Don’t consider your marketing and advertising in isolation

Date posted: 20 May 2020

Posted by: Kate Brinkley

Post category: Insights

All advertising and marketing activity is built up of multiple, interrelated factors. Understanding the relationship between factors is key to success especially in times where investment is being more scrutinised then ever before and there is no room for error.

Share of Voice and Messaging

Why is SoV so important?

Historically SoV has been proven to directly contribute to a brand potential to grow market share. Essentially if a brands SoV is greater than the SoM then brands can grow.

share of voice vs share of market in marketing

SoV continues to be key for growth in market share. In fact the correlation between SoV and SoM have grown tighter over time. The explosion of digital environments has not only increased brand opportunity to build share of voice and increase conversation with consumers, but it has also demonstrated an ability to amplify the impact of offline investment. SOV is twice as important as it was according to the data analysed by Binet and Field in Marketing Effectiveness in the Digital Era (2017).

why share of voice really matters today

Maintaining advertising, and therefore SoV, will drive long term business growth as well as supporting sales in the short term. Whilst pulling advertising spend can provide some short term relief to profitability, evaluation of data around impact of advertising spend on brands profitability during recession periods demonstrates that ‘going dark’ by pulling all brand advertising brings the real risk of permanently weakened business performance. It takes a lot more investment to regain SoV than it does to maintain it, therefore it can be argued that its better to take the short-term profitability hit to maintain SOV and defend the brand. 

The long term business benefits of maintaining investment in your brand, marketing and advertising is being widely discussed with some compelling data to support the case. For those that do act on this insight this is a huge opportunity to grow SoV in the process and often do this more cost effectively that under normal economic and trading conditions – competitors are potentially reducing or cutting spend in market, consumers are spending more time consuming media and there are multiple short-term trading deals available across all media channels.

Will messaging deliver positive brand perception in this period?

It is natural for brands to be concerned about how consumers will perceive them if they advertise in this period, and in many cases, like that of Coca Cola, the perceived safest cause of action is heavily reduce and stop some advertising:“We’re being … mindful about the right level of brand marketing and new product launches given the consumer mindset across markets.”

However, broad research into the market, like that completed by GWI in April 2020, shows that most consumers are not concerned about brands advertising in this period.

85% of consumers either approve of, or are impartial to, carrying on as normal. Just 10% somewhat disapprove and 5% strongly disapprove. 

consumer attitudes to advertising during a pandemic

What is notable though is that for brands to build an emotional connection and positive perception they need to be considerate of the times and adjust their messaging accordingly. We have seen many brands, across industries, follow this feeling, adjusting existing assets to better fit the Covid-19 situation. The benefit of adjusting existing content is extensive; its more cost effective and time efficient that developing entirely new assets, provides the opportunity to increase relevance of message and introduce an appropriately warm and human tone whilst maintaining brand recognition and authenticity. These are some of the many great examples we have seen of brand successfully doing this:

Bank advertising during covid 19

Many of the high street banks have focused messaging on support they are able to provide customers to make them feel as financially secure as possible in this period, whether that be fee free overdrafts, security and fraud protection or easy online access to your account. This messaging is being distributed across all media channels, from TV and Radio, to online video, programmatic display and social.

Joe Wicks has opened his brand up to new audiences:
Pre Covid-19 all Joe Wicks messaging was heavily focused on adult health and fitness plans.

Joe Wicks Facebook Adverts

Once lockdown was announced, Wicks saw a change in consumer demand & a need to help children keep active. He began ‘P.E with Joe’ featuring across his owner BodyCoach channels including Youtube and changed his core audience to ‘kids/ parents’. 1 PE workout videos attracted a total of 955,185 viewers setting a record for “Most viewers for a fitness workout live stream on YouTube” and has risen £91k+ for the NHS.

Joe Wicks Youtube Channel

Other brand have focused on supporting NHS, keyworkers and other charities to build goodwill. Messaging focuses around charity work and donations, driving communications on TV, radio and social channel. Uber & Uber Eats, Just Eat and Deliveroo have all adjusted messaging to highlight these brands are supporting NHS staff. Co-op feature key staff #localheros across TV, online video and paid social driving messaging around donation to their charity Fair Share.

donating for heroes adverts

With all this in minds, brands need to consider having an efficient strategy to grow SoV and have adjusted their messaging to drive positive brand perception in order to get to a point of being able to confidently and successfully support the brand and business now and into the future…

There is no point having great messaging if you don’t tell anyone about it. And there is no point sharing irrelevant messaging with your target audience. But, consider both and you can put your business in the strongest position possible, now and beyond this period.

Whilst this applies to all businesses, the way in which to do this will be unique to each business. Smithfield Agency are a full-service media planning and buying agency that can support you with resolving the marketing and advertising challenges you are having. We understand the bigger picture and work on bespoke solutions for every client depending on what is right for you. We would love to hear from you and support you through these times and into the future. Please email if you would like to find out how we can help you right now.

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