Altered Truths: a study of consumer behaviours post RMCO

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Dentsu Aegis Network has just released a study this month – Altered Truths – offering a deep dive analysis into nine new consumer behaviours informed by widespread digitalisation under the MCO and heightened sensitivities to health and financial security.

The study utilizes Dentsu Aegis Network’s M1 Panel, one of the largest statistically significant survey panel based on audience data, to segment new consumer personas in Malaysia, and surveys their behaviours twice post RMCO to determine if these trends are transient or lasting.

According to the survey conducted in collaboration with, Malaysians are emerging from the RMCO with a tension between cautious optimism at resuming aspects of daily life and  anxiety over longer-term disruptions.

Applying the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to new virtual behaviours, the first pulsed survey that ran from 21st July 2020 to 10th August 2020 found that 73% of consumers are going to be a lot more cautious about savings and 58% are worried about job security.

In fact, 70% are upskilling themselves online to deal with their top concern, which is the economy. 48% would continue to meet social and leisure needs virtually post RMCO.

When it comes to self-esteem, more than half of survey respondents would reward themselves with affordable luxury treats such as fine dining, fashion accessories, and going on holiday.

The study explains how consumer journeys have shifted across industries, details key impacts on businesses, and provides strategic guidance for media reach and communications.

Altered Truths

  1. Health and wellness: From trend to minding survival
  2. Travel: Torn between fear and freedom
  3. Leisure and entertainment: Virtual is now reality
  4. Retail: Omni-channel in the new different
  5. Education: Virtual refines the classroom experience
  6. Career: Millennials drive the rise of the ‘Portfolio Career’
  7. Life at home: Multifunctional homes as the hub of life
  8. Luxury: Affordable luxury is therapeutic
  9. Finance: A wake-up call to take financial planning seriously

These findings call on marketers to use digital technologies to connect with audiences in more human and empathetic relationships.

In the first few months of Covid-19, many Dentsu Aegis Network clients launched brand trust campaigns to raise long-term awareness and affinity. The network expects that focus in the second half and beyond will be on driving ad spends to boost recovery of revenues, with e-commerce standing to gain.

Nicky Lim, country CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia, commented, “Everyone has made predictions about the new normal but this is the only report that uses first party data points to validate whether new consumer trends are here to stay. Our network ambition in delivering CRM, Content and Media strategies that perform is truly reflected in this effort.”

Download Altered Truths at

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