It’s time to double down on digital marketing.

Borrowing from the world of investing tactics, the best time to buy is when the market is down. It’s one of the easiest guidelines to understand, and probably the hardest to follow. When things go down your reaction is likely to hold off on what you had planned and wait until you start seeing a recovery. But, if you have the capacity to stay in the game and keep playing, now is actually the best time to score huge gains.

Businesses in every industry are balancing those two options as we enter into a global recession, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. With social distancing in place and most of the people working from home, brands have had to readjust to the new reality and rethink their marketing strategies.

Events have been rescheduled, in-store retail experience projects put on hold, and outdoor advertising placed on the shelves.It’s been a shock for everyone, but the actions we take now will provide us with the solid foundation we need to survive right now and thrive going into the future.

There are a lot of things business and marketing leaders need to sort out when it comes to repurposing business models and communicating that strategy to both employees and customers. But let’s take a closer look at the opportunities at hand for your digital marketing strategy.

It’s a buyer’s market for digital advertising

While it’s tempting to cut the budget on digital advertising spend, this will likely only serve you in the short-term and you’ll lose out in the long-term. While some of your competitors stay in the digital marketing game, connecting with their customer base and finding new audiences, you will have to spend more when the economy recovers just to catch up.

And if that’s not enough reason, the cost of digital advertising is way down at the moment which means you can actually do more with less. Whenever the overall volume of ads in your industry drops, there is less noise to compete with. We saw it following the 2008 global financial crisis when ad spending dropped 9% worldwide and 12% in the US according to AdAge’s Marketing Fact Pack in 2019, and we’re seeing the same thing play out now. This is an opportunity that you need to seize.

People might not be attending events, visiting shops, or walking past outdoor ads, but they are certainly online. A lot of people are at home, working or not, and they are spending a lot of time on their devices. So much so that figures suggest Internet usage has gone up between 50% and 70%, and streaming up 12%. At the same time, the cost of placing highly targeted digital ads has gone down approximately 40%, which you will notice immediately when you enter theCPC/CPM bidding process.

If you’re planning to launch a new product or service -and that offer still makes sense today - now is a great time for setting up a strategically targeted SEM and paid social media campaign. Give your brand its moment on the biggest stage in the world.

Make it meaningful, and make it count

It’s more than likely the campaigns you developed a few months ago are not entirely relevant anymore. Speak with your audience in a way that’s meaningful, by showing you understand the situation they are in and how you can help.

You might need to revisit your buyer personas to uncover new insights into pain points, aspirations, and behaviour. New consumer priorities mean your positioning needs some slight adjusting as well. It could very well be that what your brand offers has changed to being something that’s essential or a luxury, or maybe it fulfils an urgent need rather than something that can be postponed.

With clever brand research, you’ll be able to find out the answers to those questions and develop a digital marketing campaign that resonates with your customers because it makes sense to them.

That said, don’t go out and change everything about your brand chasing trends after the fact. Stick to the core purpose of your brand and use that to respond to the challenges ahead. Keep your long-term marketing strategies in mind and keep embedding your brand story and vision across your marketing channels.

When things get tough, lean in. That’s how you stay ahead of the game.

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