Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time” – Henry Ford
There’s a popular industry adage that reads “when times are good, you should advertise. When times are bad, you must advertise.” And this strategy has proven successful for many large corporations who have invested marketing dollars in trying times. Yet this strategy is typically only successful should the company have an in-depth understanding of their consumer base, and are generating regular foresight, insight and cross-sight on industry trends.
The strategy should not simply be to double down on marketing and advertising when everyone else is pulling out. Rather, you need to fully understand your customer base and define your key user personas. And remember that consumer behavior tends to dramatically shift during times of uncertainty: attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors can all be impacted. To address the consumer shift and ensure that ad dollars are spent wisely, marketers must aim for memorable, not clickable, campaigns.
In addition, time must be spent on analyzing and generating foresight (what future trends are going to impact your industry?) Insight (what is it about your organization that can help shape and drive your industry?) And cross-sight (what unique assets do you have that can integrate with each other and the rest of the ecosystem to deliver a superior customer experience?)
The purpose of spending the extra money when funds are tight is not to be the most talked-about company of the week. The purpose is to maintain competitive advantage. Marketing is arguably the most important branch of any organization but is only important if the company understands its unique value proposition in the space it’s operating in. A failure to understand the market or the customer can lead to a total fail, a negative ROI, and the perception that the marketing department is dispensable (think New Coke).
The new era of advertising on social media has led many companies to fall into the trap of clickable ad campaigns. Throughout the pandemic, companies were creating humorous content with no relation to their brand – sure it was entertaining, but it left no mark on the consumer. This notion of funny advertising is not a new concept. If you think about some of the “best” ads or commercials you have seen, would you be able to associate content with company? For example, the “Talking Baby” commercials are funny, but did you know they are advertising for eTrade? Do you know what eTrade does?
Duolingo and RyanAir are two companies that put heavy emphasis on marketing during the start of the pandemic, and both have seen tremendous growth. What started as a clickable ad campaign resulted in a memorable ad campaign.
So how do you resonate with the consumer AND create a memorable ad campaign? When I say Flo and Jake, you’ll probably think “Progressive” and “State Farm,” respectively. These two companies created personas for their brand that related to their consumer and date back nearly a decade. Customer retention should be at the forefront of any marketing campaign. When recession and panic set in, companies that go dark and pull marketing dollars could face revenue declines of up to 11 percent, and take nearly 5 years to bounce back. So creating a campaign that resonates with your consumer, is engaging (clickable), and memorable, will not only attract new customers, but help retain them when disposable income becomes sparse. Because when consumer spending rebounds, as it invariably does, they’ll want to choose you over anyone else.
The strategy then must be two-fold: (1) ensure you have an in-depth understanding of your customer to develop a campaign that will resonate with them; and (2) create a campaign that the consumer will remember. In times of panic, keep calm and carry on spending (albeit judiciously).
Need a deeper understanding of your customers and market foresight, insight, and cross-sight to inform compelling messaging and creative that drive long-term engagement? Speak to Bluedoor: email@example.com