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Intelligence Briefs

Marketers: What next? It’s a global question

Industry Contributor

Kim Portrate, CEO

13 May 2020 3min read

If there’s any solace to be had right now it’s that marketers around the globe are being asked the same questions about how to manage the impact of COVID-19 and beyond. Aussie marketers don’t need to feel alone when planning the road to recovery. There’s plenty of available information to help.

Key points:

  • In its report ‘When others go quiet your voice gets louder’, the IPA shows that continuing to advertise can lead to brand growth and help firms recover when the downturn ends
  • To make the most of the opportunity, brands need to aim for a greater share of voice which doesn’t necessarily mean spending more
  • When it comes to how to advertise, the IPA suggests empathetic, humane creative works best.

My Takeout

No doubt you’ve had a tough couple of weeks trying to navigate a constantly shifting consumer landscape. With restrictions changing every day and consumer spending habits altering in tandem, it’s pretty hard to make head or tails of what to do.

If there’s any solace to be had, it’s that this is a global marketing issue and Aussie marketers shouldn’t feel alone when battling the tough questions.

Like me, you’ve probably been looking abroad for guidance in how to manage this evolving challenge. The UK’s Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) has been a source of true inspiration.

In its report ‘When others go quiet your voice gets louder’, the IPA makes a great point that although the recession bought on by CV-19 is unique, it doesn’t mean the recovery will be. We can look to past examples of economic downturn for how to prepare for the bounce back and the IPA does just that.

As brands and businesses seek out ways to balance the P&L, the temptation to cut advertising is understandable. But the data from past recessions tells us this is counter intuitive. Several studies support the theory that pulling back spend now will have a lasting impact on brand health as well as sales with Peter Field, the Godfather of effectiveness, noting it could take five years of increased spend to regain the ground lost.

At the heart of all this is share of voice with Field’s analysis of the IPA Effectiveness Databank finding brands with a share of category advertising spend greater than their market share saw much more growth in the years post-downturn than those that didn’t. But getting this extra share of voice doesn’t have to break the bank, particularly if your competitors have reduced or cut spend. By simply staying on air, you could soon find yourself commanding greater category share.

Of course, whether or not to keep advertising is only one challenge you’re having to work through. There’s also the concern of how you advertise. And this is where creative comes to the fore. Analysis by the IPA found creative is a key driver of effectiveness. Whether we’re in a crisis or not, emotive advertising has a distinct advantage over creative that doesn’t make your audience feel. Yet in the 2008-2009 slump, UK brands that tapped into nostalgia were able to triumph, even in categories where competition for share of voice remained.

There’s a lot to consider and I understand it’s a difficult time for a lot of people. I do believe advertising is a business lever that can have a positive impact on an organisation's financial health. And if you are going to spend money advertising, make sure you’re getting the absolute best bang for your buck.

Let’s go. What do you think?

Industry Contributor

Kim Portrate, CEO

Kim Portrate is a highly-effective and commercially-minded business leader with 15+ years’ experience in traditional, digital, social and data-driven marketing in Australia and overseas markets. As the CEO of ThinkTV, Kim leads a collective effort to demonstrate how advertising in broadcast-quality content environments remains the most effective platform for the Australian marketing and media community.