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The COVID-19 pandemic will change a number of businesses including advertising and media. Not since World War II ended 75 years ago, has there been such disruption on a global scale. In the years ahead, there will be references to a pre-pandemic and post-pandemic world. With that in mind, I asked a group of industry thought leaders on what advertising, media and consumer behavior will look like post-pandemic. Here’s what they said.

Tim Jones, CEO, Publicis Media Americas

Digital Signals Galvanize Ecommerce Opportunities: “Just as COVID-19 has intrinsically changed the way people live, it has forever changed the retail and commerce landscape, too. We will see a long-lasting shift in the way people shop and engage with brands post-pandemic as a result. Driven by shelter-in-place mandates, consumers are relying on online and contactless experiences more than ever, which is creating a surge in digital signals. This has created an opportunity for brands to modernize business models to focus more intently on digital experience and ecommerce strategy. For some marketers, this is natural acceleration of digital business transformation. For others, it’s a whole new world to explore and capitalize on. For all, data has become more important than ever to further understand high value customers and their new behaviors, and to create new services, products and experiences that serve their needs.”

Consumer behavior: “In the post-pandemic world, consumers will be asking searching questions about what part brands play in their lives. Those brands that play a meaningful role in consumers’ lives during the current crisis and lockdown – showing up when needed most – will generate strong, long-lasting brand/consumer relationships. Those that don’t, I suspect, will struggle to regain consumer trust or business.

“Consumers will have had 90-plus days of intense immersion in the virtual world during lockdown: from how they shop to how they are entertained, from how they help teach their children to how they educate themselves (to make bread, for example) and even how they communicate with each other through technology. This has massive implications for brands, as they must accelerate their online customer experience and ecommerce capabilities exponentially. Customers have gotten used to quick pace of communication and will demand that brands evolve at the same speed.

“I also believe that there will be a massive opportunity for brands and publishers to reframe consumer relationships with subscriptions and memberships. There is no doubt that the pandemic has resulted in people looking for different and more sustainable relationships in the virtual world that help keep them connected, add value to their lives and make them feel part of communities.”

Media: “Streaming TV platforms have performed incredibly strongly, as people look for entertainment, have much more time to consume it (as they are stuck at home) and are willing to pay for it. However, I believe that there will be a very favorable reassessment of live TV, especially sports, as people realize how much they have missed the immediacy, drama and excitement that live TV offers.”

Rob Davis, President Local Media and CMO, NOVUS NEXT

“It’s clear that the country will not open with a proverbial flick of a switch— it will be gradual and full of stops and starts, state-by-state, county by county. As such, we’re expecting a much larger emphasis on local media like spot TV, radio, out-of-home and localized digital. We’re already seeing some shifts from national to regional or local budgets, and a higher interest in custom geo-local targeting.”

Cindy Riccio, President & Founder, CRC Inc.

“If consumers didn’t want to get off the couch before, they’re even less likely to walk into a store for many months to come if they can have that same kind of service online. Social media accounts for apparel brands will be turned into virtual shops, showing off styles and various outfits online, then directing people to buy them on the web.

“It will be a test of how you bring the best of a real-world experience into a digital experience. Literal ‘window shopping’ for clothes might also be making a comeback since consumers feel safer standing and browsing outside stores, on the sidewalks of Manhattan, than they do venturing inside.”

Andrew Heyward, Senior Research Professor, TV News Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University (former president, CBS News)

“Local television news has risen impressively to the challenge of covering the pandemic with a flurry of technological innovation and expanded community service. I don’t think stations will return to their old workflows, formats and story selection without taking a hard look at which changes are worth keeping. It’s difficult to find silver linings in the devastating storm of COVID-19, but better local TV news might well prove to be a positive legacy of the crisis.”

