SINGAPORE – Vaccines may be rolling out but, even when something like normality arrives, few are expecting the world to function in quite the same way it did before COVID-19.

Case in point – the pandemic has tilted business even farther toward online channels.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Sunil Naryani, Vice President, Commercials & Partnerships Asia Pacific at Dentsu International, which changed its name from Dentsu Aegis Network in October, says there have been two big changes.

1. Ecommerce has redrawn demographics

“Things have probably changed for a permanent basis and then probably for good because a lot of the Gen X, the baby boomers, have really come online during COVID,” Naryani says.

“You would see them probably making their first (online) grocery purchase in the last three months.”

Older consumers were widely seen as less willing than younger counterparts to embrace technology. But the demands of the pandemic have pushed many of them to use digital services, just as they did younger people.

Naryani says that means the online consumer base now looks a lot more like “the real world”.

2. TV and games booming

Naryani also says the growth in connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) viewing options that has occurred in the West has also been seen in his Asia-Pacific region.

In south-east Asia, for example, total streaming minutes grew 57% to reach 107 billion in Q2 versus 68 billion in Q1, according to Media Partners Asia (MPA). That doesn’t include YouTube, which accounted for 84% of Q2 usage, thanks to its carriage of free-to-air TV content.

Often little talked about, video games are surging even more than before.

“There’s a big boom around gaming and APAC kind of leads that across the globe,” Naryani says.

“Almost two thirds of the gaming base as well as the time consumed is coming from APAC.”

Changed world

Taken together, these trends have significantly changed the market that brands want to reach, and how they should do so.

Because the consumers have really changed in the way they’re consuming media and where they kind of be present every day, marketers have to pivot to digital as well,” Naryani adds.

“There needs to be a true embracing of digital, which means that they need to have a proper data strategy, need to know what kind of mar-tech and ad-tech stacks that are using, which can not be just solving for the next three months or four months, but kind of a longer period.”

Naryani also says marketers need to be further educated about how they should use their own, “first-party” to reach consumers.

You are watching “Where We Go From Here: The Lessons and Opportunities of 2020, ” a Beet.TV leadership series presented by Xandr. For more videos, please visit this page.