At some point in the next year, the focus will turn to the rebuild. How can marketers help their businesses, and society, come back stronger?
As we approach 2021, it’s more profound than any previous year …
From navigating the rest of the pandemic to plotting the rebuild; from planning across a tech oligopoly to responding meaningfully to the need for greater diversity.
Hopes of an effective vaccine are growing, but mass roll-out remains several months away. The pandemic of 2020 is a tragedy.
And if, as behavioral scientists argue, times of change are when we form new habits, then there has arguably never been a better time to identify new consumption opportunities and disrupt established brand relationships.
Responding to recession
Marketers are planning for a tough economic climate. Marketing budgets are expected to be up in 2020, but not always up in 2019. There is pressure on brand investment, agency and vendor fees, and sponsorship. There is a shift towards investment in performance marketing, which in turn accelerates the trend towards digital channels.
Staying effective in the age of e-commerce
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated e-commerce growth globally, and most marketers believe this shift is permanent. Responding to this trend is a top priority for 2021. Some are exploring direct-to-consumer options, looking for ways to make it easier for consumers to repeat purchases. This shift in distribution will have a knock-on effect on brand strategy and media investment
Engaging at-home consumers
With restrictions on consumers in many major markets expected to last well into 2021, the ‘at-home lifestyle will remain a driver of change and potentially new opportunities. For brands, this means discovering where and how to become a welcome part of consumers’ at-home lives.
Succeeding in the closed web
The third-party cookie is on the verge of obsolescence, as a consequence of regulatory pressures and the unilateral actions of companies including Apple and Google. This hand’s even more power to the major ‘walled gardens – at the same time as their share of ad investment surges. With digital advertising dominated by a small
a number of media platforms, marketers face the daunting task of managing their activity across those garden walls.
Structuring for volatility
Businesses will continue to feel disruption into 2021, and most are investing in some form of digital transformation’ as they try to keep up with the market. For some marketers, this will be an opportunity, as they help their businesses navigate a volatile market and ‘build back better’.
Finding the white space in the wellness
Health and wellness will remain center-stage as the rebuild begins. A growing range of brands is moving into this space, adapting to cater to emerging consumer priorities around both physical and mental wellbeing. As healthcare becomes more digital, brands need to consider their offerings to ensure inclusivity and trust.
Conventional wisdom dictates that brands increasing marketing budget during a recession will recover considerably faster in ‘normal’ times, as consumer confidence returns. Reducing a brand’s share of voice below its share of the market, on the other hand, can
undermine its position – and the level of risk is even greater in price-driven, low-interest categories. Fortune does favor the brave. Focus on customer retention over acquisition.
For eg. Rethink craft
Switch from Hi-fi to Lo-fi creative in the recession. Lo-fi work strips everything back. Humility, humanity, and humor reign supreme. In some cases, you can make content that reacts to other people’s content
COVID-19 and the ensuing recession have the potential to reframe the idea of value for buyers. Consumers want products to be delivered quicker than ever, in a way that suits their needs. Marketers are recommended to go ‘back to basics’ and evaluate all elements of their brand proposition, from product offering to price and pack sizes, to find a model that suits the post-pandemic consumer mindset.
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