Adjusting Your Targeting Strategy During a Global Pandemic

Alyssa Howland

It’s been a wild ride, 2020! There’s no doubt that this year has personally impacted all of us. Someone who once enjoyed being out and about is now stuck in their home, picking up hobbies and keeping themselves entertained in ways they could have never imagined. Who would have ever guessed that the DIY tie-dye trend would come back from our middle school days?! Or what about all the loaves of bread that were baked and consumed inside homes from March until now?

These changes have impacted everyone, including advertisers’ target audiences. Behaviors, lifestyles, and moods have all been affected these past few months and we’ve been keeping track of the trends. Pandora can help consult brands who might want to reconsider their audience targets and how they’re reaching them during this time.

Pandora’s real-time data signals tell us what users are listening to, when they’re listening, and how they’re listening. We leveraged our proprietary, 100% logged-in user data, as well as our 3P data partnerships to help brands who are looking for a little bit of guidance in how to optimize targeting strategies during these times. Pandora can also help those who may want to shift their target strategy in the future.

Shifting Behaviors

With consumer behaviors shifting during this unprecedented time, brands have an opportunity to reach audiences in new ways. In mid-March – right as many states’ stay-at-home orders began – we reviewed our 2,000+ existing audience cohorts and even onboarded some new ones to make sure that we had a comprehensive snapshot of new developing behaviors and trends. Our goal was to find listeners who would be most engaged during this time for advertisers to reach. Our analysis yielded the following categories:

  • WFH (Working from Home): Listeners who are likely spending their typical work hours at home now
  • Social Distancing: Listeners who are likely spending their free time at home
  • Temporary Home Schooling: Parents who are likely now homeschooling their kids
  • Quarantine & Chill: Listeners who use music to relax during this stressful time
  • Streaming Enthusiasts: Listeners who are likely watching more TV and movies

100+ advertisers have already leveraged these audience segments since March and this number continues to grow - as we predicted from our analysis, these segments are highly engaged in quarantine.

We pulled a sample audience selection from the above groups and compared the listening trends from February – right before shelter in place started – to May. On average, Monthly Listening Hours increased by 32% and Engagement (as measured by Station Adds) increased by a whopping 41%.

Additionally, our genre analysis showed that listeners are using music to relax and bring positivity to their lives – which is great for brands to be associated with. Across the board, these audiences were much more likely to listen to Reggae and Country while they were at home, both of which are associated with mellow moods.

Leveraging our scale and billions of daily inputs, we’re constantly monitoring audience behavior trends to help advertisers find the most engaged audiences.

Staying Flexible

Quote COVID Audience Article

When businesses started to reopen in June, we reviewed the data again and wanted to ensure advertisers had access to the right audiences with the new shift in behavior. The shift in consumer behavior made us realize that flexibility is crucial, especially now.

Our teams worked to scope these new audiences based on their “emergence status.” With states having varying and dynamic reopening plans, Pandora refreshes these audience segments on a weekly basis. We’re very excited to announce our newest audience segments that are available for brands to leverage, which will again help advertisers reach consumers in the evolving landscape:

  • Reemerged Listeners: Listeners who frequently engage in activities outside the home
  • Cautiously Reemerging Listeners: Listeners with occasional activity outside the home, but still mostly staying at home
  • Strictly Isolating Listeners: Listeners who mostly stay at home

Some listeners still want to stay home and others are eager to get out and about. The differences in behavior translate to different ways of connecting with your audience. For example, QSR brands may look to have different messaging when reaching listeners of specific reemergence stages. The QSR may want to share a dine-in message letting customers know they are now open for inside/outside seating to the Reemerged Listener, while simultaneously running a take-out or delivery message to the Strictly Isolating listener.

Pandora is on the pulse of today’s ever changing environment and has opportunities to drive your business at the ready. Connect with your Pandora sales rep today to learn more about leveraging these audiences on your next campaign!

Key Takeaways:

  • Leverage Pandora’s 2,000+ turnkey audience segments to effectively reach your desired audience during different stages of reemergence. We have the data and scale to help advertisers determine the best go-forward strategies.
  • Work with your Pandora rep to get access to a handful of targeting success stories across different verticals to learn how various advertisers saw success by utilizing targeting on Pandora.