What Questions Marketers Should Ask During a Pandemic?



How can businesses make money during COVID-19?

Staying indoors is the best for curbing the coronavirus’s spread, but staying at home further when the daily number of positive cases of COVID-19 is declining, will impact home-bound consumers’ brands. Although the lag on advertising spend will cut expenses in the short term, it will affect a brand’s resilience. How can businesses support their brands and make money in an unprecedented time?

We are all aware that television has always been an excellent way for businesses to build brand loyalty. Marketers now have to control spending while continuing to engage with customers. Expectedly, this is all occurring so fast against the backdrop of two vital global trends: increased media consumption and decreased advertising spend.

Increased Media Consumption

Media consumption is increasing, and it is anticipated that being home-bound could lead to almost a 60% surge in the amount of video content we watch worldwide. As each country is responding differently to the coronavirus pandemic, television engagement is varied. But the only consistent thing is the time spent per viewer watching the news and entertainment is going up as the spread of COVID-19 worsens, and isolation becomes the only solution to curbing the spread.

Marketers should ask themselves the following questions to make use of long periods of television engagement:

1. How can I present my content to reach new audiences? Build new strategies to reach local areas, different demographic splits, and new interests. Thus, a marketer can have consumers engaged longer.

2. Does the concept of primetime during daytime still exist? With people following social distancing, is primetime shows still in the evenings? As the viewers’ time shift, content requires a flexible primetime period, and the verifying types of content consumers are thriving for.

3. Sports content is one of the most engaging niches on TV. With the effect of cancelled matches and closed stadiums, broadcasters need to figure out a way to replace this sorely missed content. For instance, NASCAR has taken the bull by the horns and started hosting virtual races with professional yet live racers, and the first event attracted significant engagement. The new ways to engage the home-bound audience could be testing historical sports content, other applications for esports, and potentially offering home workouts.


Decreased Advertising Volumes

Italy was the epicenter of the pandemic within Europe until April. The impact it has had on the advertising industry helped foresee the fate for many markets that were a few weeks behind. As per Nielsen Ad Intel, for the TV advertising volumes data released for March 2020, it saw a 5% decline in the volumes of ads than the previous year. Entertainment and Transport and Tourism sectors recorded -42% and -67% declines, respectively. The United Kingdom has started to follow suit, with 3% fewer ads than the past year. Belgium and the Netherlands have witnessed small hikes of 4.2% and 4.5%, respectively.

India, however, is an outlier to the TV advertising volume trends surprisingly. In the first week of the lockdown, advertising volumes saw a 13% surge compared to the week conducting March 14, 2020, to 11th January-31st January 2020. Advertising volume increases because of social advertisement (147%), food and beverage (36%), and banking and finance investment (47%).

Marketers must re-examine their advertising strategy by asking:

1. How can I have a steady pool of customers with brand loyalty advertising? Prove that your brand is affecting the community or demonstrating new ways to use your products such as DIY sanitation, recipes could increase your customer adoption in the long term, and airlines are partnering with local governments to help consumers seeking a return home to overcome the pain the aviation industry is coping up. They have revised their cancelling policies, allowed flexibility to postpone flights later in the year, and extended their loyalty program benefits.

2. How to connect my brand with people’s feelings and experiences of COVID-19? During the strict lockdown in March, new ads in Italy promoted a train service in which people were hugging each other. Identifying this, brands in Italy are changing their creative strategies. It’s essential to adapt content quickly to changing times and demonstrate ways to deliver new customers’ needs.

COVID-19 causes a severe threat to the media ecosystem. Marketers can adopt brand strategies and reverse shrinking margins by looking at content and ads through a different lens.