brand strategy

Shift Gears, to Stay Relevant Post Covid

Marketing Deep Dive Published on 10 Aug 2020

The pandemic has affected businesses and marketers in unprecedented ways. Business plans have been parked, as life takes a 360 degree turn for most. The angle varies from business to business, sector to sector and country to country. But the impact by the pandemic is undeniable.For marketers, it’s a catch 22 situation. Even though the demands of most non-essential goods have seen a dip, yet not marketing them enough will take the lows deeper. They are forced out of their comfort zone, with the once ‘liberal’ marketing budget and need to evolve into a more agile and ‘tailor made’ marketing model, to devise ways to mitigate the impact in the coming quarters. 

Let’s see some facts:

  • “Globally, more than half of the companies surveyed by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) in early April said they had decreased budgets ‘greatly or somewhat’. A further 81 per cent said they were deferring planned advertising campaigns, with the WFA survey suggesting 21 per cent of the world’s biggest advertisers had greatly reduced their marketing budgets.
  • “The IAB surveyed nearly 30 Leaders of Agencies and Clients marketing teams between April 6 and April 12. The findings suggest an immediate downturn with 48% saying they have already seen up to 30% budget cuts in April and 20% saying they have paused all Ads until further notice.” **
  • “Ad spends are down 9% on average across Europe, with Germany and France falling by 7% and 12% respectively.”
  • “Three of this year's quarters are expected to have a greater impact that the financial crisis in 2008.”
  • “Similar to other regions, the Middle Eastern market has taken a massive hit with the global outbreak: 47% of businesses have recorded a negative impact on their business, leading to a $44 million loss in digital ad spend and even more significant loss of employment.”

In light of these hard-hitting truths, marketers need to navigate their brand path cautiously. They need to adapt their short-term strategy, to fit the current ecosystem which has become the new reality, to get closer to the long-term goals. 



Market to stay relevant and to stay top-of-mind.:

One of the key factors to incorporate, to mitigate the impact, is to be aware of the changing dynamics of the touch points of the target audience, for not just their messaging, but also for interaction and consumption of the product. With the months of lockdown, social distancing and self-quarantine, people are no longer engaging with the traditional media (outdoor advertising, public events, retail displays, etc) the way they were pre-Covid.  Simply stated their media platforms have also been quarantined. And rate of online media consumption (social media, e-commerce platforms. entertainment streaming platforms, gaming platforms and overall internet usage) has skyrocketed.

The marketers need to shift their ad budget and strategy to reach the living rooms, bedrooms and study of their audience. Lastly, transform the way you engaged with your audience, even on digital platforms.. Don’t stay restricted to only ads and newsletters, think webinars, think virtual community events. Think of ways of enhancing their buying experience. 

Faster delivery with hygienic packaging is a given. But what value addition can be done to stay more relevant to your consumers, is the key here. But while shifting the gear, they also need to have empathy as a brand for the times we all are in

A brand that is rooted only for selling its products, will not create the human connection, which is the need of the hour. They need to stay socially relevant and customize their messaging to connect the right chord.Marketers can build their support system for the brand, through their brand custodians or advocates. With the digital clutter, crowding the head space of the audience, brands need to use other channels to convey their messaging in indirect ways.

And influencers are going to be their advocates in these times, when social media engagements and consumption are ever increasing. 

Plan not just for 2020, prepare for the future and become a part of the eco-system to market better and more importantly become a more relevant Brand.


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