Picture: 123RF
Picture: 123RF

Media agencies, marketing specialists and brands are traversing entirely new territory as a result of the impact the pandemic has had on the advertising landscape. Local research has shown that during the first six months of the lockdown last year, 58% of marketers cut their advertising spend. Coupled with that, the pandemic also proved to be the last straw for many media houses. But significant lessons can be taken from a harsh 2020 and an uncertain 2021.

All is not lost

While the past is no longer a reliable gauge to predict the future, it still provides us with inherent wisdom and lessons learnt. These are the essential ingredients to crafting the way forward and should not be discounted.

We’ve also gained a new way of looking at things. For example, sometimes the seemingly small things can matter the most. They help us to regain a sense of control and embolden us. So, be sure to celebrate the small victories amid tough times and use these wins as positive momentum to propel you and your business forward.

Reframing advertising

While the past year and a half had its challenges, we have seen the digital floodgates open. The changing media landscape and radically changing consumer behaviour have resulted in advertisers adapting their spend accordingly.

But sensitivity to the emotional and social state of customers cannot be ignored. Radio has a proven track record of trust and empathy, and it would be foolish for advertisers to ignore mediums that influence cultural imprinting in their mix. 

It is time for marketers to challenge traditional KPIs. Don’t be afraid of crafting a new and more integrated framework for measuring success. Many advertisers get caught between the desire to innovate and the shackles of old ways that prevent them from experimenting. This is the perfect opportunity to shape new performance frameworks and metrics.

Mediamark is currently working with a third-party research house to develop a converged currency that integrates the performance of terrestrial and digital platforms.

Brand authenticity

With slashed advertising budgets it is harder to prove that marketing has a direct influence on business results. Illustrating the value of building brand authenticity and reputation is key.

The more you build a brand up the less you need to bring the price down.

In our experience, the tension between the long-term vision of building brand equity and the short-term goal of pushing a product has been heightened during Covid. But the reality is that companies that have responded quickly and with empathy – fostering a human connection – have seen their brand ratings grow.

Reflecting the mood of the nation emphasises the lived human experience. To quote Deloitte: “Organisations should view themselves as human entities that mirror — and support — the values of those they are built to serve.”

The pandemic hasn’t just forced individuals to do introspection, businesses have also had to look inward to find new ways of doing things. This presents an opportunity for media owners and brands to partner to build brand familiarity, which will lead to brand trust.

Cindy Diamond is the chief revenue officer at Mediamark.

It is time for marketers to challenge traditional KPIs. This is the perfect opportunity to shape new performance frameworks and metrics.

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