Thursday, August 13, 2020

Nielsen: WFH Changing Media Habits

In its just released latest edition of The Nielsen Total Audience Report, Nielsen dives into the world of working from home—how consumers feel about their productivity, engagement, challenges and the impact this new lifestyle is having on media and device usage.

More time at home for consumers means more exposure to the wide array of content and ads available in an exceedingly more digital world. And the longer Americans work from home—regardless of whether by choice or not—the greater the likelihood that their recently developed media habits will stick around, ultimately changing the playing field for how publishers and advertisers are able to engage with audiences. Nielsen wonders could daytime become the new primetime? A future where consumers spend more time at home has implications beyond longer time spent with media in general; it means more opportunities for local businesses and communities to grow as well as more of a focus that marketers should be placing on them.

According to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report: Work from Home Edition, two-thirds (66%) of U.S. remote workers reported to have started working from home since the  outbreak, an incredibly massive migration of people into an alternate work setting. Despite being thrust into the work from home experience as a restrictive safety measure with little prep time, respondents not only adapted but quickly became comfortable with this new way to live and work (or work and live). Some even seem like they’re thriving in this new environment.

Pre-pandemic, peak media hours were typically limited to before employees clocked in and after they clocked out, depending on the medium. With the elimination of a commute and the full array of their preferred platforms available, working from home provides consumers two elements vital to increasing consumption: time and choice. Whether its streaming video content, listening to podcasts or browsing social media, a majority of consumers have reported partaking in these behaviors during work hours. That means more windows of opportunity for content creators and advertisers alike to reach audiences outside of the traditional primetime, as well as potential new, creative ways to engage with consumers.

According to The Nielsen Remote Workers Consumer Survey, 52% of consumers would like to be able to work from home going forward, while 25% would like to work from home exclusively. The possibility of permanent, widespread remote work could further cement the media habits that have been adopted during quarantine. Not only that, but more discretionary spending as a result of cutting the cost of traditional office life could arise as well, making effective advertising for the remote work life all the more important.

An overwhelming amount of respondents also say they would like to be allowed to work remotely from a location of their choosing, as well as maintain their current salary. Should they be allowed both, 69% of respondents said they would spend more money on discretionary items. That bodes well for local businesses and regional brands in particular when we recall that remote work consumers reported being more inclined to spend their money within their community. Moreover, areas that are seen as more affordable, attractive, and under-the-radar would potentially face an influx of new residents.

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