June 30, 2022

Written by Mark Smith

Consumer Behavior Underscores the Value of Analytics

How does an advertiser reach consumers this summer?

On the one hand, consumers say they are living more frugally amid inflation. More than half of consumers surveyed by Numerator said that inflation and high gas prices are affecting how they celebrate major holidays such as July 4. Many are scaling back their spending. They say they’re eating out less, spending less money on decorations and fireworks, and spending less on food for holiday cookouts.

But on the other hand, consumers are opening up their pocketbooks on expensive choices such as summer travel. Airports are overwhelmed with people traveling all over the world. People have been so tired of being cooped up during the pandemic that “revenge travel” is a phenomenon in the summer of 2022, even as the cost of flying has increased.

In fact, as The Wall Street Journal reports, there’s been a surge in travel, concert going, and entertainment throughout the year as pandemic restrictions ease and people continue to get vaccinated, which makes them more confident to be in crowded spaces such as concerts.

A paradox has emerged: consumers are reluctant to spend money in some areas but are happy to do so in others.

Mind Your Analytics

For advertisers, the shifting sands of consumer behavior suggest that they need to pay very close attention to analytics. Data-driven decisions have never been more essential. For instance, search behavior is even more important than ever. Google Search has always been a barometer of consumer purchase intent, and it continues to be. For instance, in the days leading up to July 4 as I wrote this post, Google said that searches for inflatable tent houses and water balloon launchers were trending alongside affordable sports bras, suggesting an interest in affordable, at-home fun and fitness during the holidays.

In addition, your own mileage may vary depending on the type of consumer you are interested in. For example, the Numerator survey indicates that younger generations are more likely to spend more during holiday events, which makes sense: younger generations in general are more willing to spend money on experiences instead of material things.

Analytics do not exist in a vacuum. They need to be applied across a variety of formats – say, text-based ads versus video – and platforms (ranging from Google to Amazon to Pinterest) depending on where your customers spend their time and how they spend their time (e.g., doing searches with intent to buy versus more casual searches for ideas that may or may not be related to a purchase).

To cite one example: recently one of our clients experienced a challenge: its share of branded search was dropping. The client, a photo curating and sharing company, naturally wanted to improve. So, we launched a video-based awareness campaign that spanned display, YouTube, Google Display Network, connected TV, Yahoo Online Video, Facebook, and Yahoo Display. Our focus: mobile and connected TV. We also ensured that YouTube ads could target connected TV screens.

We tested different video ad formats with a large audience (women aged 25-54) with the purpose of hitting as many eyes as possible. That’s because the brand’s low levels of search volume told us that it lacked brand awareness more broadly. Targeting an audience would have been premature. Analytics helped us manage a successful campaign while keeping CPMs down. (Read more about that project here.)

We recommend advertisers take an agile approach with analytics, constantly testing and learning from consumer behaviors as they change quickly in response to important variables such as inflation. In addition, manage your analytics closely. As widely reported, by July 2023, Google Analytics 4 will replace the current version of the popular web analytics service, known as Universal Analytics (UA), and advertisers need to prepare now.

Contact True Interactive

At True Interactive, we manage our clients’ campaigns with a robust knowledge of analytics (as discussed here). We interpret the story that numbers tell. We happily work tirelessly to centralize, aggregate, segment and analyze your data, ultimately sharing insights with you in these ways. contact us to learn more.

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/YNaSz-E7Qss