Post-Pandemic Consumer Behavior Changes to Have Large Impact on Marketing Strategies

January 12, 2022
WARC Consumer Concerns Societal Topic Impact Marketing Strategies Jan2022

For the past two years, marketers have been trying to overcome challenges from customer behavior changes that have occurred because of the pandemic and resulting economic recession. With the end of the pandemic not immediately in sight, marketers continue to anticipate what kind of impact post-pandemic changes in customer behavior will have on their marketing strategy this year, per data from WARC.

Nearly all (97%) respondents to WARC’s 2022 Marketer’s Toolkit believe that post-pandemic changes in consumer behavior will have an impact on their marketing strategy in 2022, with almost three-quarters (73%) anticipating it will have a significant impact. The level of importance these changes in consumer behavior have on marketing strategy has not changed much from last year when a full 99% of marketers anticipated it would have an impact on their strategy.

In fact, it appears that post-pandemic consumer behavior will have the most significant impact on strategy compared to other societal topics and consumer concerns analyzed. For instance, about 9 in 10 (92% of) marketers anticipate that the impact of economic recession will be important in the development of their marketing strategy this year. However, only about half (49%) believe it will have a significant impact. The same can be said for concerns about the environment such as conscious consumption, sustainability and climate change. Only 48% feel this will have a significant impact on their marketing strategy, while an additional 44% anticipate it having some impact.

On the other hand, although many marketers believe that factors such as low-attention economy and brand safety issues (i.e. avoiding disinformation and hate speech) will have an impact on their marketing strategy, considerably fewer anticipate it having a significant impact.

Measuring Marketing Effectiveness

The pandemic has also had an impact on how brand marketers are measuring effectiveness. Per data from WARC, in 2020, many marketers were using metrics such as market share, ROI and sales to measure marketing effectiveness. However, in 2021 the most used metric was market penetration/customer gain. Some 54% report that this is one of the most important KPIs for measuring their marketing effectiveness, compared to 44% who said the same the year before. 

While fewer marketers consider metrics such as market share, ROI and sales to be important in measuring how well their efforts are going than did in 2020, these still rank high when it comes to measuring effectiveness. Indeed, research from Allocadia indicates that marketing organizations are measuring ROI fairly often, with the majority measuring it either monthly or quarterly.

As for isolating the impact of their marketing investments, the largest portion of brand marketers are using brand lift studies. While this is consistent with how marketers were isolating the impact of their marketing investment in 2020, there has been a noted increase in those who used marketing mix modeling in 2021 (42%), compared to those who used it in 2020 (35%). There has also been an increase in the number of marketers who say they use attribution modeling (34% in 2021 vs. 27% in 2020).

About the Data: Findings are based on WARC’s 2022 Marketer’s Toolkit.

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