Why now is the time to stop doing things as we have always done

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It’s been widely reported that COVID has shifted consumer behaviour but what about marketers? Spinach’s Ben Willee explains why now is the perfect time to review your marketing strategies.

In most organisations, decisions are based on some type of risk/reward analysis. Is the potential gain enough to outweigh the risk of failure? The challenge for most people is that, under normal circumstances, the fear of failure almost always overrules the argument for change. So, companies are biased towards avoiding risk.

In normal circumstances, we inhabit a world of certainty with established habits and routines that allow us to simplify decision making. As we learn what works, our actions become more automatic. We no longer think about it. We just do it. That’s especially true for marketing and advertising. For most marketers, there are rarely enough hours in the day to do all the things we need to get done. It’s easier, and faster, to simply do what we have done before.

COVID has shifted that and given marketers permission to change the way they do things. So, what should you start doing differently?

A review of how things are done has likely been kickstarted by the change in consumer behaviour this year. People are staying in more, going out less, cooking at home and shopping online. And that calls for a shift in how you market to them.

But don’t stop there. Take the opportunity to do a full Marie Kondo on your marketing approach. Rather than chucking something out because it doesn’t “spark joy”, think about whether it’s genuinely making a difference to your bottom line or if there’s a way to make it more effective and efficient.

From a digital perspective, there are lots of simple tricks to try. For example, if you have a database of email addresses and/or mobile numbers of high-value customers, you can easily build look-a-like models in Facebook and Google.

From a media perspective, have you considered adding Broadcaster Video on Demand (BVOD) to your media mix? During COVID, audiences on BVOD have increased exponentially and new co-viewing data released by OzTAM shows more people than we thought are streaming content together on connected TVs. Yet revenue on the platform isn’t increasing to match this consumption creating an opportunity to have a cost-effective share of voice on the platform.

Another media platform to consider is podcasts and digital radio. With car travel down, radio listenership flat and an ever-growing breadth and depth of audio content, it’s worth dipping a toe in the water.

With WARC reporting media costs are expected to fall by an average of 0.9% this year, there are plenty of bargains to be had so it’s worth keeping some money aside to take advantage of short term offers.

And finally, there’s never been a better time to consider making your marketing more personalised. Start small with a few tests based on consumer insights. For example, why not extend a personalised offer to existing customers that have purchased from you before?

Psychological research has found it takes between 18 days and 254 days for people to form a new habit and during the pandemic, your customers have been doing just that. So why not follow suit?

Ben Willee

Over a 20-year career Ben has worked in some of the biggest media agencies in the UK and Australia. As General Manager and Media Director, Ben optimises our fully integrated, no silo approach.