Follow the people: make sure your marketing reflects changes in consumer media usage post lockdown
“Around the world, we have supported our brands and not reduced our consumer spend. However, where we have been spending has changed as we have followed people where they are going: online, on TV, on their devices, on their own. And it is working,” says Ivan Pollard, Global Chief Marketing Officer, General Mills.
“In crisis, going dark is not an option; brands risk losing salience. Regaining it is an arduous journey – expensive and time consuming. Keeping the brand present and visible, always, is critical. Brands’ intent is important, but action is impactful. Actions truly speak louder and more credibly than words,” says Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer, Mastercard.
“At Mastercard, our aspirations haven’t changed in light of Covid-19, but our approaches have. We monitor consumer sentiment and behavior and work quickly to deliver what they are asking for. A good example is our pivot from priceless experiences to Priceless@Home – consumer experiences curated and delivered digitally,” he added.
Don’t just focus on e-commerce: brand building remains vital even when digital is your only outlet
“Advertising is a priority during a recession. Protecting media money has been a priority for our brands. For a time we moved the bulk of the investment to support e-commerce sales and business continuity but as soon as we could we started reinvesting in brand building, creating awareness and consumers appetite to come back to stores and to beauty. But we need to reinvent the advertising language and grammar to embrace fundamental demands from our consumers: authenticity, sincerity, transparency and emotional decency,” says Lubomira Rochet, Chief Digital Officer of L’Oréal.
Respond emotionally: change your message to reflect the consumers’ challenged state of mind
“All past recessions have shown that when brands stand by people in times of need, people stand by those brands afterwards. Crises are times of reconsideration and so being absent takes you out of the consideration set. Being present can show you are being considerate,” says Ivan Pollard.
“Life is emotionally charged and now more than ever, we need our agency partners to help with the most thoughtful planning and creativity. I am proud of our teams—even in exceptional circumstances, we have been able to shape and launch entirely new campaigns. We’ve worked closely with media owners to maximise our value and cut through, accelerating our E comm media and digital investment. We’ve paid close attention to our messages to be helpful, informative and add value,” she added,” says Tamara Rogers, Chief Marketing Officer of GSK.
“It is a time for great communication, clarity of purpose, humanity, agility and resilience. It’s also time to take care of each other and that’s why I think the partnership between clients and agencies is at a pivotal point. Back in my Lowe Howard-Spink days I used to say take care of the people, take care of great work and the money will take care of itself. It’s not that simple now but there are some great partnerships flourishing even in these difficult times and a lot to learn by using the data smartly. Take care,” says David Wheldon, former Chief Marketing Officer of RBS.
These opinions were sourced by WFA for an article originally published in Campaign here.
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