With UpFronts and NewFronts on the horizon, it’s impossible to ignore the changes we may see in advertising strategy as brands plan for a post-pandemic world. The odds are high that advertisers will be demonstrating a heightened level of caution this year than in years past as they are faced with bigger questions and uncertainty surrounding their budgets. What should be spent, how and where becomes much more complicated in a volatile and uncertain market. But with the right data and strategic mindset, there is plenty of room to succeed in the new normal. Below are a few critical points that all advertisers should keep in mind as we head into recovery and revitalization:
Now is (still) the time to invest. Our data has already proven that maintaining marketing during an economic downturn is critical to a brand’s long-term health and success. In fact, a brand that reduces its media spend in 2020 by $50 million will, on average, stand to lose $130 million in revenue in 2020 alone, and when factoring in the long-term implications of this reduction, the number increases to well over $300 million. It’s not a question of whether or not to keep advertising, it’s more a question of which channels are right given the major shifts we’ve seen in consumer behavior over the past several months.
Consumer behavioral shifts are not a fad. The fact is, consumer trends we’re seeing in digital content consumption in particular may have been accelerated due to stay-at-home orders and other side effects of the pandemic, but they were shifts that were already in-progress. For that reason, brands need to embrace omnichannel now more than ever. Most importantly, don’t make assumptions about which channels are delivering results - instead, dig into the data and shift spend based on what is actually working, not on what you presume should work. Having a clear look at media impact by channel allows you to adjust your marketing mix based on new goals and consumer behavior.
Plan, plan, plan. Not only should omni-channel be top-of-mind for advertisers looking at budget plans, but so should planning for future adjustments. The most powerful way to do this? Scenario-planning. In the case of the current situation, that means tying operational factors to varying degrees of potential severity based on how your business is being impacted. Simulate your plans against each potential scenario to optimize not just marketing, but non-marketing business drivers as well. Be sure to track sales on an ongoing basis to evaluate the trajectory and refine your plans as needed.
Savvy marketers armed with existing research and a partnership with marketing measurement experts should still feel confident placing their bets as we look out into the new normal. Even with many unknowns, a holistic understanding of which channels work, why, and how they impact business can lead to informed decisioning that drives brand growth.
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