Jo Kinsella, President, TVSquared

“Before lockdown, the TV ad industry – a space that barely moved for 50 years – was on a journey toward performance, transparency and accountability. But this pandemic has expedited that evolution, and I’ve seen many major players hustle to adapt faster for the sake of the advertiser. Post-pandemic, there is no going back to the world of ratings, GRPs, upfronts and ‘trust me, your ad worked.’ The TV ad space – meaning linear and digital video – will move forward in a more like-minded way. One that is aligned around performance, transparency and always-on, audience-powered attribution, no matter what type of advertiser you are or where you are in the world. TV is now a digital, accountable channel. Players, across the ecosystem, that don’t recognize that will soon find themselves irrelevant.”

Ashish Chordia, Founder and CEO, Alphonso

“TV will bounce back, but with a new look. COVID-19 is a big nail in the coffin for the upfronts going forward, because it will be harder for networks to convince brands to commit as much in advance as they have in the past. It will also be very difficult to organize the same extravaganza and star-studded show that usually has been the hallmark of the upfront. As a result, we’ll see more buys in scatter, streaming and more data-driven approaches to media planning. Data will play a much bigger role as well, given that more money will be spent in regional and local advertising as states rebound from the pandemic at different times. But TV will continue to be the best medium for reaching mass audiences; the massive increases in viewership during these uncertain times only reinforces that fact.”

Corbett Drummey, Co-Founder and CEO of Popular Pays

“TV commercials just got a wake-up call. Navigating how to produce content has proven that old ways of producing and running TV may not be the way of the future. Instead of spending millions of dollars on a TV spot that runs for years, brands have seen the impact and the efficiency of producing TV via agile content creation methods because traditional shoots are closed currently. Agile content– like tapping creators for videos made at-home and stitching them together via editors – enables brands to ship many different versions of their ad so we’re not all seeing the same one dozens of times, or rapidly producing ads in response to the changing environment which will also increase their effectiveness. I expect that the lifetime of TV commercials will shift to more closely mimic online content.”

Naveen Wall, Associate Director of Client Strategy at Movable Ink

“COVID-19 has created significant shifts in media and entertainment consumption across OTT video, music streaming, and digital news. People typically consume media based on their daily routines and those routines have been disrupted. As stay at home orders continue and people spend more time at home, they’re looking to media and entertainment to distract and occupy the time. New routines that are being defined by quarantine have increased media consumption through desktop, TV, smart speakers, and game consoles.

“Media brands have shifted strategies and are employing tactics to attract new potential customers through free trials and removing content paywalls. It’s hard to tell at the moment at what levels the increase in media consumption will be maintained post-pandemic, but the longer-term growth trends even before COVID pointed upward. From a marketing perspective, this will make it important for these brands to communicate and continually prove the value of their service in order to maintain the customers and prospects they’ve acquired during COVID-19.”

Rick Ducey, Managing Director, BIA

“The coronavirus pandemic created high demand for high-speed Internet bandwidth, particularly for streaming video services, that has caused service disruptions. And for those without Internet or limited bandwidth, they missed out on a lot of importance services. Local TV stations are beginning to rollout NextGen TV, a new type of TV broadcasting service that combines TV and Internet services broadcast over the airwaves to deliver TV programming, data, ads, file downloads and other content – all without requiring an Internet plan or connection. This new media channel will be a great addition to help address some of the issues we saw during this pandemic.”

Jane Clarke, CEO, Managing Director, CIMM

“At the risk of being repetitive, a crisis always accelerates change. As companies emerge from the current crisis, marketers will have an even greater need for comparable and timely cross-media measurement to accurately assess the impact of each dollar spent. The advances that have been made in granular TV measurement will continue to accelerate as they improve in quality and accuracy. These advances enable marketers to find their unique marketing segments across all forms of TV and premium video, in a way that is more and more comparable to digital ad impression measurement.

“Right now, TV measurement doesn’t measure ads, but rather averages all the minutes in a program that carry ads. This system is slowly breaking down as more and more national TV inventory becomes addressable, pushing the TV industry to an impressions-based measurement system. New hybrid forms of TV measurement are emerging that enable the combination of granular TV tuning data with persons-based co-viewing data from calibration panels. As the networks are offering their virtual versions of the upfront selling season, I predict the TV industry will finally start to embrace new systems for granular TV measurement that will begin to enable measurement of deduplicated impressions across all media.” 

