New research by Forrester for Microsoft finds that working at home changes everything for people, and businesses have been slow to adapt to this change.
Forrester's global online survey of 5,329 employed adults who had made online purchases in the previous 6 months found:
- At the beginning of the pandemic, many consumers (68% of survey respondents) and their partners and children found themselves at home most of the time.
- Work, school, shopping and services all shifted online.
- After two years, these new behaviors have become routine, and many consumers (48% of survey respondents) now prefer online services, ordering and delivery.
- 60% of consumers surveyed said they now typically mix work and personal tasks while working at home, and consider them equally important.
In a second survey of 1,301 marketing and advertising decisionmakers Forrester found:
- The surge in demand for online goods, services and delivery overwhelmed businesses.
- 50% of marketing/advertising executives rated their brand as "intermediate," and 7% as "novice," in using the right mix of digital advertising for each target consumer persona.
Changes brands said they intend to make in the next 12 months include:
- Increase to an average of 70% (from 58% pre-pandemic) budget for digital channels including search, social, online video and display advertising - mentioned by 60%
- Increase paid search advertising spend by more than 10% - mentioned by 16%
- Advertise on 3 or more search engines - mentioned by 88%
What Forrester recommends:
- "Brands must consider more nuanced cues such as working mode (e.g., desk-based or frontline, office-based or remote), mindset, activity, and emotion to understand and target workday consumers."
- "Use existing demographic and digital-behavior analytics to deduce these cues and employ methods such as self-reported studies, observational studies, location tracking, and time-of-day data."
- "Beyond planning for the workday consumer, develop other nuanced target personas by infusing emotion data into personas. Understand the facets of emotions including feelings, neurophysiology, social-expression, and behaviors along with the observable traits for each and the software that can help measure them."
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