The four pillars for thriving in uncertain times
Is the UK heading towards a recession or not? Either way, growing inflation, increasing energy prices and a growing cost of living crunch all mean that the coming months are going to prove challenging.
Brands can come out of the crisis stronger by optimizing their media strategy
In the advertising sector, pressure on TV budgets is mounting as the major players compete for a share of the shrinking pie. The launch of new ad-supported packages from Netflix and Disney+ – though great news for consumers – only puts further pressure on Amazon, Apple and TikTok.
Different industries, different reactions
From what agencies are reporting, it seems that the impact of the economic crisis varies depending on the industry:
The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector is one of the most affected by the crisis, with the rising cost of raw materials eroding profit margins. It is vital for these businesses to focus their advertising efforts on retaining existing customers by clearly communicating their value. If not, consumers may turn their back on large FMCG brands and switch to own brands.
Financial institutions are, of course, among those heavily impacted by current economic instability. As the cost of lending rises, should they still push mortgage products or promote different kinds of services? A shift of emphasis in their messaging may well be a winning card.
Conversely, online retailers focusing on the secondhand market are well-placed to thrive. Tough economic circumstances push consumers towards the value-led market, which, in turn, provides a fertile ground for secondhand shops and marketplaces to boost their revenues.
“Companies need to adapt to circumstances and modify their advertising strategies accordingly,” says David Sargent, head of AV at Mindshare. “There is no doubt companies will be challenged by the increased cost in labor, production and raw materials, meaning marketing spends will have to work that much harder. Responding to these economic pressures with intelligence is key and, as the Covid-19 lockdowns showed, the advent of trying times is often a stimulus for innovation.”
How brands can thrive amid uncertainty
Brands can come out of the crisis stronger by optimizing their media strategy and placing effectiveness, flexibility and innovation at its heart. We see four strategies to support success in times of uncertainty.
1. Think effectiveness first:
Brands under financial pressure often strive to reduce spend, whereas the priority should be to find channels where they can be the most effective and measurable. Despite the growing importance of social media, TV remains the most effective medium to run ad campaigns and build brands. Addressable TV, in particular, helps maximize engagement across the entire funnel and drive ROI. As our latest ‘Thinking Inside the Box’ report demonstrates, addressable TV is also the greatest driver of attention, which plays a pivotal role in enhancing brand loyalty and sales volume.
2. Embed flexibility into your strategy:
Taking a step back to reassess marketing strategies and objectives in light of evolving consumer habits is key. In uncertain times, brands can build trust by delivering tailored messages on TV, the most trustworthy channel in the household. It is crucial to be flexible and ready to modify the tone as the circumstances evolve. Value-based messaging should be prioritized so consumers are fully aware of the value of a brand.
3. Maximize efficiency through a holistic media strategy:
Once an effectiveness strategy is in place, how can brands maximize efficiency? For those investing in linear TV, layering in addressable can lead to significant cost savings. A financial brand looking to maximize unique reach reported cost savings of £1.6m in the last quarter by running linear TV and Finecast in combination. Now more than ever it is important to implement ‘total video planning,’ a holistic media strategy that ensures brands run and measure their campaigns in the most effective way across the entire TV viewing population.
4. Embrace a creative and experimental mindset:
Uncertain times provide brands with the opportunity to reinvent themselves. When an economic crisis is under way, some brands may become cautious and mindful of the risks rather than of the opportunities ahead. This attitude, however, limits creativity and can hamper progress. Brands that unleash their creative power when a crisis strikes will likely be more successful. Experimenting with, for instance, shoppable ads, dynamic creative optimization or first-party data on TV can help a company test new ways to engage with its audiences and hit its marketing goals.
Keeping your foot on the marketing pedal
Advertising has historically been strongly correlated to consumer confidence and spending. Navigating uncharted waters may feel daunting. Brands that are brave enough to innovate in trying circumstances and streamline their media strategy can turn the crisis into an opportunity for growth.
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