Marketing in a Pandemic

Over the past weeks and now months, anyone working within the marketing world will be all too familiar with the information overload we’ve collectively witnessed. On a daily basis our inboxes are crammed full of speculative opinion pieces and perspectives offering up interesting points of view, but all too often lacking actionable advice. 

Our intention with these articles, therefore, is to avoid this unsubstantiated speculation and instead provide pragmatic advice that businesses and brands can act on. 

The next 6-18 months represent a period of considerable uncertainty for marketers as governments worldwide begin to cautiously lift restrictions. A period characterised by further outbreaks, selective lockdowns and staggered easing by geography or demographic. 

Against this backdrop, the marketing decisions made over the following weeks and months have the potential to create a more profound and longer-lasting impact on brands than at any other time in recent history. The ability to make those decisions in a strategically informed and agile fashion, will be critical to a brand’s future success.  

Our first article explores how the extreme stress of crisis has created a number of behavioural tensions amongst consumers. Tensions that brands need to mitigate for but can also leverage to create genuine value for consumers and as a result for their businesses. 

Our second article helps answer one of the most fundamental marketing questions, should I spend on marketing and if so, how much and where? Evidently the answer is far more nuanced than simply spending your way out of trouble, every brand and category faces very different dynamics, but with the application of updated data and analytical techniques, we can start to negate some of the uncertainty. 

The third article touches on audience and considers how the crisis will have made previous segmentation and targeting approaches obsolete, or at the very least temporarily irrelevant. How will the sources of demand be impacted and what will be the corresponding effect on growth audiences? What will changes in context, needstates and socio-demographic parameters mean for historical segmentation and targeting strategies. 

Naturally shifts in consumer behavior as well as audience and targeting dynamics will impact messaging requirements. Add to this the significant restrictions in place impacting the production process, means brands need to find new agile ways to create the right messages using emerging techniques and technologies – the subject of our fourth article. 

The fifth article offers up practical advice for brands needing to respond to a massively accelerated shift to on-line sales. A simple framework is applied to help businesses understand how to ready themselves for new on-line consumers with new product demands. How to direct consumers efficiently and effectively to the shelf and once there how to enhance the experience. And finally, how to help secure loyalty and repeat purchase by winning in the last mile. 

Finally, in our data and tech article we suggest ways to use the crisis as an imperative and opportunity to review brands’ current data & tech solutions. Suggestions on how ensure great basics as well as longer term mitigation for the identity ecosystem freefall in play before the crisis. Practical advice that will in turn will allow brands to navigate an increasingly volatile and uncertain future. 

Whilst these six areas by no means represent the sum of all key decisions to be made, they are undoubtedly some of the most significant. The ability to confidently action them at speed will be paramount in allowing brands and businesses to succeed in the recovery phase. 

Request your copy of ‘Marketing in a pandemic’ here.

MG Podcast – Episode Seven: Content creation and social media during lockdown

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