Since mid-March, marketers have faced unprecedented business circumstances. Even for those who have experienced […]
Since mid-March, marketers have faced unprecedented business circumstances.
Even for those who have experienced economic shocks such as the GFC or recession overseas, no one has experienced the suddenness and magnitude of the disruption we’ve all faced in the past few weeks.
To many its daunting and exhausting. To a few its exciting. Budgets have been cut, plans have been shelved and nobody has been able to plan with any true confidence. Additionally, jobs have been lost and business models decimated; all coinciding with the need to switch to remote working. It’s the perfect storm. But isn’t it also the perfect time for the marketing profession & its industry to lead? Marketers are best placed to ‘own the customer.’ Can we create a pathway for business to overcome adversity & create opportunity?
The AANA Media Group can share a selection of early learnings from navigating the crisis management phase of this pandemic. Taking them on board now will help us understand the very different world we are now facing into:
- Sales revenue, as a metric, is the ultimate influence on the business’s confidence to invest in marketing during a crisis. A collapse in sales will lead to a collapse in all investment and discretionary spend until confidence in the revenue pattern is restored. Marketers need to build this confidence and earn the right to invest. Marketers also know that a crisis can present lots of opportunities to build brands and to invest for the long term (& they don’t need to be constantly told this). However, the immediate lack of cash often prevents them from doing so.
- Media owners are being flexible with cancelling and replanning media, but you may have to ask for this flexibility. Recognise that media agencies and media owners are cashflow sensitive businesses too.
- Relevancy and tonal fit to changed consumer sentiment & behaviour is critical at this point in the pandemic. Brands need to be sensitive but in the short term may not have access to the appropriate creative assets to meet this need.
- The focus right now needs to be on ‘serving and not selling.’ This is a great opportunity to build brand trust because, in a recession, familiar and trusted brands will win.
- Marketers are now focusing on the forward plans and how to navigate the long recession ahead of us. Agility is no longer just something we speak about. We have to practise it.
- Divide your marketing team and ideas capacity into “now” and “next” streams. This will give you equal bandwidth on two critical dimensions.
- Building fresh consumer insights driven out unprecedented shifts in consumer behaviour, attitudes and sentiment will lead to new, relevant ideas & opportunities. Don’t wait for your competitor to do it before you.
- Educate consumers to drive digital adoption, particularly amongst the older demographics.
- Recognise & reward your agency partners. They have demonstrated amazing agility & productivity in responding to our priorities at the same time as switching to remote working. Look after your agency team. They are an extension of your marketing team.
- Take the opportunity to evaluate and reset your own leadership capability. The choices you make around culture and values and their impact on others will have a major influence on whether you succeed or fail.