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The Workday Consumer Has Logged In

How to make sure your business isn’t missing out on the opportunity, from our partners at Microsoft Advertising.


In the ‘work anywhere’ world, the boundaries between work and personal life have blurred, especially online, as many people switch back and forth between employee mode and consumer mode during work hours. The pandemic has posed new challenges for small businesses as consumers have forged new habits and preferences. Businesses have to adapt their marketing and advertising strategies as pre-pandemic tactics and underlying assumptions about buyer personas are no longer fit for purpose.

In November 2021, Microsoft commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the consumer behaviours emerging from the convergence of work and personal lives, helping businesses navigate these changing consumer priorities. With the help of the results, and our unique audience intelligence tools, we hope you can strategically plan your marketing activities to connect with your consumers at the right moments across work and life.

What is the Workday consumer?

The workday consumer spends time during work hours researching or purchasing products and services, along with performing personal tasks such as doing household chores, managing finances, and consuming entertainment. Nearly two-thirds of consumer respondents (62%) fall under this persona because they regularly research or purchase products and services during their workday.

The main characteristics of the Workday Consumer are :

  • Blending their work and personal lives. Sixty percent of consumer respondents said they typically mix work and personal tasks in their worktime to-do lists.

  • Using work devices for personal purposes.

  • Spending more worktime on personal tasks since pre-pandemic.

Brands are stuck using outdated consumer persona strategies

Marketers know that new consumer behaviours should prompt them to change their online advertising strategies. Along with changes in business priorities due to the pandemic (78%), changes in consumer behaviours (77%) are top of the list of brand respondents’ most important factors affecting online marketing and advertising strategies during the next 12 months.

As a small business owner, we know you wear many hats, have limited time and resources, plus we know there are loads of options to market your business to ensure it is present and easily found. You need more than the standard demographic and attitudinal characteristics to truly connect with buyers at the human level; Marketers must understand the emotions that drive buyers’ decision-making.

How can your business tackle the Workday Consumer?

As the emergence of the workday consumer shows, consumer behaviour and preferences continually evolve in response to short- to mid-term disruptions such as the pandemic and long-term trends such as hybrid working. Brands must adapt online marketing and advertising strategies to account for these shifts and prepare for future ones.

  • Refine target consumer personas to account for working mode and mindset. It’s no longer sufficient to define target consumer personas based on demographics and past behaviours.

  • Optimise content and ads for search and native campaigns on PC. Despite the growth of mobile, 56% of online retail sales will occur via PC in 2024. PC is a key touchpoint for workday consumers, and we know that display and search advertising remain key channels for reaching PC users.

  • Rethink targeting strategies to balance personalisation and privacy requirements. Balancing privacy requirements and effective personalisation is a major challenge for brands due to increased regulations, consumers who increasingly guard their privacy online, and ever-growing examples of too much personalisation that erodes trust.

  • Prepare to target new and emerging consumer behaviours across their online purchasing journey by utilising partner-provided insights. The decline of the third-party cookie and changes in mobile ad IDs fundamentally altered brands’ abilities to create and target audiences online

As innovators and drivers of new ideas, products and services, you know best that adaptability and agility are the key to success. Microsoft Advertising helps you seize these market opportunities. The Workday Consumer may just be the start; other personas may be emerging already, and brands that break out of traditional, static, and bounded online advertising practices can ride the waves of opportunity.


If you want to find out more about how you can grow your startup along changing consumer behaviours, feel free to get in touch now or follow Microsoft Advertising on LinkedIn for continuous marketing updates and trends.



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