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Should I Continue Marketing During COVID-19 Pandemic Uncertainty?

Industry leaders understand the rationale behind investing in marketing media during a recession. We also, however, know marketing budgets can be the easiest taps to turn off. The natural reaction to a crisis is to ‘batten down the hatches’!

A very recent survey of 477 UK brand marketers conducted by Marketing Week looked at the effect on planned marketing spend during the COVID-19 pandemic. As expected, offline media (magazines, exhibitions, etc.) is taking the biggest hit, with 57% of marketers cutting their budgets in this area, 41% maintaining it and just 3% increasing.

However, with more people working at home on laptops, digital audiences are up.  The same survey showed that in digital media (email marketing, SEO, social media), 44% are maintaining and 24% are increasing spend.

In reality, recessionary periods provide fertile grounds for companies to grow their brand’s market share. History has repeatedly shown that companies that do so, benefit significantly in the long-term.

Who says?

Roland Vaile, a Harvard business graduate, studied advertising returns during recessions. He demonstrated that companies that increased their ad budgets during the recession grew sales much faster than their rivals – not only during the downturn but also beyond it. Companies that decreased their advertising spend saw their sales decline, both during the recession and then for the following three years. In relative terms, these companies even underperformed compared those that did no advertising before or during the recession.

But the COVID-19 crisis is unique!

Many employees have been furloughed or are working from home. These people, however, are spending more time in front of laptops and tablets, at the same time integrating with digital media. These employees intend to get back into their work environment, so they want to stay in touch with their network and clients.

This is the reason PlastikMedia and our partners have recently seen a large increase in our email marketing engagement levels. We’ve also seen a significant rise in PlastikCity and PlastikMedia website visitors.

So what should we be doing?

At PlastikMedia, we would always advocate a 55/45 split between your short-term and long-term marketing investments. Short-term tactics, such as lead generation and mailshots, tend to generate a direct response from immediate prospects and existing customers. These activities drive short-term sales increases. Long-term initiatives aim to generate brand preference, which ultimately produces broader but slower effects, and with higher paybacks.

OK, but my marketing budget has been reduced!

Budgets will probably be tight for a while; however, you will still want to protect and even grow your sales. You, therefore, need to reach out to your customers and prospects now, by continuing to invest in the shorter-term initiatives.

Remember your audience is more receptive to your digital messages at this time!

PlastikMedia, being part of PlastikCity Ltd, is a team with over 60 years’ experience operating in the UK and IE plastic manufacturing market and more than two decades providing digital marketing services.

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See for yourself how we’ve been promoting companies in the UK plastics sector, with our new Our Work showcase, or get in touch today.