Opinion: Is your brand talking where consumers are shopping?

The author looks at a new audience category and explains how marketers can target these consumers

Nov 01, 2020 06:36:00 AM | Article | Arjun Kolady

We already know this festive season is going to be different. People will skip that trip to the mall,
and those neighborhood card parties. Grandparents will be hugged on zoom, and gifts will be
sent via resolute and brave delivery partners. The pandemic has accelerated the digital shift, and
changed consumer behaviours overnight. After a challenging first half of the year, brands are
looking to the next few months as an opportunity to rebuild relationships with their consumers,
and to bring business results back on track. They have to consider the new behaviours that exist
today, and find more meaningful ways to communicate with the audience.
A new audience is waiting
Traditionally, brands reached their consumers through different mediums through the day. The
morning started with print media, moved to radio and outdoor during commutes, and then to
snackable digital time when people would check their social media feed, or read the news in the
office or at home. Evenings and nights created opportunities on TV, while weekends may have
been for on ground marketing.
This has now been upended. There is a whole new audience - the at-home audience. The routines for this audience are different, and brands have to design campaigns based on the new ways of media consumption that come with these routines. Is your consumer browsing their feed in the early afternoon today, or cooking a meal? Is a homemaker watching TV in the afternoon, or working out when they find the time? What role does radio play if people are not commuting as much as they used to?
How does a marketer navigate these new routines?
Always on
People are listening to audio all the time, often soundtracking their lives. Music is a large part of
this consumption, and Indian consumers spend 19 hours per week doing so on digital audio
platforms (IFPI Digital Music Report 2019). And, of these billions of minutes spent on digital audio
every month in India, listeners can’t be reached through visual media for 80% of the time.
The audio listening becomes even more relevant during the festive season, as families spen more time together. A study shows an increase in the duration of listening sessions at this time as audio complements celebrations, and across multiple devices. In fact, data highlights that smart speaker streams increased 76% globally during last year’s festive season (October-December). TV streams surged 41% during the same timeframe.
In short, cutting across devices and platforms, audio presents a relevant opportunity for brands to be ‘always-on’ for, and with their audiences, no matter what they are doing.
Context matters
As people spend more time online, they seek personalized and relevant content. They understand
that ads are a part of the package, but want them to be more timely, meaningful, and tailored.
Take for instance, how the young Indian thinks. A recent Spotify report showed that 93% of Indian Zs and millennials believe brands need to bring genuine value to our society, and not just sell products. This is an opportunity for companies to create and deliver a message relevant for this audience.
With the onset of festive cheer, consumers will look to break away from their usual routines and screens. So, right from shopping to cooking delectable delights for an evening snack, and from setting up their home decor to freshen things up, there are many contextually rich opportunities that advertisers will have access to as listeners tune into audio.
For instance, a fashion brand can create sequential audio ads for relevant moments such as getting ready, dining, and working out, and deliver festive offers that tie-in with the listener’s streaming habits across shopping, cooking/ household chores, and celebrating, respectively.
This opportunity to hyper contextualise ads to moods and moments takes the metrics for success beyond just reach, to impactful engagement by going beyond primary data related to age, gender, location, and device type, to really owning a moment.
Content matters
Did you know our brains process audio 22x faster than visuals? It’s no wonder then that people
immerse themselves in music that reflects their state of mind at any given moment. These are the
moments when they experience a higher emotional connection with everything they listen to.
That’s why audio knows no boundaries when it comes to storytelling. With real-time dynamic audio, brands can create and personalise sensory experiences to tell stories and motivate listeners to take action in the moment. And the festive season holds more promise than just that. Brands can pick from celebrity takeovers, scannables, digital microsite experiences, homepage animations, and even 3D audio experiences, each of which will impact the consumer in a different way, ultimately building connection with the brand.
Just as in movies and shows, audio is also the soundtrack for people in real life, and its immersive
nature ensures that brands relevantly and seamlessly journey with users across their moments.
This year, the party’s at home, so where you at?
The author is head of sales, Spotify India.