Another week and another seven days in lockdown and the media and marketing landscape is shifting faster than sand in an old fashioned egg timer.
In a sea of bad news, markets crashing around the world, many media agencies having to make significant cost cutting measures, media owners working out how to survive and some brands freezing spend completely, the news that Unilever and P&G were going to continue to produce marketing campaigns and that Snapchat is being successfully used by D2C businesses brought some glimmers of hope.
This latter news came on the back of the latest Bellwether report predicting the next quarter to fall off of a cliff for advertising, but what the glimmer of hope also showed is marketing and advertising still has a place to play in helping the economies around the world begin to grow when the ‘new normal’ begins to kick in.
Yes at the moment there are wildly different approaches from some of the biggest advertisers on the planet and also from the support network behind them, but in an industry which prides itself on creativity this is surely the chance for everyone to seriously think about different approaches from how and where to reach consumers – esports being one such sector booming in the current crisis – to how to structure their businesses to become more efficient, creative and effective in the ‘new normal’ some way down the road.
Whether you are Coca Cola, who has frozen all marketing activity, or Unilever and P&G who are looking at different ways to resonate with consumers in these times it also allows companies in the industry to take stock of what they have, look at new methods of working, actually build a strategic vision around the mountains of data they have and ultimately question where and how they spend their own marketing budgets. It’s almost like a free hit ‘reset’ button.
It also means the companies who bring different sectors of the industry together at various points of the year will have to redevelop and redefine their offerings to adapt to the new world where – in our opinion – a hybrid of live and digital will begin to dominate. Of course none of us want to be stuck at our computers watching a conference for days on end, but the ability to be able to have a few sessions a day virtually to complement a live event makes sense, as in some cases it can triple or quadruple the audiences of live events.
And if we were a betting company – we’re not – we would suggest there will be no live events at least until the start of 2021. I know there are large pockets of the industry who believe everything will be okay from September, but this is looking more and more unlikely as social distancing rules are likely to be here until a vaccine is found. Not matter what you think of Mark Zuckerberg, he and the Facebook team are often ahead of the curve and they have already made the call not to do live events until June 2021.
Whatever happens and how this plays out we believe there is always a role for media and marketing to excel and we are confident we will adapt to the ‘new normal’ successfully.