When an unforeseen pandemic lands, our first thought is to throw everything out the window. However, as we witness a new chapter of history unfold, it is important to pair our media efficiency with humanity.
Since the Coronavirus outbreak, media consumption has been strongly intensified, especially during this stay-at-home period. This means that,now more than ever, we need to advertise. Because our reach is greater and because consumers will remember how we made them feel and that we were by their side during the Covid-19 crisis, rather than how we gave up and stopped advertising.
What has changed?
This corona crisis has changed consumer behavior and media consumption. In Europe, TV is seeing a huge increase in reach and view time: target groups have increased in each age group, news channels are showing their highest growth, and in Belgium, according to the CIM, TV now has a daily reach of 70 to 75% throughout the country, with 81% reach on Sunday (the most watched programs in Belgium being the news).
The online usage has also increased and shifted heavily towards news content. The number of pages seen on Belgian media’s sites and apps increased by 50% between mid-februari and mid-march. And now that all live sport events are cancelled, e-sports & streaming are growing even faster.
What are the risks and opportunities?
Industries that rely on people leaving their homes are most obviously at risk, but internet players are taking larger shares and accelerating their growth. China saw the highest shifts from offline to online purchases of consumer goods and Amazon has created 100,000 new jobs.
SO WHAT MUST BRANDS DO?
Brands that step back now and remain "silent" are less likely to leave an impact. Furthermore, a "comeback" after a long break will require even more resources.
So to utilize the current situation, the brands need to streamline efforts by bridging the gap between media and creativity (in the Serviceplan Group we call this ÜberCreativity). They should stay visible and change the way they communicate with clients:
- Sell online;
- Find a new interactive way to tell their story;
- Create relevant actions and content to gain fans’ trust;
- Improve people’s lives;
- Be transparent;
- Share and boost optimism.
Now is also the time for brands to think about rapidly reshaping brand value and differentiation and focus on branding activities to increase long term sympathy.
In short, we must continue to advertise during this crisis because this is a chance for brands to come closer to their consumers and colleagues by simply being on the same side.
In that way, when the consumption recovers, the brands who now increase their brand strength and who were open and honest with consumers will be the ones remembered and cherished.
AN ACTION PLAN FOR SUCCESSFUL BRAND MANAGEMENT DURINGCRISIS
Define the adjusted purchase journey to the new situation.