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Coronavirus fallout – How brands should respond to declining sales

It is now a sad reality that the disruption which the coronavirus is creating is on the increase in Nigeria and, as should be expected, this is certainly creating some ripples and racking of nerves across the advertising industry. Among other things, consumers are travelling less; events are getting cancelled; there is disrupted supply chain and delivery; reduced retail sales and cancellations of many forms of public entertainment.

In these distressing times, it is important that we rally around with a sense of community and be the beacons of optimism. We are hopeful that in the very near future Covid-19 will pass and we can, right from now, look forward to the recovery period, which will certainly come.

The best thing we can do, in the short term, is to maintain an audience-first approach; be fast; flexible and agile; to cater to the shift in media consumption and entertainment sources and, most importantly, prepare a smart and solid action plan for when life gets back to normal.

To start with, we need to be very mindful of: the continuum of pandemic phases.

We also need to bear in mind that a pandemic will always follow with a recovery phase. Thus, whilst we need to prepare for the short term the long run will remain just as important.

Now, what does Covid-19 mean for brands? Among other things, it means that brands should:

A. Maintain a consumer-first mindset – In this regard, it is important to maintain a sense of optimism with sensitive brand messaging; reflect local consumers sentiment, emotional context and cultural norms with a utility approach; consider the context of media placements, and maintain authenticity and support in messaging and content.

B. Think short term but don’t forget the long-term vision – To ensure this, brands must: Have short-term calibration plan but also keep the long term vision in focus; Responsibly maintain ad spend to win hearts and minds longer-term and continue mass awareness, media activities but with the right message for the climate.

C. Focus on digital and social, but TV is key – For this, brands have to: Ensure that the right content and assets are available (mobile, vertical, short-form, video); Utilise TV, video, streaming and online entertainment advertising opportunities to create connections with bored stay at home consumers; and Ensure all online communication is functioning adequately to respond to consumers in a timely manner and foster community.

D. Maintain digital effectiveness and quality – This, brands have to do by: Maintaining likability; Keeping messaging focused; Keeping branding prominent; Providing new information; Staying relevant and targeted; and Listening, Tracking and measuring sentiment.

E. Prepare for Recovery now by – Capturing the resurgence of demand; Preparing for physical and mental availability; Preparing ready promotions and incentives; and Keeping investments flexible to shift with changing tides.

Culled from Bizcommunity

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