At Mando, data is the beating heart of our business.

We’ve been lucky enough to work within the promotional industry for over 40 years serving our clients, and at the centre of this service is our constantly evolving data archive. The data we hold and the experience of the team gives us a surefooted roadmap, guiding us through the many promotional iterations our industry yields in helping us calculate expected consumer response.

The question is though, “how can it help during something so unprecedented such as the Covid19 pandemic?”

Whilst it’s true that we are living through a generational event not seen for 100 years, there are clues to be found about the likely changes to consumer behaviour during this time of flux. Those clues are best found by looking back at the last major global event, the recession of 2008.

Consumer % change in Sales Promotion response

This chart plots the % change in consumer response to on-pack sales promotions. To create these rate changes, we used a 6 year data period with the recession data sandwiched in-between, to get a sense of “before-during-after”.

Clearly, consumer behaviour undergoes a major shift during significant global events such as recessions, with a substantial +114% in consumer response. With the reduction in employment stability, reduced spending, increased risk-aversion and general “belt-tightening” during recessions, consumers become even more switched on to sales promotion, leading to an increase in engagement and redemption.

Whether it’s engaging in a Try Me Free campaign for a product refund, a code play online to win an aspirational lifechanging prize or using coupons. These tools in the consumers arsenal are used to better effect during times of crisis and allow for consumers to regain some form of financial edge to their weekly shopping budget, albeit a small one.

I believe this direction of travel is already being revealed in our current promotions during the past 3 months, with an increase in consumer engagement of +28% already.

The lockdown is clearly the early driver for this behaviour, with consumers trapped at home spending more time online and with the products in their fully stocked fridges and cupboards. This environment allows for greater opportunities to engage with, and participate in, on-pack offers

I fully expect these early stage increases we have seen to compound as the months go on, with this upwards trend to continue throughout 2020 and into 2021 as the situation changes and consumers adapt.

As with any major move like this, consumer engagement snaps back after the recession subsides by -36.43%.  However, this tailing off shouldn’t be seen as a negative, as the resulting engagement level is still +36.05% above where it was before the upheaval began.

Now more than ever is the time for brands to speak to their customers, because they really are listening.