for example. These are mostly app-based forms of advertising that appeal to the consumer in the context of the purchase decision. These were among the clear winners of the corona crisis. One example are purchasing planning apps such as Bring !, which offer branded companies and retailers a variety of native advertising formats in the context of purchasing planning. Formats such as sponsored products, which can be found just like “normal” articles and placed on the shopping list with one click, or recipes that include the advertised products cover different phases of purchasing planning. In this way, the brand remains present with the consumer.

The numbers are clear: the line items at Bring! increased significantly during the pandemic: in March alone they increased by 174 percent compared to the previous half-year. The significant growth continued in the following months with values ​​of up to 50 percent in each case.

The importance of purchasing planning has increased – and planning platforms are becoming more relevant

There are several reasons for this. On the one hand, the importance of purchasing planning has increased significantly during the pandemic. People go to the supermarket less often and therefore plan their purchases significantly more. Closed restaurants and increasingly scarce products reinforced the trend. Buying something spontaneously quickly became more difficult. All of this also had the effect of making purchasing planning tools even more important. Shopping planning apps have become an essential shopping companion for more and more people.

That also made it more attractive as an advertising platform. Because, especially in uncertain times, purchase intent-based advertising offers a number of advantages. On the one hand, it minimizes wastage because it reaches people who are currently planning what the advertising company wants: the purchase of everyday goods. The range may be significantly lower than with other channels, but the target group accuracy is many times higher. This was particularly useful for providers such as beverage manufacturers, who urgently and quickly had to compensate for huge holes in sales because their central customer suddenly disappeared with the catering trade.

Second advantage: Compared to other advertising formats, purchase intent-based advertising can be implemented much faster and more flexibly. While advertising was still running on television weeks after the start of the lockdown that had nothing to do with the new situation, the native ad campaigns could be quickly adapted to the new situation. In addition, the costs for such measures, coupled with reach and evaluation options, are often well below those of classic advertising formats. This, too, is an important consideration for many advertisers given the continued uncertain economic outlook.

An important addition to the marketing mix

But purchase intent-based advertising is not only a useful part of the marketing mix in times of crisis. It generally closes a major gap: traditional advertising on television, radio or print usually reaches consumers before they have made a purchase decision. It can give and inspire ideas, but runs the risk of being forgotten again during the purchase decision. Point-of-sale marketing, on the other hand, addresses the customer when the purchase has already been planned and, at best, can trigger additional impulse purchases or set a reminder.

Purchase intent-based advertising, on the other hand, reaches the consumer at exactly the right moment, namely while planning the purchase. And that in all of its phases: From the inspiration of what to cook for the next few days to the creation of the shopping list. It thus forms a central element that can ensure that the ideas from TV advertising or Pinterest are also implemented. It functions as a reminder or amplifier of previous advertising messages, for example, but also as an independent inspiration. Combined with the low costs and the more flexible implementation, it complements other forms of advertising and allows addressing in a moment that others cannot reach.

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