'If your brand creates positive human stories, it will be remembered long after COVID'

Guest Column: Adhish Zaveri, Director-Marketing, Shaadi.com, says that it’s paramount for marketers to embrace the importance of driving business growth, particularly in these uncertain times

e4m by Adhish Zaveri
Published: Jun 17, 2020 8:26 AM  | 3 min read
adhish zaveri

The economic impact of the lockdown is likely to extend beyond the next few months and we can expect consumer sentiment to be muted in the near term. In such situations, the easy decision is to stop advertising and maintain a healthy P&L. The harder decision &in all likelihood a more beneficial one is going to be to continue investing in building the brand, albeit frugally. Here is my five-point playbook for a world post-COVID-19.

 Be Frugal, Don’t Vanish:

In a downturn, you can occupy a significantly high share of mind with very limited spends. Not only are your competitors going to lay low, but several industries are also going to be silent. This means less clutter and more time for people to listen to you. Apart from this, try trimming the excess fat in your media plans and invest in the most effective and efficient ways to reach your audience.

 Acts & Ads:

I’ve been reading a lot on why brands should be investing in acts and not advertising in these times. While acts go a long way in building affinity, they seldom help achieve short term business metrics. It’s paramount for marketers to embrace the importance of driving business growth, particularly in these times. Your actions can possibly protect jobs and maybe even help avoiding pay cuts. Marketing is a revenue generator and it should continue being one, regardless of the situation.

 Stay Light Footed:

Consumers are behaving differently today than they were a month ago and this will continue to evolve as the situation improves. No one really knows what the post-COVID-19 world is going to look like and it would be silly to make plans based on prophecies. Till some degree of certainty comes back in our lives, I’d recommend marketers to work with short term plans and constantly recalibrate them basis the evolving situation.

 Unlearn & Embrace Ambiguity:

Another outcome of this pandemic is that a lot of our trusted mental models, which help us make quick and effective decisions won’t work anymore. Things will be different post-COVID-19 and we are bound to face more ambiguous situations. Falling back to the consumer story and consumers changing habits is a sure-shot way of improving your chances to succeed. In the absence of big research budgets, the good old dipsticks work just fine. So, whenever you find yourself in this situation, figure out what the consumer is doing. 9/10 times it’ll give you your answer. That one time, go by intuition. It’s usually on point. J

 PositiveHuman Stories

The sentiment post-COVID-19 isn’t going to improve drastically. The economic downturn will impact us materially and in a world dominated by morbid news, unlikely brands can emerge as heroes. Powerful human stories are proving to be invaluable in driving positive sentiment. If your brand can be the creator of positive human stories and can drive genuine community impact, it will be remembered by the people long after this is behind us.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.

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