Cautious optimism

Lockdowns are lifted.  Re-connection and cautious optimism are shining through as we move towards a new year.

Last month Involved Media joined forces with Southern Cross Austereo to conduct Lifting Lockdown: What does 2022 look like in a post lockdown world – a 1,300 nationally represented survey sourced from SCA Communities undertaken with a view to gaining insights about how people are feeling about the next 3, 6 and 12 months coming out of lockdown:

What are people looking forward to the most? And how do the markets differ from each other?

Where is money being spent now and where will it be spent in 2022?

What will flow through to 2022?

Are there specific segments agencies and brands should be aware of when formulating comms strategies in the coming year?

NSW out of lockdown … and straight to the pub and the hairdresser!

Within the first week of lockdown being lifted on 8th November 9% of NSW wanted to go to their hairdresser, but within the month this escalated to 45% + intending to have their shaggy do’s coiffured.

44% of fully vaccinated NSW residents wanted to go out for a drink versus 35% of Victorian residents and 36% of the other states (QLD/SA/WA and TAS), but within the month, pubs and bars could look forward to 70%+ of people wanting to enjoy a drink with their family and friends.

Canvassing purchase intentions across NSW and VIC for the 3-6 months post lockdown release illustrates how much the most lock downed states are looking forward to getting out and about and re-engaging with the normal routines of life and social events versus the other states

Holding onto the intangibles

Asking respondents what they had learnt during lockdown that they wanted to hold onto, the time spent with family and in the home had meaningful impact.

65%+ of both NSW and VIC respondents said they agreed that the lockdowns had caused them to reassess what was important to them:

  • Spending more time with family​
  • Exercise​
  • Walking​
  • Slower lifestyle ​
  • Health ​
  • Working from home​
  • Gardening ​ 

Embracing travel

For travel clients, reassuringly 80% of Australians agree they want to travel more domestically.  They are more cautious about international travel however, with only 10% saying they have already booked an international holiday for the coming months, but 50%+ agreed they do want to do more international travel in 2022, with NSW and VIC respondents 47% more likely to intend to travel overseas in the N12M versus the rest of Australia.  This should impact considerations in 2022 around message content and weighting market to market.

Keeping on keeping fit at home

For health and fitness clients, the message is clear – over 70%+ of NSW and VIC respondents want to continue with their exercising at home, thus maintaining an identity as an adaptive in-home companion in good times and bad is essential across channels that reinforce brand identity with efficient frequency.

Enormous goodwill towards SMEs

One of the most significant insights on intent is the shift in focus to support small/local businesses over the coming months, with 83% of NSW and 81% of VIC and respondents saying it was important to them.

This sentiment is reflected again when querying what respondents wanted to do more or less of 2022:  1 in 4 NSW and 1 in 3 VIC and 1 in 5 rest of AU respondents indicate they want to do LESS online shopping. They also want to less contactless delivery service in 2022.

These sentiments clearly illustrate the keen desire people have to reconnect with their communities and local businesses and would appear to be translating through to the business sector, as the latest Roy Morgan business confidence survey of October saw business confidence recording a significant 16.6pts higher than in October 2020.

For agencies and brands in the SME’s sector this presents an opportunity to re-evaluate and re-weight communications and channel focus in the burgeoning hybrid physical and digital retail world.

The mood is good

Whilst survey respondents are concerned about another wave of the virus and not being able to see family and friends, overall NSW and VIC respondents exiting lockdown in November 2021 are happy, excited, positive and optimistic about being able to get out and about more now and into the future.

As we move into 2022 and witness the ongoing expansion of physical and digital touchpoints available to connect with consumers and understand that channel roles are flexing and pivoting out of their traditional space (eg: brand to performance) it is evident that the communications strategies that harness and scale the post-covid convergent commerce world will be the ones to shine.

The Involved Media team look forward to sharing with our clients and partners our reflections on 2021 and predictions for 2022 and beyond in our upcoming Landscape and Trends series in the new year.

From us all at Involved Media, we wish you and your families a safe, happy and joyous festive season and look forward to welcoming 2022 with open minds and renewed optimism.

Notes on survey methodology:

  • The survey was in field from November 3 – 17th and secured 1,332 respondents from the SCA communities database, with results weighted for metro/regional balance and gender. It should be noted that the database is reflective of the Southern Cross Austereo audience. SCA brands reach approximately 35% of the 10+ population and approximately 41% of the 25-54 population in the five metropolitan markets in Australia, thus it is reasonable to consider results to be a fair representation of the opinions nationally and in each state.
  • These research surveys conducted by Southern Cross Austereo are done so to provide a general understanding of the opinions, interests, and attitudes of the metropolitan and larger regional marketplaces only.
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Saffron Carter