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Throwing advertising tradition out of the window!

Author: Catherine Titherington, Business Development Manager (Brands) at Eagle Eye Solutions.

The UK advertising market is expected to decline by 7.5% in 2020, driven predominantly by the impending effects of Brexit, a lack of sporting events and consumers’ need to stay home during Covid-19 lockdowns.

This has led to advertisers’ reluctance to spend on above-the-line brand awareness advertising, an uncertain market and limitations around purchasing opportunities in the On-Trade market. Meanwhile, GroupM predicts total US ad spend will decline by 13% in 2020. Although political election advertising may boost this by £3bn, resulting in a potential drop of just 8%.

With most of us restricted to our homes, it’s not surprising that some brands have upped their digital ad spend in recent months, with some great results. It’s become an increasing area of focus, offering the most realistic and cost-effective approach to identify, drive footfall and engagement with consumers, especially when using geotargeted activity around brick-and-mortar stores. One recent campaign we ran for Coca-Cola through ASDA resulted in a huge 69% issuance-to-redemption rate on a unique coupon for a free 500ml bottle of Coke. This generated over 10,000 leads, bringing the brand closer to the consumer. For reference, typical ‘coupon at till’ redemption rates would be 2-5%!

Digital targeting reflects the change in consumers’ spending habits and, with a likely 13% increase year-on-year, this is set to grow. Eagle Eye benchmarks all the Brand campaigns its runs and generally has an idea of average issuance-to-redemption rates for coupon campaigns. However, the pandemic has impacted these campaigns and the “new normal” far from the “old normal” for brands.

Responding to changing consumer habits

Lockdown saw an emphasis on in-home activities and entertainment – alongside drinking alcohol at home, DIY, gardening, eating in and home security. Consumers have turned more and more to their mobile devices during the pandemic to communicate with friends and family, for work at home calls and to fill their time and gaps in the day by scrolling through social channels.  

This shift in consumer behaviour has dramatically impacted the way they are shopping across the board – they are treating online retail opportunities like they treat their social media feed. Therefore, making sure your digital ads stand out is crucial. But it’s still a fine balance for advertisers. One of Eagle Eye’s media tech partners Automated Creative, give the brands we work with the opportunity to test and trial multiple messages and creative in real time while monitoring activations instore, for example.

These learnings enable brands to quickly evaluate what works and what doesn’t, to make the campaign even more effective moving forward. Also, while a sense of normality may be returning, it’s still important for brands to ensure they don’t come across as capitalising on the current situation, and that the messaging reflects the current sensitive, fluid and changing climate.

As the use of digital advertising continues to rise, the challenge for advertisers is to identify where to focus their spend, optimise in real time, maximise reach and scalability and include a clear call to action to ensure that a campaign fully resonates and engages with its different target audiences. GladCloud, another Eagle Eye partner, enables brands to quickly scale ads across merchant-owned social media channels giving consistency of message.

By enabling our partners to “plug” into the Eagle Eye Air platform, instore redemptions can be monitored in real time and certain media channels can be either dialled up or down, according to the consumer response to ensure there is no wasted media spend. These are challenging times for media owners and brands alike. However, by careful monitoring of offline activity and ensuring there are no “dead ends” for consumers, there is an opportunity to reap the long-term rewards of digital investment today.

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