Don’t stop your media spend. Shift it

This is not the time to quit marketing, it’s the time to re-direct your efforts.

Don’t stop your media spend. Shift it

Research has shown that brands that act effectively in a crisis become disproportionately stronger afterwards. But what does acting effectively now mean? It’s not complicated: showing your true values and purpose at a time when people most need to see them.

This is when your brand – and the company behind it – have to stand up and be counted. If your values are not up to par, you will come out of this crisis weaker than when you went in. However, if your brand and your marketing are relevant and you can be credibly empathetic, you’ll be able to deliver what people need now.

Nobody needs telling that consumer behaviour and media consumption have shifted massively, almost overnight. Your job right now is to shift with them. Here are four fast facts to help you make the right media decisions now.

1. We know it’s tempting but this is not the time for knee jerk reactions. Don’t cut your spend. Rather evaluate your current channel mix and shift focus to drive increased effectiveness.

If yours is a business that offers digital fulfilment, you obviously need to consider delivery services if possible. If not, consider an incentive like offering a special deal with deliveries when the lockdown is lifted.

Think outside the box. Look at other avenues such as call centres to help customers purchase remotely – existing staff can do this from home. This is also an opportunity to shift your objectives from pure retail focus to other things like strong branding and education for the duration.

2. In-home content, mobile and online gaming are where the action is now.

Move from this:

•    Out-of-home advertising

•      Transit media

•      Radio (in-car)

•      Cinema

•      Sports events & concerts

•      Activations

•      Shopping centres & retail stores

To this:

•      Google search

•      TV viewership

•      Streaming video & audio services

•      Mobile & online gaming

•      Social media

•      Online news

3. Concerned about managing your media reach when shifting channels? Don’t despair. These are the ways to supplement your media reach right now:

•      Increase your digital media spend. All digital touchpoints will see increases in visitors, but we suggest you focus on news platforms and social media.

•      Increase spend on TV. Focus on news and entertainment channels and obviously avoid sports channels as all live sport is cancelled and viewership is diving.

4. Know where your audience has shifted to and follow them. This graph from Global Web Index explains it best – and while it only takes into consideration US & UK stats, it’s indicative of what’s going on in South Africa too:

In a nutshell, it’s not business as usual but there is a lot you can do to keep your staff working and improve business for the moment and the future. There are also things you shouldn’t be doing now.

Do this:

  • Update CTA to focus on digital fulfilment
  • Shift spend to in-home channels
  • Improve audience segmentation
  • Experiment with TV sync/cross-device targeting

Don’t do this:

  • Drive people in-store
  • Invest in radio, OOH or cinema (for now)
  • Promote social gatherings
  • Sponsor upcoming events or sports packages


Whatever shifts you make, don’t forget that they still have to be based on a solid strategy, however hastily prepared, be data-led, performance-focused and digitally integrated.

Published on The Media Online