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The key consumer clusters for a post-Covid world - and how to reach them

By Press release - MiQ

9 December 2020 4min read

By Press release - MiQ

9 December 2020 4min read

Behaviours that changed during Covid lockdowns have stuck, according to a new report by MiQ.

The firm, which has a partnership with SambaTV, looked at activity before and after the beginning of social distancing measures in early 2020 and compared them to post-lockdown activity, tracking what has changed.

It tracked analysed data from people's computers and laptops, mobiles and gaming consoles to produce How Covid Changed the ANZ Consumer - which segments people into groups based on their new behaviours and similarities.


Key trends

Online hits new heights: More time at home, more time online. As well as increased e-commerce, online education became a priority for millions of Australians and NewZealanders, and interest in health topics surged.

TV viewing soars: Through MiQ's partnership with SambaTV, the report revealed a marked increase in TV viewing during the early days of the pandemic, particularly following the first spike of cases in May.

Viewership was particularly high during the early morning, late fringe, and overnight day parts, though consumers returned to a more primetime-heavy viewing schedule as lockdown restrictions were eased in June and July.

Viewing preferences varied by the consumer, as specific entertainment categories were more likely to dominate some interests more than others.


New consumers and evolved behaviours

Ultimately the report uncovered several new "clusters" of Australian and NZ consumers. 

The clusters were then broken up into three key sections - who are they, what Covid changed for them and how can they be reached.

Category one - Self Improvers:

Who are they?

Self-improvers are people who spent their time learning new skills, picking up new hobbies, and educating themselves along new paths.

What changed?

Self-Improvers showed an immediate and significant interest in educational content in the early days of the pandemic, with a focus on technology and job skill training in Australia and New Zealanders showing a particular interest in continuing and secondary education.

Interest in children's education also spiked, though the consumers interested in those topics were primarily parents looking for ways to keep their children from falling behind during school closures.

How to reach them?

The majority of professionals who engaged with online learning content during Covid were working from home with extra time on their hands.

On average, only 29% of the professionals who engage in e-learning courses are frontline or essential workers and, as such, required to go to work.

Advertisers looking to segment their audiences in a more nuanced fashion than by simple employment status or income may find this to be a stronger factor with more predictive power when it comes to driving campaign success.

Because of their focus on education over entertainment, self-improvers don’t watch as much television as other groups, and when they do they prefer educational and nonfiction content.

More than one third watch documentaries and educational content (34%) while a fifth watch the news on a regular basis.


Category two - Accelerated online shoppers:

Who are they?

The pandemic pushed many people from buying some goods online to buying most or all of their goods online, particularly older consumers, many of whom made their first forays into online shopping, and for whom the rubicon has now been irreversibly crossed.

What changed?

Consumers in this category saw a more significant increase in online shopping category than any other cluster, with a 12% increase from pre-pandemic levels.

Consumers in this group account for 73% of online shoppers and made a point of buying more than just essentials online.

For younger consumers in this group, online shopping increased sharply and, for older consumers, it happened for the first time or began to really take off.

Both are groups whose interest in online shopping has remained higher than pre-pandemic levels and is likely to remain high in the future.

How to reach them

Accelerated online shoppers are also interested in finance. They make up 70% of ANZ consumers who have shown an interest in financial news and information online, spending an average of 14 minutes per day reading content on finance and business sites.

When it comes to content, 40% watch content on shopping and lifestyle networks, though they have varied interests otherwise.


Category three - Fitness Minded:

Who are they?

Consumers in this cluster took up fitness and cooking as their major points of interest, looking at how to eat right and exercise.

On the whole, fitness-minded consumers skew male and are likely to be older, with a greater concentration of consumers in the 35-44 and 55+ age groups.

What changed?

During the lockdown stages of the pandemic these consumers looked for ways to stay healthy - they spent more time exercising and research regimens and spent time learning how to cook healthy meals.

As restrictions have lifted, their interest in fitness has continued to increase, coinciding with the ability to take their habits outdoors.

However, interest in dieting and healthy cooking at home has decreased somewhat post-lockdown (though it is still higher than pre-pandemic levels.

How to reach them

Consumers in this group spent an average of 33 minutes per day online during lockdown, and the majority spent that time reading health content and content about food and diet.

Many looked at cooking information and recipes, with a focus on healthy eating, though improving cooking skills generally is a focus for this group.

Fitness and exercise interests are also common among consumers in this group.

The fitness minded are heavily involved in sporting events. On average, they watch 28 sport telecasts in a month, and 55% watch football or rugby. They also like to stay up to date on current affairs and news, and 28% do so regularly.


Category four - News Junkies:

Who are they?

News junkies have been laser-focused on staying on top of the news, with a particular focus on financial and business news.

They tend to skew younger, with a large proportion of them being between the ages of 25 and 34, and they’re more likely to be employed.

What changed?

News junkies’ consumption of news content spiked during the early days of the pandemic.

And, while their interests have diversified a bit as lockdown and social distancing restrictions have eased, their interests still lie with news, turning more specifically to business and financial news.

News junkies spent an average of 31 minutes per day browsing the internet on ad-supported sites during the lockdown, and as that time has decreased, they’ve started to match their interest in financial news with interest in investing and finance more generally, turning their attention to the markets with an eye on longer-term investing specifically.

How to reach them

News junkies gravitate to news content online, with heavy interests in business news, financial news, and investing. When it comes to TV content, news junkies watch the news, but 40% also watch sports.

About half of news junkies watch news in the early fringe hours, and 35% watch news broadcasts in prime time.


Let’s go. What do you think?

By Press release - MiQ

9 December 2020 4min read