Learning more about the ‘at-home’ consumer will boost your marketing – Gulin-Merle, VP, Ads Marketing, Google


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Google has provided insights into what consumers prioritize amid the global lockdown. The search engine portal believes the insights can help businesses adapt their offerings while alerting startups to new opportunities.

As activities outside the home have been greatly impacted by the spread of the COVID-19, consumers have been locked away from corporate settings and market centres. These new realities have changed consumption habits tremendously.

Revealing backend data of recent search engine behaviours, Google’s Global Vice President of Ads, Marie Gulin-Merle, explained that the pandemic has led to shift in consumers’ priorities.

She wrote on the company’s blog, “These disruptions have altered the behavior of billions of at-home consumers. The way people experience and fulfill their needs has fundamentally shifted.”

Gulin-Merle said consumers presently have more time on their hands – a sharp contrast to deeply entrenched behaviours. While businesses have taken advantage of previously time-squeezed consumers, the new shift means marketers will need a new strategy to tap the abundant time and space now available to the targets, locked at home, seeking to get out of boredom.

She reported a spike in search topics tied to ‘bored’ through March 2020. Seeking ways to create activities within the home or work remotely these consumers are shopping more online for products such as ‘office chairs’, ‘computer desks’ and ‘desk chairs’.

Her report further highlighted how more people are turning to digital to stay ‘alone together’. This provides opportunities for businesses to create platforms to connect with a wider community through networking apps, webinar and other virtual engagements. Facebook, Zoom, and many enterprise-product firms are building upon those insights to extend and create fitting offers.

“There’s a desire to be ‘alone together’ as we go about our daily activities, and to empathize and learn from those in other countries around the world who have been impacted by the crisis. Search interest in ‘how to help’ is on the rise, and search interest in the term ‘alone together’ is up 75% since January. ‘Love in quarantine’ also started trending on March 13,” she highlighted.

In summary, the Google VP asked businesses to make quick adjustment by taking note of these critical insights:

1. How are we providing help to consumers as their needs evolve?

2. How are we adjusting to the new 24/7 consumption cycle?

3. How are we embracing novelty to help consumers fight

Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka writes with simplicity and insight. He aims to enrich the Nigerian small business landscape. Through Hustle24 he connects entrepreneurs with information about new policies, enterprise solutions and opportunities that will aid their 'hustle'. He has written extensively for CobraReview, a product review portal, and served as a lead project manager for MarketingMix where he consulted as PR consultant for MTN Project Fame and Business Next Titan etc.


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