Dentsu Aegis Network

Dentsu Aegis Network

In part two of Dentsu Aegis Network’s From Uncertainty to Opportunity: Communications Bootcamp, Vic McKevitt-Smith, Group Performance Director at iProspect and Chris McCormick, Director of User Experience and Optimisation, showed how dynamic understanding of your market and first-party data will allow agile performance planning for Now, Next and Future.

One thing is certain in today’s era of uncertainty. What may be of relevance to consumers today, might not be of relevance in three weeks’ time.

Consumer mindset has been turned on its head. People are changing the way they browse, what they browse what they browse, the way they purchase and how they purchase.

Being agile and adapting to market conditions, while modifying to the changes in consumer behaviour, is critical to success now and in the future.

Dynamic understanding of audience, demand and competitors is vital to pivot activity and drive maximum performance.

Dynamic understanding pivots to opportunity through agile performance.

The audience profiling you have worked so hard on is evolving. Your existing customers are behaving differently and so are people you would not have considered previously in-market for your goods.

Our needs have changed.

  • 53% more users are shopping online; 77% of whom expect to continue post lockdown.
  • We are changing our shopping habits. The “Big Shop” is back and 60% are buying more than usual.
  • How we want to be communicated with has changed. 52% of people have greater loyalty with brands who communicate effectively with them during lockdown.
  • What we want to know about your business has changed. 24% people will consider a new brand based on their response to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Audiences are open to influence.  We are 23% more aware of advertisement during lockdown. Kids are 100% more aware and influenced – anyone seen that dancing Llama on Nickelodeon? (1)

An open mind and keeping your fingers on search trends will help businesses ride the uncertain waves of lockdown.

We also need to keep the lights on during these dark days. You don’t have to be selling something to stay in touch with your customers. Asking them how they are coping, letting them know that you care means you will remain front of mind once the marketplace starts to recover.

Regardless of the climate, there are techniques and strategies that can be adopted to maintain and increase customers market share.  Adapting the UX to meet expectations of the user during COVID-19 is critical for maximising performance. 

Focus on the basics.

From user research, understand immediate actions you need to take on your website based on your customers interactions – this will give you a view of what to do more of in the more prosperous markets and what to change and communicate in the more challenging ones

Site speed is often underplayed. We know that 53% of users abandon pages that take more than three seconds to load.(2) We also know that some of the most impactful wins for site speed are down to small changes – whether it is how your images are being loaded or the way your code scripts are prioritised in the backend.

Targeted messaging is essential to make sure you are communicating to your new and existing customers differently.  And testing. Focus on performance driven testing - identifying those areas of your site through research and data analysis which are going to get you the biggest rewards in terms of performance. Even if you are thriving during this time maximising the wealth of new traffic you have got is important.

We need to address the here and now to build a plan for tomorrow for operations post-COVID-19. 

Find the right orientation

  • Understand your position in your market and industry – how well is your industry performing and how well are you adapting to the new market conditions. 
  • Acknowledge your consumers emotional response to the crisis so that we can communicate effectively. 
  • Understand quantitative research into your onsite performance and user behaviour.
  • And combine this with qualitative research to discover your visitors wants and needs. 
  • At this point we can then start to drive action and implement solutions which are relevant to your onsite experience.

This provides context for a structured plan across the coming phases. Now – reignition, where we need to be active and look for opportunities to meet needs and help. Next – momentum, to prepare for the growth opportunity.  And Velocity – building a plan for the future to thrive in the new norm…to allow us to be the right side of change.


(1) Endelman Trust Barometer, Business Insider, Econsultancy

(2) Google: The need for mobile speed. Link.