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Business As (Un)usual

It’s a totally bizarre situation we find ourselves in. We’re asked to stay in and the economic consequences are beginning to hit home.

When it comes to business, we are all dealing with a crisis that we’ve never had to deal with before. So what do we do? Who do we turn to for advice? What’s the plan? Ahhhhhh!

Budgets are under brutal pressure, and so it appears to make sense to remove advertising/marketing spend from the equation. However, turning the tap on media and advertising spend during this pandemic and #SAlockdown would be a silly mistake.

Consumers remain open to normal communication; advertising appears to be having a stronger impact than normal with people spending (if that was even possible) MORE time on their mobile phones and online.

More importantly it is important to work on your long-term emotional brand building to benefit your business in recovery mode after we come out of this confusing time.

Our advice…Don’t stop! (cue Journey)

So why does this matter, surely we’ll re-build?  Well this is much harder than you think, and it takes a long time to build back an emotional advantage that you could have defended.  Your distinguishing assets should thus be protected at all costs.  Essentially, they are what sets your brand apart from the competition, when consumers are trying to make quick decisions about which brand to buy (This we know).

If you don’t spend time and money reminding and reassuring people that your brand remains strong, and consolidating your distinctive and recognised brand assets, the competition may quickly snatch the opportunity. Think about it this way, if everyone stops advertising, as soon as we turn the tap again we will be competing with everyone, and your efforts will be diluted — money down the drain.

When a brand reaches Share of Voice (SOV) above their current market share, they are in growth territory. Wouldn’t it make sense to use this time to prepare for growth, communicate with your audience and increase awareness so when the time comes for consumers to start spending, your brand will be top of mind.  We’ve been given the opportunity to focus on one of the key elements of a successful business, SOV, so why waste it?

Long term planning in a short term crisis

There is a need to focus on long term brand building rather than short term advertising. Tactical marketing can be extremely beneficial to brands (think Nandos, although their long term strategy has always incorporated tactic and time-relevant content) but in a time like this, we would not recommend focusing on the crisis, but rather remaining active in the sense of your business objectives. Amend strategies to make sense i.e. Go virtual, be sensitive to new regulations, etc.

I don’t know about you, but some fresh content that doesn’t speak to the coronavirus is welcome!

Research tells us that consumers are looking for brands to keep on with normal life and allow them to look forward to the future after the lockdown. Consumers are feeling somewhat vulnerable and uncomfortable at present.  One of the biggest fears that consumers have is exactly how long any lockdown might last, they don’t want to be constantly reminded about the coronavirus and want life to feel as normal as possible outside of the news feed.

Basically, the evidence suggests that if you possibly can, your brand/business should continue to spend on digital advertising if you plan on not scrambling for SOV, awareness, growth and success when we come out the other side.

Food for thought and consideration,



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