As a media agency we’re in the business of people, whether that’s understanding our client’s business needs and pressures, understanding consumer behaviours and motivations or supporting our own people to do their best work and it’s fair to say cost of living is an ever-increasing concern for all of us. With this we decided to launch a cost-of-living week at the agency with a purpose to arm our teams with topical stimulus, actionable insights and planning tips to help them navigate their clients through the crisis. Our People team also took the opportunity to remind staff of useful benefits and promote options for support and wellbeing at a time of Increased anxiety over personal finances.
Following a jam-packed schedule of presentations, workshops, and client panels throughout the week we’ve summarised the Top 5 takeout’s below:
- Approaching audience work with empathy is critical. Focusing on robust research and remembering that data signals and/or facts are not the same as empathy and insight is key. Asking the right questions from the data and talking to as many people as possible will help us understand changing needs and motivations
- Audience segmentation needs to go beyond demographics. The crisis is likely to be long lasting and impact people in different ways, so looking beyond income and demographics to also consider financial resilience, life events and attitudes to spending will allow us to identify new opportunities and engage consumers in different ways
- Advertising grows businesses even in tough times. For brands to come out of the crisis stronger than competitors its critical they continue to invest in marketing, show authentic empathy for customers, and develop advantage through smart tactics from within media and marketing through to service and customer support
- Be creative with brand responses to the cost-of-living crisis but be mindful of tone. Consumers already feel like they are in recession, and although the crisis won’t impact everyone equally, brands need to tread carefully to avoid coming across as insensitive or self-serving. A certain level of seriousness may win over ostentatious activations or excess joviality that could be deemed as trivialising consumer struggles.
- Supporting our clients with agile planning and effectiveness will be key. We heard loud and clear from our clients that this period would require us to demonstrate our agility in market as well as to support them in understanding and responding to the ever-changing landscape.