CONSUMER PULSE

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We are living in uncertain times, but one thing is certain: the better we understand audiences, the better we can serve their needs and wants as marketers. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Nine has launched and conducts a fortnightly consumer sentiment poll to understand how we can help brands connect with our audiences in 2020.  

Nine. Where Australia Connects. 

Methodology

Consumer Pulse is undertaken via short online surveys conducted fortnightly with Nine’s audiences - across linear television, 9Now and digital properties nine.com.au (and network sites), plus readers of news mastheads The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review (print + digital) and listeners of Nine Radio stations (2GB, 3AW, 4BC, 6PR, 2UE, 4BH, 6GT and Magic).

Capturing the mood

Week 20 - commencing August 23, 2020

Headline Sentiments

“Grateful for the good and that it is not more severe”

“Looking for the positives”

“I really am fed up but I won’t let myself fall into the trap of being too complacent.”

This week's hot topics

Fear of flying

Returning travellers

51% of 2GB listeners think Australians should be allowed to go overseas for a holiday, assuming they are happy to go into hotel quarantine on return (40% disagree).

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 27: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media on April 27, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Victoria's COVID-19 death toll rose to 17 following the death of a man in his 90s over the weekend, with just 67 active coronavirus cases in Victoria and 1265 people having recovered. Tough restrictions on movement and gatherings implemented to reduce the spread of COVID-19 remain in place despite a steady decline in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia. All non-essential businesses remain closed or are restricted in operation, while public gatherings are limited to two people and social distancing measures require people to keep a safe 1.5m distance from one another.  New South Wales and Victoria have enacted additional lockdown measures permitting police to fine people who breach the two-person outdoor gathering limit or leave their homes without a reasonable excuse. Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have all closed their borders to non-essential travellers and international arrivals into Australia are being sent to mandatory quarantine in hotels for 14 days. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Emergency powers

62% of The Age readers support the government’s move to extend state of emergency laws to protect public health, without parliamentary approval.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (right) and Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, Steven Miles (left) are seen during a press conference at Queensland Parliament House in Brisbane, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Premier Palaszczuk announced that a 30 year old man from the central Queensland town of Blackwater who died overnight has tested positive to COVID-19.  (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING

Northern closures

46% of 4BC listeners think the Queensland Premier is right to keep the Queensland border closed to NSW and Victoria because of COVID-19 (44% disagree).

A lift in mood

Concern is down and the national mood is lifting. Victorians are more likely to feel hopeful and encouraged (+6%), and less likely to be feeling anxious and fearful (-7%). The change in mood bodes well for marketers; in recent weeks the increasing positive mood and declining levels of concern have broadly correlated with a lift in the proportion of audiences considering any major purchase. 

Concern indicators: falling concerns, rising mood, increasing purchase consideration levels 

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Concern tracker: falling concerns

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A cautious approach to spending 

While the lift in mood is positive, it is occurring against an uncertain economic backdrop. Across Nine’s audiences, few are assured that there will be an improvement in their financial situation in the next three months and so the majority continue to take a cautious approach to spending.

Consumer confidence: net agreement to attitudinal statements

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Increasing appetite for finance content

To help navigate the uncertainties, we are seeing an uplift in those seeking out news, information and advice about finances and the economy. The proportion seeking more information than they did pre-COVID has increased, and the proportion of those seeking less information has decreased.  

Audience needs for finance content: May vs. Aug

* Nine Radio listeners were added to the survey in Week 18; comparisons with May data are not available 

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Top finance content 

Nine’s audiences are seeking a variety of financial content. Top categories include information about the economy, markets, business, finance and shares – sought by Financial Review readers in particular but also readers of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Interest in real estate and property-related content is popular across audience groups and has increased since May. Information about government support such as JobKeeper or business help is also high up the list. Further down but still important is general information about saving, financial advice, banking and budgeting. Information about debt loads and credit are much lower priorities. 

Money and finance information sought by Nine audiences 

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eCommerce opportunity

Shopping in physical retail environments is still not a realistic prospect for audiences in some locations. For example:  

79% of SMH readers say they haven’t shopped in the Sydney CBD since the coronavirus pandemic began 

However, consideration for major purchases is trending up for the third week in a row, with a number of growth categories emerging (see graphs below).   

Financial Review readers’ purchase consideration: top growth categories

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Nine Radio listeners’ purchase consideration: top growth categories 

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SMH/The Age readers’ purchase consideration: top growth categories  

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9Nation viewers’ purchase consideration: top growth categories 

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Contact your Nine advertising representative today

to hear how Nine’s marketing solutions can help you engage Australian consumers like never before.