Jon Giegengack, Principal, Hub Entertainment Research

“The pandemic is creating new entertainment habits. Our research suggests many of them will stick around when restrictions are eased.”

More streaming platforms per household: “With so much time to fill, people are adopting more streaming platforms. In our research, the number of TV sources used per person is up almost 1/3 from April 2019. Netflix, which has saturated the U.S. market, is gaining new users as more accounts bump up against concurrent stream limits. Some will cut back when restrictions lift/budgets tighten, but many won’t.”

More electronic sell-through: “The shift in sales of games, movies etc. to digital will accelerate, as many consumers who typically buy retail get comfortable downloading and don’t switch back.”

More selective attendance in theaters: “During the pandemic, we’ve seen willingness to pay for early release theatrical movies increase dramatically. That habit, coupled with anxiety about social distancing, may mean that in the future, theater trips will be reserved for blockbusters or movies that aren’t made available at home.”

Buzz Knight, CEO and Founder, Buzz Knight Media

“Innovation will be a driving force and a necessity in a post COVID-19 world for all forms of media to survive and thrive in the challenged economy. The playbook can’t remain static amid declining resources and the fear of the unknown. Brands in the aftermath will need to be highly sensitized to the tone and texture of their advertising message and how they contribute to helping the greater good of their community”

Bill Demas, CEO of Conviva

“With shelter orders in place for over half the global population, there was unsurprisingly a 22% increase in global streaming over the last two months, despite the lack of sports content. Conventional wisdom says those numbers will go back down to pre-COVID levels as shelter in place orders are relaxed. This is where conventional wisdom is wrong. Viewing habits have changed for good and streaming levels will remain high. This is especially true as sports begin to return. In just one week, we have seen viewing hours for sports climb 21% in Europe on the heels of just a handful of Bundesliga matches. With the expected full return of global sports – regardless of whether there are fans in the stands – we expect streaming market share to continue to grow as the world adapts to and creates a new normal.”

Jon Schulz, CMO of Viant

“There are several consumer trends that were already evolving prior to the COVID-19 outbreak that accelerated during the recent shelter-in-place period. The interesting question is which of these will stick and become permanent behavior changes going forward. One of the clear standouts is the adoption and investment in Connected TV (CTV) advertising. The growth here has really accelerated during recent months. Most advertisers point to the advanced audience targeting, large and growing consumer reach as well as the wide array of content, all of which have been in contrast to traditional TV, which has very limited targeting, declining reach and the absence of live sports to engage viewers. Now that many more advertisers see the power of CTV, expect the growth trend to continue post-pandemic as the value proposition remains strong in driving a solid return on ad spend.”

Barry Frey, President & CEO, DPAA

“As society re-opens globally on a region-by-region basis, the broad digitization of out-of-home (OOH) advertising will enable brands to re-engage with consumers who are once again out and about. Digital OOH’s ability to geo-target, programmatically enable buying flexibility and deliver contextually relevant creative opportunities will all prove invaluable to advertisers looking to message with ease, optionality, automation and speed.”

Doug Pinckney, President of Pinckney Hugo Group

Crazy Digital Adoption: “Consumers and professionals either started using or extended their usage of digital platforms to an explosive degree. Consumers have been scheduling time with family now, talking more often and playing games – all in an effort to connect in new ways. Professional use of video conference calls went from nice and occasional to necessary and constant. While many business people were resistant to change, the circumstances have forced it and many are finding the new way more efficient.”

Linear TV Planning & Buying: “The entire linear TV industry is going to be changed forever as advertisers cancel their upfront commitments and potentially move away from long-term commitments across many facets of advertising so that they can remain agile in the future.”

Bill Harvey, Chairman, RMT

“The post-pandemic advertising/media world will demand proof as never before. In the past, optics ruled, but this will no longer work. Decisions will be made based on rigorous testing at small scale before risking tens of millions of dollars and more. Seat of the pants judgment will no longer have a seat at the table.”

View the original article on Forbes.