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Advertising in the times of Crisis




Without any doubt, these are the tough times we are going through or perhaps the strangest! Everyone seems to be affected and figuring out a way to make it through.

As modern humans we’re confused now more than ever, not because of the variety of choices – which we are used to, but because our choices are now limited and suddenly, all the rationale and logic to make those choices seem to be not enough. As businesses, we are struggling to decide whether to continue to invest or pull back the budgets from various active initiatives, to keep the business running.

This has left us thinking – what can we do to make the best use of the situation? For the rest of the blog, we will try to get an understanding of factors that influence the transformation of your business during and post-COVID era and how can we make use of those for the overall benefits of your organization.

Engagement with Target Audience

  • One of the key elements of this all hustle bustle is to keep up engagement with target audience. With online, the engagement comes at more tangible costs (Ad Spend) and hence, can be re-adjusted based on its availability. This is what pushing advertisers to reduce their ad spend in current as well as coming days, as part of their survival strategy. (Study #1 - 69% of the brands are planning to reduce their ad spend in 2020)
  • However, this can be the time to go back with a revised strategy, to your consumers, and engage with them taking help from initiatives, and contributing in them to give back to the society.
  • People’s expectation from businesses have escalated from just commodity-provider to a service-provider and that is happening for every business – while their underlying “hot button” stays same, Need. If your teams can figure out a way to communicate that Need and how you’re helpful in the new normal – they might initiate a transaction with you.
    (Study #2 - Over 90% consumers think brands should continue to advertise and furthermore, 77% said brands should...)


Rethinking Communication Strategy

  • Upgrading your brand communication strategy, is what we can infer from above. Now might not be the time to communicate only the benefits of your product/service – instead what can help is how you communicate your strategy to ease it on your customers during these unprecedented times.
    (Referring the GlobalWebIndex’s research – mentioned in Study #2)
    • Is it possible to talk about any flexible payment services in your ad messaging? (80% of US Internet users thumb-up’ed for this)
    • Are you offering any free services alongside your actual offering? (70% said they expect to hear about any free service)

These are some questions you can try answering before initiating a brand communication. This not only demonstrates how much you care about your customers, it also keeps the engagement going – which is really important as the needs are now much limited and we cannot leave any stone unturned to continue to maintain a connection with your customers.

  • While it is important to address your consumers’ expectations, it is also important they should be handled carefully. In a survey conducted by Integral Ad Science in March 2020, 75% of the respondents called out clearly “to not exploit Coronavirus situations to promote their brand”. Another segment (40% respondents) said brands “should avoid humorous tone”. Hence, it is also important to maintain a neutral, if not good, perception to avoid any backlashes.


Choose Channels Wisely

  • Planning your communication channels should also be part of the overall marketing strategy, now more than ever before. Since the budgets are limited, it is important to go Creative in our approach to reach out our customers online. For example, reaching out to people may not be beneficial on Desktop, as much it can be on a Mobile or OTT/CTV platforms 

To sum it up, we can confidently accept that these are tough times and every dollar counts. How you spend your each dollar will eventually dictate the future course of action, of your business. We also assessed that as advertisers we are morally obligated to help our business & customers and steer them towards their well-being. For that to happen, we need to engage with the customers, reach out to them with information that addresses their need, and reach out to them where they are instinctively present. Adobe’s AdCloud solution helps you do just that by helping you segment your audience, reach out to them on the right platform, on the desired device and bridge the communication gap that may arise due to abrupt changes in circumstances of everyone involved.

Now that we have already hit the rock bottom, I hope from here on it is only way Up to success & health.