Peter Field, Marketing Consultant and Effectiveness Expert published a seminal paper about advertising in a downturn. We reference his research here and here. On April 21st he joined thinktv in a webinar to expand on his latest research about best practices and new findings for brands in the era of COVID-19. The presentation can be found on thinktv's website. Here's a recap of his findings:
Focus on Long Term
Unless your survival depends on servicing existing customers, now is the time to focus on brand building. The ratio between brand and activation should skew heavily towards brand. Right now, businesses should be setting themselves up to be able to hit targets next year, their vision set towards recovery and not short term losses. This isn't necessarily just advertising, but in acts of humanity. How is your brand living out its values in this time?
Defend Share of Voice
As the research from the original research paper states, now is not the time to cut ad spend. The research shows that if brands positively invest in share of voice during a recession, the returns are even greater than in normal times. The inverse is also true. There is a stable relationship between share of voice and market share.
Seize Market Opportunity
Because the cost of share of voice falls during a recession there's an opportunity for growth at a lower cost. In this situation particularly,we're seeing significantly elevated media consumption of TV, social, and trusted news channels. Viewership is increased and competition and rates are lower, it's important to take advantage of this to drive growth.
Demonstrate Humanity and Generosity
The theme of this crisis in particular is that it's not just about ads, it's about behaviour. The mood of society is solidarity and togetherness and people want to see this reflected in ads, but they also want to know how brands are demonstrating their values. Many brands are adopting messages that highlight our shared humanity and spread hope and enthusiasm.
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