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GroupM, Facebook launch media playbook for advertisers, marketers to adapt to change in consumer behaviour due to Covid-19

The ‘Turn The Tide’ media playbook offers a perspective on the evolving consumer and media landscape, and recommends media strategies that businesses can deploy to drive efficient outcomes

GroupM and Facebook have come together to launch a media playbook for advertisers and marketers to adapt to the dramatic change in consumer behaviour as a result of Covid-19.

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The ‘Turn The Tide’ media playbook offers a perspective on the evolving consumer and media landscape, and recommends media strategies that businesses can deploy to drive efficient outcomes. 

A recent consumer behaviour study by Facebook and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) identified three key consumer shifts since the pandemic began; Reversal of past trends such as bringing outside experiences in-home through digital as well as the increasing value-consciousness among people; Acceleration of on-going trends such as the significantly increased mobile and digital influence in every aspect of life; And lastly, formation of new habits such as do-it-yourself (DIY) as well as greater focus on health and hygiene.

Of these, the acceleration in digital adoption will be the most structural and long-lasting. The Media Playbook is built to cater to these key consumer behaviour shifts, and calls out four pillars for businesses to deliver efficient business outcomes in the new normal:

*Embracing the full spectrum of consumer segmentation that is pivoted to business outcomes such as hyperlocal strategies.

*Mastering the full funnel of performance marketing especially with the increasing direct-to-consumer penetration. 

*Integrating innovations with business outcomes and building virtual experiences to simulate product touch-and-feel, for instance through Augmented Reality (AR) and interactive ads.

*Delivering on the right media mix by realigning media mix models based on the current reality of digital acceleration.

Tushar Vyas, President Growth and Transformation, GroupM South Asia, said, “Over the years while working with the Facebook team, we have realised the need to constantly help and educate brands and marketers on how to navigate various tricky situations when advertising. We are very proud to have partnered with Facebook and to introduce a robust playbook that will help brands and businesses rethink efficient ways to connect and strengthen the relationship with customers in the new normal. The pandemic has seen consumers switch their actions right from the way they shop, socialise and work, causing brands and businesses to repurpose their strategies. In such times, brands need to cautiously redesign their business models and with the new playbook we wish to help them take advantage of performance marketing and focus on hyper-localisation to drive sales.”

Sandeep Bhushan, Director and Head, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook India, said, “With the drastic alteration in media consumption, businesses need to understand truly incremental outcomes by platform as well as cross-platform efficiency. Irrespective of whether they operate online or offline, businesses need to bring alive digital experiences to connect with customers in their context. A significant digital acceleration has happened on the back of social media, and with 400M+ Indians connected on the Facebook family of apps in India, we play a consequential role in the consumer journey. Continuing our commitment to enabling growth for businesses both large and small, the Media Playbook outlines the opportunities that businesses need to embrace in order to deliver efficient outcomes in the new normal.”

Key media strategies to help businesses deliver efficient outcomes based on the four pillars:   

Embracing the full spectrum of consumer segmentation: The changing consumer landscape has shown that hyperlocal strategies for targeting and communication have become critical. With the evolution of smart shoppers and a value-conscious mindset, robust consumer segmentation has become crucial for business impact. There is a need for brands to identify audience segments relevant to their business. Facebook helps businesses connect with consumers where they are, and build an advanced hyperlocal journey resulting in more effective campaigns.

Mastering the full funnel of performance marketing: Businesses are increasingly moving from offline to online. According to the Facebook-BCG study, e-commerce adoption has accelerated by 2-3 years and there is an urgent need to embrace performance marketing strategies to make the online adoption efficient and effective. In times of physical distancing, it’s essential to stay in touch with the customer and continuously eliminate friction in the path-to-purchase. Consequently, conversational marketing digital solutions driven by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and digital CRM tools can prove to be effective to engage the consumer with a value-driven outreach.


Integrating innovations with business outcomes: As consumer experiences shift from offline to online, businesses need to also build engaging virtual experiences that are interactive, immersive, and involving, and simulate the product touch-and-feel elements. Interactive ad formats such as Playable Ads and augmented reality (AR) ads can increase favourability and conversion rates. Influencers can also play a key role in these times because of the constraints of physical, in-person, content creation. They also lend an authentic voice to the brand. With branded content ads on Facebook and Instagram, businesses have the ability to promote creators' organic branded content posts as feed and stories ads, thereby reaching new audiences and leading to measurable impact. 


Realigning media mix models: The Facebook-BCG report revealed that digital influence in urban consumers has risen significantly, up to ~70% for some categories. Irrespective of whether consumers are making the final purchase offline or online, they are engaging with brands on their smartphones. This makes it imperative for businesses to relook at media mix models to drive growth. It underlines the immediate need for industry-leading digital measurement standards such as custom mix modelling (CMM) developed by Nielsen, as well as other cross media and brand lift studies. 

The GroupM-Facebook partnership will include webinars to help scale media practitioners, enabling them to build for the new normal and turn the tide. 

GroupM India is a data-centric, digitally charged marketing services conglomerate. With six agencies, including Wavemaker, MediaCom, Mindshare, mSix, Motivator, Essence, and speciality services, GroupM India gives clients the advantage of global operation and learnings, along with local expertise and market insight. With investment in data, technology and diverse talent, GroupM India aims to shape the future and transform challenges into opportunities for our clients.


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