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Changing habits in a Covid-19 world

by Victoria Tidmarsh Victoria Tidmarsh

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  • Posted on Tuesday 7th April, 2020

Apart from the fact I get an extra couple of hours on a morning without the commute, it’s safe to say that the current situation is lacking in positives. I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the office and seeing my colleagues in person like crazy! Who’d have thought it?

Lazy mornings aside, there have been a number of quite clear changes in our habits as consumers and just general human beings over the past two or three weeks – some as a consequence of the restrictions thrust upon us, some perhaps due to a new way of looking at the world. 

I know that I personally have changed my habits when it comes to food wastage and commitment to ‘healthier living’ considerably in this short time. All those ‘when I get more time’ moments have come back to bite me, but in a way I’m grateful for the opportunity to change my mindset. 

So, what has this time meant for marketing and how on earth do we navigate this new world? 

Naturally, we’ve all been spending a lot more time online – 90% more time to be precise, according to Virgin Media. A lot of that is of course spent scrolling through our numerous feeds, watching wannabe footballers try the #StayAtHome toilet roll challenge and seeing the photos of our friends we never thought would see the light of day in the ‘Until Tomorrow’ dare. For brands, it’s imperative to use the digital space well – everyone’s watching…literally. 

The rest of it by the look of things has been spent on, well, spending! According to Starling Bank, 61% of all spend was online last week, which isn’t that surprising given the circumstances. The objects we’re spending our money on is the interesting part, though – yes, a lot of it is groceries if you can manage to get a slot in the next 2 weeks, but search terms like ‘buy freezer’, ‘DIY supplies’ and ‘bedroom paint’ have seen huge spikes. 

It seems we’re also taking this time at home as an opportunity to learn something new. The range of ‘How To’ searches that have jumped up in the last few days is quite fun to keep a track of. I’m not sure about you, but the amount of banana bread I’ve seen on my social feeds lately is unprecedented.  

We’re learning how to make burgers, face masks, how to do yoga and use Zoom. People are going to come out of this with a whole new list of things to add to dating profiles, that’s for sure. Seriously though, there’s a big opportunity here for brands. If you’re relevant to what people are searching for, you better be making great content around it or you’re wasting a massive opportunity. Add this to the fact that #ad posts have seen a 76% uplift in engagement during isolation, and you’re onto a winner – you don’t even need to make the content yourselves! 

As an agency, for some of our clients it’s business as usual and for others, plans have changed. We’re rolling with the punches and in some ways, learning more about ourselves as a group of creatives. Challenges bring out the best in us, and we’re determined to make sure we help our clients come out of this in a strong position. 

If you’re a brand who’s not quite sure about the best approach in the current climate, or you want to make sure you’re well positioned to hit the ground running once things go back to ‘normal’, drop us a line at hello@hatchpr.co.uk.