Since the pandemic breakout consumers behaviour have changed drastically with a change in demand, services, products, time spent online and their purchasing patterns that has left marketers in need to amend and re-create their advertising models to suit these new and changing business behaviours.
The most common fears of businesses are responding to questions such as HOW and IF to carry on marketing their business or cut losses, how to understand what impact is the pandemic having on their business and if there are any other ways to prevent further impact on their brand.
One way forward may be the MMM (Marketing Mix Modelling) but it may take time to create and to acquire the sufficient analysis to measure marketing parameters correctly, because they rely on historical data to be able to make predictions (so they will need to evolve to understand the impact a pandemic is having on a business as, during the changes brought by it, you may have no information to rely on); sadly MMM does not measure changes in messaging behaviours or in the design that the business make in response of the current pandemic new consumers behaviours. So with MMM the current creative changes made to survive the pandemic are not - and cannot - actually being measured precisely
The good thing is, that when you live in uncertain times everything is possible. So advertisers can create all sorts of different marketing models to suit the current changes and the impact of the changes, by determining a unique business impact.
Reading campaign insights and learning market impact can be done by checking the results of campaigns more often, comparing them to previous results and learning of geographical results in other countries. Certainty is that by following media and creative best practices campaigns are more effective in achieving goals, so the impressions received carry more influential information!
Another way is that MMMs models need to be validated and checked, so by running advertising experiments in uncertain times, will provide you on a shorter/longer term a visual of what was your MMMs at the start, what it is now and what it may be in the future.
Calibrating MMM with experimenting campaigns is an effective way for advertisers to ensure models are as accurate as they can be during a pandemic. The idea is for example to have a few different campaign methods with the lowest cost per acquisition and see which one has better results. Considering the ever so changing patterns consumers have in uncertain times, marketers must be mindful to change with these patterns accordingly, and to make sure that their MMMs techniques are amended and changing with it as quickly as needed.
It is imperative to remember that current patterns may not be a long term trend scenario, or that only certain aspects may become a “new trend”, so marketers have to keep in mind that their MMMs findings may not be relevant in their future campaign techniques or planning.
But how do you make a struggling business understand the reason why it is important to maintain their online presence for the future?
The risk involved in cutting down on all the marketing for a business, is huge:
- you would experience a loss of efficiency of other and past used tactics you have invested on;
- it will negatively impact long-term brand equity, and
- it will lead to lower ROI (Return on Investment) during an eventual recovery further leading to
- a loss in brand awareness you would have kept going through the hard times if you carried on marketing.
TIP: The increased value in going local is huge:
The more you can use analytics to understand what works on a local level (region, country, etc.), the better you can be prepared to maximize returns during a recovery period. You must adapt to consumers behaviours and adjust your advertising methods accordingly. Try and lower your advertising competitions with unique-to-your business innovative campaigns, emotional campaigns and combined campaigns with aid/charitable causes (like mental health support or helping out others, etc).
If you are a business struggling during the pandemic, good practice is to keep your marketing to a minimal, but not to cut it all back.
The risk you take by cutting it off completely is that once the market will raise again you will have wasted all the money and effort of the years previous to the pandemic, and would have lost your online presence and your brand recognition.
Your chances to rebuild everything once the market will be on the rise will be incredibly hard and saturated with competitors that will have kept an established name during the pandemic via their 30%-70% marketing method.
30%-70% marketing method:
in a pandemic you cannot think long term as you do not know how the current changes will affect in the future. Hence you can only plan in the short term and keep that going that way. Think of a 30% marketing method on a shorter term will, if you stick to it consistently, bring you the rest 70% longer term impact once the market will rise again.
By continuing to advertise during this difficult times to build a resilient brand, you will see the need to advertise to maintain an increased consumption after the pandemic is over, even more and to keep the name of your business alive till recovery. The potential that ROI will have is linked to the size of the market and you should not expect high levels in a short term during a pandemic.
(Mixed marketing reading sources)