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The current state of the world leads to a period of uncertainty in the realm of digital advertising. Depending on where your company or your clients are positioned, the effects of COVID-19 are either having tremendous or horrible impacts on standard business performance. For those on the latter side, this is a time where advertisers are seeing budgetary shifts, paused platforms, and a whole array of other changes to navigate the new quarantine landscape. If you find yourself in this group of advertisers, below are a few methods to ensure that you bring back lost performance and are ready to hit the ground running as life returns to normal (whenever that may be).
COVID-19 impacts may change which areas of your business are the most profitable. More workers are shifting to remote work from home across the world and more consumers are being confined to only purchasing non-essential items online. With a shifting consumer landscape, goals may need to be shifted to meet the new demands and target the user where they will actually be. Consider your currently employed strategies and determine whether those are tailored to reaching the new goals.
In a time of reduced budgets, perceived lack of work, and general changes; now is the time to work on material that can enhance your endeavors outside of actual advertising. Use this time to build case studies on your past successes that you can utilize later for pitches and internal marketing efforts. Help your marketing team with whitepapers, case studies, webinars, and any other materials that may help make life easier when things begin to normalize. By spending time preparing for the future now, you will thank yourself for the new bank of resources when that time comes.
Personally, I have begun to break my digital strategies into the short-term and long-term. In the short-term, we are specifically focused on how to deal with the changing digital landscape due to COVID-19 and how we can make direct impacts on the business right now. This includes swapping out any sensitive creative (handshaking, physical social interaction, etc.), creating new remote-oriented campaign flights, combing search term reports, and anything else that will move the needle right now.
Shifting to long-term strategies, the focus should lie on 2 things: continuing your already in-action strategy growth and being ready for a furious but different landscape once the bans are lifted. The first part is crucial. Most advertisers were getting out of pitch season where they received new budgets, pitched new initiatives, and aligned teams with the new plans. Keep this going but in the background. Have all of your original plans ready to go for when business shifts back to normal. That being said, will we know what normal looks like after travel bans and quarantines are lifted? Will consumers flock to brick and mortar stores once they can? Will the event industry explode? While these are not questions that we can answer now, what we can do is prepare for them now. Prepare for the influxes and changes and once they come, the workload will not feel so burdensome.
Keeping these few tips in mind, the biggest thing we can do whether in-house or at an agency is to level up our understanding of the businesses we support and continue to act with high amounts of empathy. Companies are making drastic and quick decisions during this period of uncertainty. All we can do is take them in stride and move forward with the new situations presented to us.
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