Summer Spending & the Audio Boom

As restrictions begin to ease and a semblance of normal life returns this summer, the question begs how ‘normal’ will life really be. Are people raring to get back out there and live life to the max, or will caution prevail with people wary to step out of the safety of their lockdown routines?

While it’s impossible to predict how many of us will return to old spending patterns, and how many will remain cautious, early signs suggest there will likely be a splurge in spending this summer. A rise in April retail sales gave the first indication that people are itching to spend. With a further lifting of lockdown restrictions in May encouraging more Brits to shop and socialise, consumer spending rose again by 7.6% (compared with the same period in 2019).

So, where are people actually spending their money?

Evidently on outfits and beauty products – as post-lockdown socialising picks up there has been significant uplifts in clothing, pharmacy and health and beauty outlets. We’ve also seen uplifts in specialist retailers such as gift shops and jewellers, perhaps a sign that people are buying celebratory presents for the now allowed special occasions such as reunions, birthdays and weddings.

But of course, one of the biggest areas of growth we are likely to see is that in hospitality. American Express found that 7 in 10 of us are planning on doing more dining and drinking out now that pubs and bars are open once more. More than one in three (39%) said that eating and drinking out was what they were most looking forward to post-lockdown. We are also planning to play host too, with one in seven preparing to host friends and family more often than they did before the pandemic.

In all of this, the question for us as advertisers and marketers is how can brands most effectively capitalise on this growth in spend?

One thing we’ve learnt from the pandemic is that amidst disruptive times, consumers want clear information. While we know spending is set to splurge, it’s important for brands to remember that consumers will be navigating their way into a post-pandemic life and for many, they’ll be doing so with caution. Delivering informative ads in a clear environment will therefore remain vital.

Stats show us that audio ads are more than 2x as likely to lift purchase intent and information intent than display ads, with messaging feeling less like an interruption and more like content of its own.   The possibilities to build intimate, 1:1 connections with consumers through audio ads are endless, from native content to dynamic creative—all with 100% share of voice. This is only set to increase as we see a growth in headphones and connected devices providing more opportunities for marketers to engage with consumers and more ways to gain eartime.

Providing personal and context relevant messaging will also be important for marketers looking to connect with consumers post pandemic. Audio ads allow advertisers to reach listeners in previously unreachable moments, opening up an entirely new set of addressable instants. Such moments can include working out, washing up or even right before bed – audio allows us access to these intimate moments of a person’s day, providing the opportunity to deliver personalised and effective messaging that resonates.

Trust will be another important factor. In a recent Deloitte survey, nine out of ten Americans stated business transparency is more important today than ever before. People don’t want to interact with brands that are not truthful and transparent especially given the current circumstances. As such, being able to trust brands matters more to consumers than ever before and is a vital factor which affects their purchasing decisions. Brands can effectively build upon their relationship with consumers through podcast advertising. The trusted relationship formed between podcaster and listener is invaluable for marketers who are able to tap into this in the right way.

So, whether running in the trusted environment of a podcast or within contextually relevant music streaming sessions, what’s clear is that as we begin to navigate our way out of this pandemic, audio will be a vital part of advertisers’ strategies if they want to capitalise on the growth in spend we’re set to see this summer.

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