ADA Chief of Agency and COO Anurag Gupta, discusses marketers and messaging as they work to balance sales and sensitivity in advertising during the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to ADA COO Anurag Gupta, at a time like this, with so much content consumption out there, the danger of going dark is that your brand will risk being absolutely forgotten – during and after the outbreak.
“By understanding the different personas and customising your messaging, brands will be empowered to be relevant to all. So be creative, dig deeper and find the right messaging,” says Gupta.
To this end, for marketers and brands attempting to engage their audience, Gupta says there is no one answer to how consumer behavior has changed since the COVID-19 outbreak. Different people react in different ways, and general observations are no longer actionable.
ADA Director of Product and Client Solutions JS Cardinal agrees. He says brands are still stuck with old patterns of using demographics to segment their target audience, but the truth is that people are more complex than that.
“Consumers have multiple lifestyles, interests, priorities and affluences. That’s why we don’t include demographics in our personas. These are people who are going through and dealing with this crisis in different ways, regardless of their age, gender, race or status,” says Cardinal.
To help brands strike the right balance between sensibilities, selling and sensitivity, ADA clustered consumers together into nine personas, grouping them according to how the crises has impacted them and how they are coping in response to it.
According to ADA, the following personas may help provide marketers with insights into how they can better engage with their audiences:
The Market Observer
Increase in the use of financial apps during weekdays. 225,000 of this segment are based in Singapore.
The Adaptive Shopper
Concerned about being able to continue shopping, people are now looking at digital marketplaces. With 735,000 based in Indonesia, apps such as Carousell and Lazada are seeing an increase in downloads and usage.
The Social Citizen
Increase in the use of social and news apps to gather information and create a new normal. With 5 million users based in the Philippines, these group of people are in a different mental space, so marketers would have to break their messages apart to become more relevant.
The Bored Homebody
Those who are self-quarantined or isolated are trying to get through this using more entertainment apps. This is seen by 3.2 million people based in Malaysia.
The Sad & Confused
On the opposite side of the spectrum, some have decreased their usage of entertainment apps, and are physically and digitally inactive. 7.5 million people of this segment are based in Thailand.
The Health Nut
Of course, we are seeing people who prioritise their physical and mental health during the crisis. 80,000 of this segment are based in the Philippines.
The Home Fitness Freak
Going beyond health, there are people who want to come back from this situation strong and in shape. 185,000 are located in the Philippines as well.
The Resilient One
Different from the rest, there are some who have not changed their digital habits much. While they wait out for the situation to clear, their frame of mind has not shifted and we’re seeing that in 450,000 of people based in Singapore.
The WFH Professional
These group of people are using more productivity apps as they shift to work-from-home (WFH) arrangements, which include your screen recorders, WiFi finders and camera-to-PDF scanners among others. 750,000 people of this segment are based in Indonesia.
(Ed. ADA says the above personas identified are profiles across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. For more information, you can download ADAs persona chart here. ADA says its business is anchored on four main services and powered by deep data assets of 375 million unique profiles, 400,000 monthly apps, and 1 million places of interest.)