UK: What agency leaders are learning about navigating the post-pandemic world
May 18th, 2022, Hoang Nguyen

UK: What agency leaders are learning about navigating the post-pandemic world

In YouGov's recent panel discussion on agency and media trends, we had the opportunity to interview leaders from Yahoo, Channel 4 and Havas Media to find out how they are navigating the ever-evolving media landscape.

Hosted by Jules Newby, Global Sector Head for Agencies and Media at YouGov, the webinar drew on key insights from YouGov’s Global Media Outlook Report 2022 to discuss the state of media consumption habits and their impact on agency planning in the post-pandemic world.

Our panel of experts featured Carina Moran, Head of Strategy Yahoo UK, Dan Hagen, Global Head of Media Experiences at Havas Media, and Martin Greenbank, Head of Advertising Research & Development at Channel 4. Let’s look at some key perspectives from around the industry.

The dance between reactive and proactive marketing

Marketing hasn’t been easy over the last two years and, in many cases, the brands that managed to stay nimble and adapt to change benefited most from growth in new opportunities.

Entering a post-COVID-19 world, it’s still important to respect the potential for change and need for adaptability but as Carina Moran puts it, “we’re starting to see a levelling out of media consumption behaviours and can now plan for the future more going forward.”

Data from YouGov’s latest media report shows that consumers who engaged with a media channel last year will likely stick with their consumption of said media type in the next 12 months.

Looking specifically at the consumption habits of British adults over the past year, digital media and non-linear TV dominated consumer attention. A majority of Britons say they have either maintained or increased their engagement with websites or apps (92%), catch up/video-on-demand (82%) and streaming video (72%) over the course of 2021.

We also measured the “stickiness” of each media behaviour to gauge future intent to engage with them and help enable marketers' long-term planning models. Notably, a few new behaviours register high levels of “stickiness” and will likely stay around in the next 12 months.

For example, of those who increased or maintained their engagement with radio listening in the last year, an overwhelming 94% say they plan to listen more often or at the same level in 2022.

And while it’s no surprise that visiting websites or apps will stay around this year (91%), streaming music (91%), reading print (90%), and listening to podcasts (90%) are some of the “stickiest” media activities among those who engaged with them last year.

Still—headwinds in 2022 will breed uncertainty for consumers

As we emerge from the waning pandemic and economic recovery seemed to be in store for the year, two recent developments in the world may impact attempts to plan in the long term.

Speaking on the effects of the war in Ukraine and rising inflation in many areas of Europe, Dan Hagen from Havas says he believes these events ”will dampen consumer spending which usually will knock on into our industry”.

We’ve written extensively on how consumers view brand involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, how they perceive changes in the cost of goods and how consumer confidence has been affected in recent months. Read the full stories here:

Identifying the context behind consumer engagement with media can bridge the now and later

Situations will continue to unfold and affect consumers as they come. It’s the job of marketers to maintain brands’ roles in peoples’ lives despite these changes - and one way to do so is to stay close to the context driving consumer behaviours.

“The one thing we know from the [YouGov Global Media Outlook 2022] report is we’re consuming a lot of content and we want to continue consuming content, that’s not going to change,” says Carina Moran. “Understanding what it is it that really drives consumers to certain platforms, what it is they want when they get there, and when they’re engaging can help us keep a pulse on audiences and potentially take these insights into different channels.”

She references the surge in podcast listenership and the genres people want to hear more about as an example of getting the context right behind audience measurement and providing more value to consumers.

Roughly two in five British adults say they increased or maintained their level of podcast listening throughout 2021. In 2022, podcast listening is expected to be one of the “stickiest” media behaviours around, with 90% of Britons who maintained or increased their engagement with podcasts saying they will continue to do over the course of the next 12 months.

Among British adults who listen to podcasts on a weekly basis, two in five say they want to see more comedy-related podcasts (41%). Roughly a third of this audience also say they would be interested in seeing more interesting podcasts in the history (36%), news/politics (34%) and science (31%) genres.

Watch the free webinar for more insights into the challenges and opportunities in store for the agency industry. You can expect to uncover our experts’ opinions on the following topics:

  • Breaking perceptions around media planning for traditional and digital channels
  • The future of audience measurement with data privacy changes
  • Providing value for both clients and consumers during an inflection point for the industry
  • The possible consolidation and merging of major media companies

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