Our Insights

How We’re Helping Clients Navigate Advertising Channels in This Strange, New World

April 6, 2020

We’ve always embraced the consultative role we take with our clients and media partners. During times when the media landscape experiences a little disruption (or a lot), these relationships allow us to provide guidance grounded in the industry’s real-time ebbs and flows, keeping ahead of industry trends while not straying from best practices.

To that end, we’ve never experienced anything quite like this. In response, our Channel Specialists have been connecting with local, regional, and national media partners to see what’s really happening. Below, we’re providing just a peek at what we’re learning, framed up in a way that’s actionable for you. We’ll also be sharing these observations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so be sure to follow us.

One last thing: we hope to keep these nuggets somewhat nuanced. You don’t need to hear that more people are watching news than sports these days, right? Or that streaming services and web conferencing are on the up and up? We didn’t think so. Let’s get started…

Digital – Search

  • Challenge: With greater economic uncertainty, Search may experience lower conversions in select industries.
  • Opportunity: Embrace this as a moment to capture consumer info with newsletter sign-ups vs. purchases — data that can be leveraged to build relationships once the smoke clears. Also, be laser-focused on your industry. If events are popular in your vertical, plan for more companies to bridge that gap online alongside you as long as everything is cancelled. You can also be a bit counter-intuitive here; if COVID-19 has hit pause on your business, that means competitors are likely pausing Search campaigns, too, lowering the price of entry.

Digital – Display

  • Challenge: Similar to Search, conversions may dip depending on the vertical.
  • Opportunity: Instead of focusing on today’s conversions, use display campaigns to build a compelling narrative that aligns with changing behavior prompted by COVID-19. Meal kits, grocery delivery, and other services are likely to keep many of the folks they’ve won over when some semblance of normalcy returns. These products and services become part of one’s lifestyle and aren’t just shaken free once the market resets.This would even be a good time to test creative to see which concept resonates more with your consumer.

Broadcast TV

  • Challenge: Our broadcast specialists report that while ad inventory is filling up fast in the short term — and some April dayparts are getting a lot of attention — there remain opportunities.
  • Takeaway: With schools closed and many spending more time in their homes than ever before, advertisers should plan ahead as early as possible. We could see an almost 60% increase in the amount of media Americans consume, according to Cynopsis. That alone will further crowd commercial breaks with new faces. (And remember, those election ads will be ramping up soon, further winnowing the inventory.) Bonus: It’s not too late to seek out discounts if you act fast — and ask nicely.
Beth Saunders