COVID-19 has rapidly transformed every aspect of human function on a global scale, causing brands to reassess their budgets, priorities and strategies moving forward. The affects are felt in every household, business and industry.
Many brands are trying to ride out this wave, buckling down and cutting spending. But we know when times are bad brands NEED advertising to pull them through.
Advertising during a crisis provides long-term goals even if there is short term pain. Research proves that during the GFC and other recessions, companies that sustained marketing were significantly stronger in the long run and maintained their reputations.
A Harvard Business Review followed 200 companies during the 1923 Recession. Those that maintained advertising were 20% further ahead after the crisis. Those that reduced advertising averaged 7% lower success. Research by McGraw during the 1980s Recession found that three years after it ended, sales of companies who had aggressively advertised during the crisis had grown 275% more than those that didn't.
Longer periods off air will undoubtedly weaken brand health & damage market share due to a reduction in share of voice. How you manage your company during difficult times reflects your brand substantially more than during the best of times. Right now, the safest way to ensure your long term growth is to maintain spend.
Lessons from the Past:
Crisis is temporary, consumer relationships and trust is long lasting.
So where to begin?
First, brands must not think about today, but about how they want their brand to be perceived when the world starts to return to normal.
Importantly, consumers feel the need for brands to keep advertising. Our pandemic study found 62% in the USA feel that brands should continue to advertise as normal during COVID-19. It is pivotal that brands provide such opportunities to gain the trust and respect of their shareholders.
Use this disrupted activity to build brand relationships. Consumers will value voices that communicate a positive feeling and proactive message.
Ultimately, if you advertise when everyone else stops marketing, there are fewer ads in the market. Therefore your message is more likely to be noticed and your brand more likely to be remembered. You can provide a strong voice of support and understanding for your consumers needs.
Everyone is affected by this pandemic and this will be a difficult time for all. Luma Research has done critical research into how we can help brands best get through the next year. We have seen consumer behaviour change within a matter of days and urge brands to be proactive for the sake of both their consumers and their long-term survival,
Get in touch with Luma for more advice on how your brand can best prepare for a future with COVID-19.