By Rob Whittle, Chairman & CEO, Williams Whittle
Most marketers know the studies. They always, unanimously show that brands that keep advertising during recessions come out ahead not only short term, but long term. The same holds true for continuing to advertise during a pandemic. Those who cut back (or cut off) during these times lose out short-term and long-term.
If you think I don’t put my money where my mouth is, consider this: Williams Whittle has doubled down on every one of our marketing channels. It has taken time and treasure, but we’re confident it’ll pay off. (You’re now reading in one of those channels).
Continuing marketing is already paying off for some of our clients. One of our major nonprofits garnered $160 million in PSA television in just sixty days. If you know anything about PSA values, this amount is unprecedented, including Smokey Bear! They certainly see the results now—and expect more in the future.
Other clients have pivoted to COVID-19 messaging. One nonprofit added services to COVID-19 survivors in addition to their basic services to aid military families. Another, Maryland Public Television (MPT), converted school-hour programming to kids learning programs to enhance virtual learning in their schools. Marketing doesn’t always mean spending money on media.
It won’t surprise you to learn that our hospital client moved away from service-line advertising to COVID-19 related marketing. They have remained aggressive in the face of the pandemic. Our low-income housing client understands that their services are more important now than ever.
Another silver lining during the pandemic for brands that want to use media to further their missions is that there are deals to be had in media buying. TV, radio, print, and even online channels seem especially hungry for business and, as a result, your media dollars can go a lot farther in these times. Also, as noted above, it’s a good time for nonprofits to seek earned media placements.
If I had to ascribe one trait to successful marketers during this pandemic, it would be nimble. How do you make your brand even more relevant? Will you take advantage of the pricing deals that are out there but that won’t last forever? Will you avail yourself of opportunities that have arisen because of the pandemic? If you do—don’t take my word for it—read the studies—your brand will gain market share now and tomorrow.
Williams Whittle is a Capitol Communicator sponsor.