We skipped last month’s Intelligence Briefing for a number of reasons, not least because we became exceptionally busy these past couple of months, which we see as a very positive development as it means media and events companies are now actively pushing ahead with innovative projects.
Behind the scenes we have more than doubled the number of data points we’ve been analysing, firstly by backfilling the months we had missed from the series, and then by adding the two most recent ones. We also added a number of new indices to give us more on-the-fly insight from the underlying data.
This means we can now start to meaningfully chart the data we have and look to extrapolate trends and insight more effectively. You’ll see the first charts in today’s briefing, and in each insight we will be extending our deep dives with more relevant charts and additional data points.
The most obvious trend in July is the drop off in page views, 25% down on May peak.
This coincides with the regular summer traffic drop-off. It was not clear that there would be a summer slowdown following all the disruption earlier in the year, we had wondered if the economic rebound starting in June would lead to more activity, but that didn’t happen and the summer slowdown is clearly in effect now as you can see from the chart.
We explored a data series called Combo Views, this consists of the trend with views on brands which also use Affino messaging to see is that diverges significantly from the main series. We’ll keep that going and do future deep dives on it.
The number of emails being sent is still surging, up nearly 250% now since the start of the year, with further jumps in June and July, however there is now a major divergence between the number of emails being sent, and views & engagement happening via email and on-site.
There is a strong recommendation to be more focused with the messaging over the summer period, so as not to suffer erosion on the messaging audience. It is not clear what is driving the expanded use of messaging in July which is normally known to be a quiet month, all we can tell is that it is unlikely based on the engagement stats that the further increase in messaging is paying off, even in the short term.
The audience growth continues, but is below the trend for the year, as expected for July. We take it as a very positive sign that there is steady month on month audience growth, especially as a number of clients are now running GDPR compliant contact archiving and deletion. It means that we’re seeing a net growth of engaged audience members for many brands, even in the middle of summer.
The amount of CRM access, publishing and event management through Affino remains high at an increase of nearly 300% since the start of the year, however it has very much stabilised over the past four months. We use this statistic as a proxy for the overall effort being put in by brands running on Affino.
The fact that the activity has gone down slightly in July is an interesting development, as it implies that not many staff are being brought back from furlough yet, or in the event that they have been, much of the effort is on planning versus execution.
It will be very interesting to see how this develops over the coming weeks.
Overall audience engagement is back down to the levels last seen in March, at the start of the Covid traffic surge. Given the overall audience growth we were not certain on whether this would simply flatten over the summer, however there is a definite retrenchment.
There is a loose correlation between the amount of effort being put in by individual brands, and the level of engagement, but none between the number of emails being sent and engagement.
We are also seeing a huge divergence in the level of engagement between brands which is not reflected by the aggregate figures. Some of these are directly related to conscious brand slowdowns by the brand owners who are focusing their resources on more resilient and relevant ones, whilst other brands are very likely seasonal.
We’re exploring another series which combines page views and emails sent, versus engagement to see how that extends out in the second half of the year. We’ve yet to come to any conclusions on the data, but we believe it might be a useful metric, especially when viewed between years.
One thing which has struck us this month is that with only two remaining exceptions, all brands running on Affino are now up for the year in terms of audience engagement. Of the two which are down, one is exceptionally focused on person to person events, and for the other it is a lesser brand within a portfolio, and the focus is clearly elsewhere.
In a typical year these would all be fairly standard statistics, but given the pandemic, it is interesting to see how things are playing out in such a similar manner this year with the exception of the earlier explosive growth in traffic and engagement.
We’re very curious to see how this extends into August and September as it will be a major indicator into how the second half of the year will play out.
This insight piece is one of a series where we explore Affino Client Brand audience engagement, traffic, reach and more, to identify the latest trends.
For a more in-depth conversation please reach out either to myself of Jonathan Collins, your project manager, alternatively you can reach through the forums to your support team.