This article will serve as a fantastic ‘throwback post’ someday. COVID-19 has taken over the world and its impact on advertising and marketing is telling. We wanted to touch base upon a few things through this post. Firstly, our performance marketing agency – Creometric.com is storming through this pandemic and is on the up. With that being said, we did have to pivot a bit to go around the warp.
Secondly, the impact of COVID-19 has been such that, this appreciation post was mandatory (grins).
A mid-year state of things
COVID-19 has had a deep impact on advertising. Brands are re-evaluating their current and future advertising campaigns. Marketing campaigns are monitored to lessen bloated budgets and maintain a steady stream of income.
The month of July saw increased demand and competition for aggressive marketing practises. The impact of advertising on businesses was already being closely monitored by government agencies. The aggressive marketing practises are now being closely monitored to ward off deceptive or unfair campaigns.
Consumers are misled in the name of promotion during this crisis. Price gouging of essential supplies and deceptive scams are common stances. Ad imagery, ad content, language, timing of posting need careful evaluation before reaching the end customer. Some brands are conscious of this whereas some aren’t.
The industries that look most affected are aviation, retail, and hospitality. Not far behind are industries such as transportation equipment, furniture, machinery, fabricated metal, textiles, energy and more.
Issues impacting marketing spend
Businesses are re-evaluating their media and marketing spends. The refocus from August will be to capture the festival craze, and possible returns on collective ad spend.
The key areas that we genuinely feel need consideration from businesses are:
- How will the brand/business sustain itself through advertising?
- Should new products need to be developed?
- How to gauge post-COVID consumer behavior? Trends maybe?
- Can references to community, health and wellness work in ads?
The key twain months
We recommend advertising to be an efficient driver of the Indian economy. It allows consumers to make choices based on their needs, desires and spending. I also feel the next two months can impact advertising and marketing in a big way.
The mass media advertising industry in India is estimated at approx. Rs. 70,000 crores. July should have then seen an average of Rs. 6,000 crores. But, the number in April itself clocked in at Rs. 1,000 crores. July can be assumed to do no better.
The nationwide lock down hasn’t helped. Just as it brought a grinding halt to life as we know, it has halted the wheels of commerce and e-commerce as well. The following two months will invigorate consumer demand. Marketers now know what needs to be done to get ‘effective spending’ done.
Creometric is now back to servicing clients all across India. We listened to our clients, as they spoke of patience, prudence, and smart spending instead of the ‘pedal to the metal’ approach that most clients expect.
We are one of India’s best digital marketing agencies, and can only urge the government to allow marketing and advertising spend as an investment and amortize it for a year at least. This is why.
The marketing and advertising industry will benefit tremendously. It will cut out wasteful expenditure from our friendly ad campaigns. Public listed companies will anyway not get into much marketing spending due to profit maximization and shareholder value. Funds are needed elsewhere such as salaries, rent, overheads, runway etc.
Online marketing will improve post-COVID
We are pretty sure there will be an increased focus on turning customer attention away from the doom and gloom towards joyful urges on spending. Despite the allure of getting on the growth bike, brands must do so in a responsible way.
How can COVID impact on marketing be reduced?
The following months will give marketers ample opportunity to re-shape the declining ad curve. Festivals are a good way to introduce promotional devices. We call them devices because they trigger emotions like nothing else. A great example of adopting current scenarios as product placement is from Germany’s Philipp und Keuntje GmbH.
Contests, freebies, giveaways, cashback, sweepstakes etc. all can work favourably if the intent and right audience are married. The risks, we feel, would be the timing. Coming up with all these goodies at a time when life is of paramount importance makes no sense. The ads will need to be cleverly crafted. Take for example the ad for Softis. It’s quirky, to-the-point, and contemporary.
Here the ‘Cold Wave’ is smartly portrayed as the problem (look closely towards the animation studio’s effort in turning caricatures into droplets of infection).
This isn’t a new campaign but can very well work during the current scenario. If you look at it the first time, you would think this is a COVID19 ad placement. COVID is a type of flu, isn’t it?
Brands can also offer gift cards belonging to grocery stores or redeemable online vouchers. Times like these are perfect to enrich customer loyalty and goodwill. Brands can show their eagerness to help through charitable sales promotion, cause-related marketing and commercial co-ventures will work.
Disclaimer from the Brand: All visuals have been used in good faith without any intention of infringement; video is used for public health and safety awareness purposes only; copyright remains with respective owners.
Check the video below.
For-cause marketing campaigns will be common strategies adopted. It works because brands can then align their products or services with impactful social initiatives.
All the above strategies are heavily regulated, including commercial co-ventures. The brand and the charity are bound by registration and requirements.
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