Samuel Huber is the founder and CEO of monetisation platform Admix.
As the economic impact of Coronavirus starts to take effect, many brands are facing tough times to adapt and keep serving their customers efficiently. Subject to lockdown in many countries, the crisis will force users to adapt in the short term, but also shape long term changes in their behaviour.
As a business, quickly understanding these changes and catering for them can create opportunities to ride these difficult times.
Of course, I do not know your business as well as you do and therefore can only talk at a high level, but here are four things every business owner, brand or advertiser can do to ride the crisis:
Understand the change in customer behaviour
As with every crisis, the Corona lockdown is changing user behaviour. If you have a location-based business, you are obviously facing this head-on, and there is little you can do. But you can use this time to understand users' behaviour around your offering
For example, if hair salons stay closed for a long time, how is this going to affect users' behaviour? Would friends and family members cut each other's hair? If so, they might be looking for material and tutorials to do so.
Search for topics related to health and basic necessities have skyrocketed since the beginning of the crisis, creating content opportunities.Samuel Huber
Therefore, putting together a set of YouTube videos and reviewing hair products, and linking to your Amazon affiliate account could be an idea. This is a silly example, but it shows the things you can do slightly outside of the box to adapt to your customer’s change in behaviour.
Even if your business is online, the crisis is changing your consumers' habits. Vodafone reports 50% increase in Internet usage in the UK since people started working from home, and food delivery demand is so high that services like Gousto have stopped serving new customers.
Try to map how the crisis is affecting your customer's journey, to understand how they will be forced to adapt their behaviour.
Keep building awareness for your brand
Even if the material impact to customers finances is limited, as uncertainty creeps in, they will naturally re-shuffle their budgets and be more careful around spending.
But with more time at home and less social interactions, customers also spend more time online. Italy reports 70% increase in home Internet consumption since the lockdown, mostly across 3 categories: communication, necessities, entertainment.
Necessities include a lot of time spent researching how to manage this crisis. Search for topics related to health and basic necessities have skyrocketed since the beginning of the crisis, creating content opportunities.
Try to think of questions your customers could have, and answer them in an article. Content remains king - make sure your consumers looking for advice can find your article or videos educating them on the topic.
More than ever, it is vital to keep your brand out. Adapt your message to changing spending habits to focus on your brand - this will be the differentiator.
Be a friendly face in these difficult times
With limited social interactions in their daily lives, some customers are likely to feel more lonely and even depressed. Your brand can become their friend in these difficult times.
Take some personal time to talk to your top customers. Keep the communication open with them, and make sure their experience is top-notch. Now is the worst time to create additional hurdles in their lives. If you can, try to implement flexible payment methods or money back guaranteed
We estimate the crisis will increase playtime by about 20% worldwide - or about 500M hours of gameplay a day worldwide.Samuel Huber
At Admix, we have put a credit facility in place to support 30-day payments for all our developers starting next month. This will make it easier on our developers' cashflow, and is a measure we will aim to keep after the crisis is over.
More simply, you can just be a friendly face on social media. Discord and Three are doing a great job at being human on Twitter and interacting with their audience in a funny way.
This can work for all brands - just jump in the conversation on topics relevant to your brand and brighten their day with a witty comment - they will remember it.
Where do you advertise? Follow the eyeballs
There is no doubt that the quarantine and 'working from home' revolution will lead to a spike in the consumption of entertainment products.
Gaming platform Steam reported an all-time high number of concurrent users - over 20M. Counter-Strike reported a similar all-time high in 20 years. Search terms like 'play online' and 'online games' have spiked +100% over the first week of March in the US and UK.
With more time at home, people across the world are going to spend more time entertaining themselves. At $160B a year, gaming represents 75% of the entertainment industry in terms of consumer spend: 3 times more than the movies and music industry combined.
According to data we have recorded internally this week on our portfolio of games, we estimate the crisis will increase playtime by about 20% worldwide - or about 500M hours of gameplay a day worldwide - a huge opportunity for brands to reach more eyeballs that play online.
After all, games are the safest place for your customers to hang out during the crisis!
Samuel Huber is the founder of Admix, a monetisation platform for games, VR and AR based in London. Before that, Sam was the owner of an indie game studio, building hypercasual mobile games before they were cool. His frustration with intrusive advertising stems from these days, leading him to start Admix. Today, Sam regularly speaks about game monetization, advertising and extended reality at conferences across the world.
At Admix, we focus on user-friendly ads that are integrated with the gameplay, similar to product placements. In-game ads are the perfect environment for brands to place their ads programmatically and engage users while they play, without being intrusive and creating a bad experience. It works especially well with casual players who can find traditional ads intrusive.
And with 1.5B people playing every day across the world, you can be sure that your audience is playing, one way or another; and our programmatic technology enables you to target them efficiently across our portfolio of games. We are here to support all brands and businesses during these difficult times - just get in touch to schedule a chat!