Dust off your marketing plan – there’s no more time to waste.

May 20, 2020 | by hi-gloss

Of course, our year was off to a glowing start—revenue pacing well ahead of last year, media plans were kicking off and already showing promising results. Not to mention, New Year’s resolutions were barely broken yet. Well, if none of that was true for you, then you have an out. Either way, it doesn’t matter where we left off, but your next few steps will prove to make or break the year ahead.

Retraining the consumer’s muscle memory 

In the midst of the global health crisis, many brands chose to position themselves early on as a part of the conversation. Through emotional commercials and social media posts, the phrase “we’re in this together” echoed across channels—from locally owned businesses to the blue chips. In addition to showcasing their company’s core values on the main stage, it also allowed these brands to maintain brand equity and consumer awareness during these “unprecedented times.”

If you decided your brand shouldn’t have a voice in that moment, that’s understandable. But If you haven’t already found your motivation to reboot your marketing plan, there is no more time to waste. Just as we’ve accepted our previous way of life won’t go back with the flick of a light switch, neither will brand equity and consumer behavior. AdWeek recently published how national brands aren’t cutting marketing budgets; rather, they are reportedly reallocating to areas where gains can be made. As nonessential businesses start to reopen, the retailers, travel brands and restaurants that are the first to advertise are the ones that are going to be making the largest gains when compared to pre-pandemic times. Muscle memory of the body takes two to four weeks to set in: muscle memory tied to consumption is not far behind.

So then, where do we begin? It always helps to begin with the basics. Where should we be advertising and what should our messaging look like?

Keep it simple – go where there’s reach

The luxury of a booming economy allowed us to cut some corners and take a few shortcuts in the past few years. Brands have chopped the marketing funnel in half, replacing high impact and traditional mediums that helped build brands, to focus on low cost, bottom funnel activity. “This is the time to reevaluate our recent approach to advertising and introduce ways to tell our brand’s story and showcase the true value of the product”, said Roberto Villazon, CEO, hi-gloss, “consumer-sentiment studies conducted during the crisis resulted in the want and need for a connection with a product, which will provide brands the opportunity to drive value versus discounting, as brands have mistakenly done in past downtimes. But above all, we are focused on reaching people where they are now. That is ultimately what drives our distribution strategy.”

The hot and well-performing trend of custom content creation is ideal for storytelling, along with influencer endorsements. Both channels allow your brand to be explored beyond a basic image and call-to-action. One of programmatic advertising’s biggest assets is the ability to switch platforms to take advantage of sudden changes in consumer behavior. A perfect example is with OOH advertising. Rather than media partners pulling their spending from their OOH budget, advertisers are changing their OOH location strategy from public transit and cinemas to new locations that are much busier than usual.

Tailor your strategy to the consumer’s behavior

Data, insights and research have never been more important to our day-to-day strategy. Since most of us are experiencing our first pandemically-driven economic shutdown, we are fairly unsure how consumers will react in the days ahead. Will there be lack of confidence in spending or will there be a resurgence from pent up demand? Nobody knows for certain, so be sure to stay in-tune and aware with the latest trends and reports. Publishers have been developing and fine-tuning sentiment-based advertising over the past year. Condé Nast uses first-party data across brands to share insights that speak to how consumers are spending now, how those behaviors might change and who will be the next customer who does spend as stay-at-home orders continue to lift. There is no better time to adjust your digital strategy to include this targeting feature.

With the unknowns and a few more pivots expected along the way, what is still in our control is our brand’s message and distribution strategy. We indeed have all been in this together—but get your plan in gear now, so you’re not left “socially-isolated” by your competition.

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