The question of whether you should advertise during the coronavirus pandemic is a sensitive one. We understand that your business instinct is perhaps to pull back on your marketing and advertising to cut costs. However, there is value in continuing to advertise amid the COVID-19 crisis and here’s why…
Advertising is the key to connecting with your customers. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, business and consumer need each other more than ever. That’s why it’s important to maintain a connection with your customers with strategic advertising and marketing.
We’re not saying that you need to splurge on huge advertising campaigns. But the stark reality for your business is that if you withdraw from the public eye completely, you will lose that connection with your customers.
Pressing pause on your advertising is nothing more than a short-term survival plan
Yes, you will cut costs in the short-term, but long-term your business may not recover from extended periods out of the public eye.
The truth is that your competitors will be ready to pounce if you let your guard down. They will be looking at it from the perspective of ‘it’s just business’ and it being ‘survival of the fittest’.
The #1 reason why you should keep advertising
Your customers don’t want you to stop advertising!
According to a survey conducted by the GlobalWebIndex, shortly after the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020, most consumers did not want brands to pull their advertising completely.
A separate study, conducted by Kantar, found that just 8% of consumers across 30 countries – including the UK – thought that pausing advertising should be a priority for businesses.
This is a clear indication that your customers need and want to hear from you!
Rather than pulling your advertising completely, the solution is to rethink your strategy, coming up with ideas on how to make a big impact with minimal expenditure.
Don’t fear COVID
There’s not a single person on the planet that hasn’t been affected by COVID-19. Perhaps this plays on your mind when it comes to advertising. You might think it’s insensitive and could do damage to your brand.
This is a valid fear and a logical reason for pausing your advertising campaigns. However, COVID-19 has been a huge part of our lives for 12 months and it’s changed the world. The truth is, people aren’t afraid to talk about it, so don’t fear mentioning it as part of your advertising campaigns.
According to a study conducted by Ace Metrics, 86% of consumers said they were open to brands mentioning COVID-19 in their advertising. This demonstrates that customer receptiveness to advertising amid the pandemic is ata high level.
However, any mention of COVID-19 in your advertising requires you to tread carefully. For example, you shouldn’t exploit the pandemic to promote your brand.
Meanwhile, 40% of consumers suggested that brands should avoid humorous tones in their advertising, according to the Ace Metrics study.
Economic downturn equals opportunity
The coronavirus pandemic has brought economies across the world to their knees. While a downturn in economic activity is bad for any country, the reality is that the only way to reboot an economy is for businesses to do business.
A comment made by Glen Wilson, the Managing Director of Posterscope, in an article published by The Drum will perhaps put things into perspective as to why you should continue advertising during the pandemic.
Mr Wilson said: “The long-received wisdom is that it’s potentially easier and more cost-effective to capture market share in times of downturn.”
It might come across as a little insensitive, but advertising while your competitors aren’t can not only kickstart the recovery of your business, but also the economy in general. What Mr Wilson says carries truth.
During an economic slowdown, there tends to be less noise from your competitors who have perhaps pulled back on their advertising.
Advertising amid the pandemic portrays to your customers that your business has stability.
Meanwhile, the cost of advertising will have dropped amid the coronavirus crisis, creating a buyer’s market for your brand.
These reasons alone give further weight to why you should continue advertising during the pandemic. As a widely used adage states: “When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you must advertise.”
How and where should you advertise?
Now we’ve established why you should continue to advertise, let’s determine how and where you should advertise.
It’s no secret that your options are limited. At the time of writing, we’re in the midst of a third national lockdown.
While hope is on the horizon that some form of normality can be restored in the shape of vaccines, for the time being, your advertising prospects require extra strategic thought and planning.
The case for digital outdoor advertising
Digital outdoor advertising has played a huge part in maintaining customer connection throughout each national lockdown.
Key outdoor locations have helped many brands to remain in the public eye through strategic digital advertising.
While many non-essential stores have been forced to close, many locations offer a unique opportunity to target customers. These include:
- The roadside
- Petrol stations
According to recent research, engagement with roadside digital advertising rose to a staggering 98% in December 2020. With fewer people risking travel by public transport, many are using their own personal vehicles to travel to work, representing an opportunity for you to utilise roadside digital advertising space to engage customers.
Meanwhile, engagement with digital outdoor advertising positioned outside supermarkets is also holding strong. As one of the only places not limited by lockdown restrictions, digital advertising space outside a supermarket represents an opportunity to reach thousands of people on a weekly basis.
The same is true of petrol stations, with forecourt figures rising continuously throughout each national lockdown as people fuel up for essential travel. Digital signage installation across petrol forecourts has risen dramatically over the past five years.
Shell Oil alone has installed outdoor digital advertising systems across 600 of its petrol stations, representing yet another prime location to target a captive audience with effective advertising campaigns.
The main advantage of using outdoor digital advertising amid the coronavirus pandemic is the flexibility it gives you.
You can adapt to the ever-changing rules and regulations around coronavirus, whether that means pausing your campaigns or changing your messaging entirely.
Support from Bubble Outdoor
For specialist support with your advertising during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, get in touch with Bubble Outdoor.
With cost-effective advertising packages and access to unique outdoor digital advertising locations, we can help keep your business in the public eye and keep you connected with your customers.