By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — First things first: I MISS LAS VEGAS, although I often came home from the Consumer Electronics Show with a cold, after riding packed convention shuttle buses with a 150,000 other sets-of-germs from 100+ countries. So with COVID now surging after so much ill-advised holiday travel, I’m OK with virtual.
Another silver lining to the online version: more access. Rather than settling for which-of concurrent sessions to cover – and darting from one end of the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center to the other between sessions – I appreciate well-organized live streams and on-demand replays. As media, you can register at CES.tech. ICYMI in yesterday’s column: How nimble manufacturers are tuning-into our listeners’ needs during the pandemic: https://www.talkers.com/2021/01/12/ces2021-finally-you-can-attend/
“Eat, Drink, Play, Pay: Will We Ever be the Same?”
This session alone would have been worth the trip. Data from a recent Harris Poll/MasterCard joint study about the pandemic shutdown’s impact on commerce spots four trends that on-air content should address and our advertisers’ messages should exploit:
- “The Touchless Revolution:” The no-contact lifestyle has become increasingly prevalent; and consumers are willing to switch to brands that offer safer experiences.
- 73% of North Americans believe that COVID will change the way we shop forever.
- People are spending in an average of 5 more categories online, behavior that cuts across all generations.
- 64% surveyed: “COVID has shown me how easy it is to shop online.”
- 43% are making fewer trips to the store, many are stocking-up each time.
- 74% of them plan to continue this behavior post-pandemic.
- 8-in-10 say they never want to sign for charge purchases again.
- “Cash is the biggest loser. People don’t want to touch it anymore.” ATM use is down.
- Retail opportunity: Touchless transaction AND the human touch in service.
- “The Betterment Boom” has provoked “a national conversation about mental health and wellness.”
- 67% have experienced shutdown-related stress this past year.
- 82% of teens: It’s important that we have a conversation about mental health and wellness, “breaking the taboos around therapy and counseling.”
- 22% who have been housebound are taking-on home renovation projects.
- And “personal renovation” is underway: 42% plan to be more physically active and 31% have changed career paths or are contemplating.
- Online classes are exploding. Fender’s free guitar lessons are up 500%.
- Health & Wellness was already a $4 trillion category before COVID, expect growth.
- “The Rise of Revenge Spending:” Think ice cream, pizza, chocolate, booze.
- “The biggest enemy of spending has been savings;” and 51% of Americans have been saving during the shutdown. Expect “a rise in peoples’ intent-to-purchase due to inability to be able to do so…a savings dam that’s about to burst.”
- 55% want to go to sporting events again.
- 52% want to go to movies on opening weekend again.
- 46% miss air travel. #1 splurge purchase desired by North Americans is travel.
- Sellers: “Signal that these purchases are safe.”
- Marketers: “People are excited to pre-plan this spend,” so pitch NOW.
4. “The Un-Calendared Year,” As sports seasons and other perennial benchmarks were scotched.:
- 32% say they’ll postpone seasonal celebrations. “Maybe we’re going to have weddings in February, graduation parties in the Fall.”
- 34% say they “don’t know when this will end.”
- 70% are considering a “work-cation,” simply going somewhere else for a month, since many are already working remotely. AirBNB 20+ day rentals are popular.
- “Don’t think in conventional timelines. Marketers have to be agile.”
Radio: Still thinking “morning drive?”
Business-as-usual is no longer a business. Want listeners for your program? Get with theirs.
- What you offer needs to speak to the mindset this data fleshes-out.
- What our advertisers offer will sell if they hear the assurances and solutions described.
Holland Cooke is the author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books (click the banner on this page). He is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. And HC hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America. Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke