In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity – Albert Einstein
As the whole world is adapting to the disruption caused by recent events, the current conditions can offer brands a great opportunity to re-valuate their marketing strategy – whether it is shorter-term customer acquisition or longer-term brand building based – and exploit the advantages. Not only is this a time of new challenges, but it is also a chance to rebuild a brand image, as well as take advantage of the appealing short-term deals and changing TV audiences.
Brand consultant, Mark Ritson has provided his view on the most recent market conditions, discussing why the current events offer businesses a great long-term opportunity for brand building.
Brand building as a long-term investment
As customers deal with the uncertainty including that of the economical aspect; Ritson suggests that direct response (DR) and sales acquisition is anticipated to see a decline across various sectors during the current market conditions. He argues that long-term brand building media strategy will have an effect that will last long after the virus has passed. When the crisis is over and people return to the streets and all the different aspects of their lives, they will remember the brands that supported them through the darker times. Ritson also debates the option of brands going dark for the rest of 2020 and returning to the market in the longer run, which he suggests might be more expensive than to invest in media now.
Great brands stand out by exemplifying their brand values in the face of the crisis that surrounds it
Ritson argues that the current situation is a test for brands to build their equity, making smart and intuitive marketing decisions, while many of the competitors are decreasing their media investment and share of voice. While others see this as an obstacle, there is “a rare opportunity to come out of the crisis not just alive, but ahead”.
All Response Media viewpoint
With people now working from home, an increasing number have been turning on their TV as the main source for the latest news updates, as well as daily entertainment and escape of reality. These new conditions have given businesses with various levels of budgets a chance, to not only increase their brand awareness but also capitalise on the most recent changes in TV viewing behaviour to build successful and efficient acquisition-led DR campaigns. Although several sectors have seen a temporary decline in customer acquisition, they will return and remain in people’s lives once the first challenges have been overcome.
TV viewership and demographics have substantially shifted during daytime hours
Daytime viewing has seen a significant change over the last couple of weeks, with ratings generally increasing and audience demographics shifting as significantly more upscale viewers turn on their TVs, allowing brands to reach them at a more efficient cost per thousand rate than before. Moreover, younger audiences that are normally harder to reach have similarly increased their TV viewing significantly. Viewership of the ITV lunchtime news among 16-34-year olds has increased nearly seven times (source: BARB). In the current climate, TV now offers a great opportunity for brands to reach new audiences that are generally more attentive.
Due to lower demand in the market from several sectors, it has been possible for All Response Media to negotiate a variety of high-value opportunities for brands to increase their share of voice and brand awareness at a much cheaper price. Whether your strategy is short-term performance-driven or tailored to brand building, these incentives can be a great way of reaching much broader demographics of UK viewers and potential customers if the current financial position permits it.
Opportunity to grow across various sectors
Once the adjustment to the new norm has taken place, people are most likely to return to certain aspects of their lives. This will allow particular sectors to take advantage of the situation and grow their businesses, including personal finance, home-related products, social engagement and entertainment (online gaming and fitness) to name a few.
Customer behaviour trends
At the time of crisis, it is even more important for brands to rebuild the trust of their customers. An adaptable and flexible marketing strategy that accounts for the latest customer sentiment and behaviour changes is therefore required to achieve long-term success.
As with every crisis, there is a possibility to grow. With the right media buying strategy and a customer-centric approach, brands can take advantage of the most recent shift in TV viewing to turn the current state of confusion into both a brand building, as well as customer acquisition focused business opportunity.
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