Salesforce surveyed over 3,500 consumers worldwide to gain a pulse check on how consumers are engaging with brands on different channels and what type of content is most engaging during the pandemic. Earlier this year, Salesforce collected data from 7,000 marketing leaders across the globe for its sixth annual "State of Marketing" report.
The report demonstrates the values that will remain critical as marketers and their businesses recover. The report notes that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, standards of customer engagement are shifting yet again, and marketers are at the forefront of innovation. Here are the three key takeaways of the State of Marketing 2020 report:
Every two weeks, Salesforce Research is surveying the general population to discover how consumers and the workforce are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to explore Tableau data across demographics and geographies. Below are some key takeaways from respondents from around the globe. Here are some of the key findings:
Social media is the clear winner of consumer attention, with 65% of consumers indicating interest. Video content and virtual experiences are also top preferences. Video content like thought leadership webinars is gaining popularity during the pandemic. Sixty percent of consumers are interested in instructional digital content from brands, such as a PDF or web page that provides tips and guidance on matters they care about.
Fifty-four percent of consumers say they notice brand content on social media always or frequently -- a higher figure than any other channel.
Email marketing is also particularly visible -- 53% of consumers say they notice it always or frequently.
Fifty-three percent of consumers say they notice TV ads always or frequently. The most noticed content channels vary significantly across countries. Social media claims the top spot in four of the six markets surveyed. TV ads are the most noticed channel in Australia and the UK. In the US, the top three communication channels with brands are social media, email, and TV ads.
Digital video channels such as YouTube and Prime Video get more attention from consumers in Brazil and the UK than elsewhere, and display ads perform particularly well in Brazil and France.
Fifty-nine percent of consumers believe the cadence of messages should be decreased, while 58% say the variety of those messages should be increased. Nearly three-quarters (73%) believe messages should focus on products rather than brand messages.
A strong majority of consumers agree that our current environment warrants anything but business-as-usual. Seventy-six percent of consumers say brands should adapt their messages and promotions to changing circumstances, versus just 24% who believe brands should revert to previous practices. Speed to value is how brands gain relevance. And relevance is the only path to brand awareness and business growth. The pandemic has added two additional filters to relevance as it pertains to how consumers are spending their discretionary income. In addition to relevance, consumers are applying 'safety' and 'accessibility' as criteria for spending. Given the economic crisis, with millions of job losses in the past five months, discretionary spending is reduced and additional filters mean that brands have to be flexible and communicate tangible value to their audiences. Speed to value, personalization, and intelligence are all key currencies in the post-pandemic digital economy.
Protecting jobs is important for all consumers. Business can be the greatest platform for change, given the right core values and guiding principles. Successful brands know that values create value. Consumers expect brands to adopt a holistic approach for all stakeholders -- employees, customers, partners, and communities. Despite their focus on discounts and offers, the majority of consumers are willing to forego deals if it means their fellow citizens retain their jobs. Fifty-eight percent of consumers say brands should reduce customer discounts to retain staff.
To learn more about the Salesforce research, you can visit here to explore data across demographics and geographies.