As we continuously adapt and overcome the challenges that uncertainty had thrown us, there is a natural tendency for us to assume the worst. In the business world, this mentality gravitates us to a great temptation to cut marketing and advertising costs amidst the other rising expenses. With a marketing budget that is getting leaner year-on-year and a natural impulse to divert the available budget to tactical promotions to stimulate short-term growth, a marketer needs to focus on the effectiveness of brand communications to overcome the “reflex response”. Here are some of the key insights we had unearthed that might help you unlock effective brand communications in uncertain times.
Keep consumers at the core of your marketing plans
Businesses tend to focus on short-term demand generation with tactical promotion to deal with the increasing price sensitivity in the market. However, changes come with any form of uncertainty, and it is beyond just price sensitivity; hence It is even more important to pay attention to what is working in our consumer journey and be contextually appropriate when we connect with them. Brands need to continue to build connectivity both mentally and physically with consumers in an uncertain time.
A consumer-centric marketing plan allows us to effectively create and curate brand interactions along the consumer journey, engaging our audiences with a robust brand experience that resonates. We all want our brands to come to our consumers’ minds easily in a purchase situation, and, balancing a connected whole brand experience with opportunities to see a brand, is the most effective way to increase brand salience. Ultimately, a high frequency of brand activities that do not resonate, will not bring about an increase in brand value.
Defend your Share of Mind
Awareness, from aided to spontaneous to top-of-mind, is the first step in the consumer journey. When your brand communication or product is differentiated and stands out against its competitors, it will usually capture consumers’ attention. However, in uncertain times when most brands instinctively fall on communicating price promotion and GWP promotion, differentiation starts to dilute. More than ever, brands should continue to amplify their differentiation strategy.
Differentiation is essential to brand growth, but it needs to be meaningful to drive the consumer perception that it is worth to pay more. Meaningfulness is when a brand meets the target audience’s functional and emotional needs, giving the brand a role in the consumer’s life as a problem solver, a magic mirror, or a role model. Avoid the trap of uncertainty and instead of diluting, defend your share of mind by building meaningful differentiation.
The Only Constant is to Keep Communicating
The relationship between a brand and consumers is just like any other relationship, and the key to a long-lasting one is to maintain communication. When the whole external environment and our consumers’ lifestyles are changing, the only constant is to keep communicating. Think long term and when every competitor goes dark, you stand to gain even just maintaining the current frequency of connecting with your consumers.
How about increasing the brand’s Share of Voice in uncertain times? It depends on the brand strategy and might be worth the team’s time to carefully evaluate. After all, the brand stands to gain in the long term by building a long-term relationship with the consumers.
With the leaner budgets and the common trap falls that come with uncertain times, marketers will need to fight the temptations to rely on reflex responses. Whatever strategy we choose to unlock the effectiveness of brand communications, always measure & monitor, to give yourself and the team the confidence and control to respond and not just react to challenges. Check out how Mashwire partners Yeo’s to unlock effective communication and engage consumers during the pandemic. Want more inspiration, Mashwire is an email or call away!