“It is the long history of humankind that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin
With new challenges comes the opportunity to implement new approaches and new thinking. In our last issue, we started this discussion by not accepting the status quo, as inaction is not likely to lead to a better result. Business as usual is not an option.
In taking on the status quo, many of our clients are finding the need to balance between keeping a sober pragmatism and a positive, hopeful effort in moving forward. The key to striking this balance is to stay rigorously fact-based in both your near-term adaptations and in your long term vision for growth, in measuring current performance as well as in assessing leading indicators required to manage risk, spur innovation, and maximize upside.
The facts are beginning to emerge. One month into this societal change, we are just now beginning to see the impact on the results of recent campaigns, and our initial discussions with customers are showing mixed results. In many cases results from March were still solid, 32% of our customers reported response rates were up in March, while only 11% saw a decline in response. That being said, several stated they are starting to see some softness in their April campaign results. 11% of our customers stated though that they are increasing campaign activity next month, up from the 7% we shared last update. Results are also mixed on the digital side, as many agencies ramped up spending in March to burn through budgets before the pull-backs hit in April, affecting what would have been more predictable results.
This week’s survey: (How are last month’s campaign results faring?)
Market economics are shifting in digital. Impressions are increasing significantly with more people at home and on their personal devices. The cost of media has in turn dropped and, on some sites, we are starting to see unsold inventory. Facebook advertising, which for many had been cost prohibitive, is now affordable. Companies that have historically not been able to test Facebook or other digital media have an opportunity to do so now.
Industry experts are purporting that while Q2 will be soft, they expect the beginning of a recovery in early Q3, so now is the time to learn and prepare. We at ALC have worked to define several new digital audiences that represent the best opportunities to test in digital given the lower media cost barriers. Each of these audiences, as with many of our existing curated audiences, have been deeply discounted and will remain so for a limited time to support buyers and their ability to test during the current economic climate.
Test, learn, and test again – that’s the central takeaway one month in. Stay active, proactive, and nimble. Get your hands dirty. Now is a time to experiment.
ALC in Action:
As many are aware, ALC has been working with researchers, universities, and other entities to help address COVID-19 related issues for non-commercial solutions to help overcome our new challenges. To date, ALC has partnered with over 25 groups, including teams at Ohio State University and the University of Saskatchewan, working on solutions that tackle predicting both areas of expected outbreak, and volumes need for testing solutions. Teams are working to understand the changes in stress on our public transportation and to develop financial support allocation models. All efforts that we are proud to be helping with. We are also proud to be part of the ANA’s leaders making a difference. Check out the full list of ANAs brands trying to help:
ANA – Stepping up: How our Members are making a difference
If interested in ALC’s offer, and for more details, email us at COVID19Response@ALC.com.
Articles of Interest:
Our insights are again only a small fraction of what is being shared out there. Here are some other interesting articles and opinions we thought might share to help both inform and inspire discussion.
Alison Weissbrot shares some great thoughts on the balancing act we as marketers go through to reflect the tone of the day and stay relevant in times like today
How Brands Are Balancing Awareness With Opportunism In A Time Of Crisis
As brands feel cut off from their customers with retail locations closed for the moment, Adrianne Pasquarelli does a great job highlighting how brands might consider moving forward
Brick-and-mortar might be closed for business but brands can still connect
Victoria Petrock’s recent article raises the awareness around new technologies and behaviors that consumers are adopting that we will need to consider as we come out of the current crisis. Now may be the time to start considering how to adapt your own approaches.
How COVID-19 Is Fast-Tracking Emerging Tech
And finally, for those who are feeling a bit overwhelmed, perhaps you can take a little inspiration from Becky Robinson who does a great job reminding us to focus on the mile in front of us
A crisis is not a marathon – but it is a call for endurance
As mentioned, the power of positivity is an important consideration. Here at ALC, two of our associates, Rob Moreschi and Abigail Mahaney have stepped forward and started our internal Positivity Press newsletter. Focused on sharing fun and uplifting items for the entire company. From every corner comes our inspiration. Here a few links to pass along from this week’s newsletter:
Some Good News with John Krasinski – Episode 2
Quarantine Cooking Recipes
FREE online courses from Harvard
Adventurer’s Coffee Co.: Help Fuel the Heroes on the Frontline
As always, we look forward to keeping you up to speed with useful and actionable info that can help us all get through this together. Stay safe.
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